Where to Find Cherry Blossoms in Japan
Looking to find cherry blossoms in Japan? Below you read our full guide which includes information about Cherry blossom season in Japan, where and when to see the beautiful Japanese cherry blossom trees in Tokyo and other places. And also information about the popular cherry blossom Festivals in Japan.
Cherry Blossoms in Japan
Cherry blossoms (sakura) are something everyone should experience at least once in their lives, and there’s no better country to see them than Japan. There’s even a Japanese word, hanami, which is a term that refers to the viewing of and picnicking underneath cherry blossom trees. If you’re looking for a full guide on where and when to hanami in Japan, then keep reading!
Recommended: Cherry Blossom Guide South Korea
When is the best time to see cherry blossoms in Japan?
Cherry blossom season in Japan, or sakura season, usually begins in late March and ends by mid April. Trees start blooming in Okinawa, and this continues up until it reaches the very northern parts of Japan. For our cherry blossom guide, we’ll start from the southern most areas and move our way up.
Where to see cherry blossoms in Japan?
Find below our list of the best places to see cherry blossoms in Japan.
1. Kawazu, Shizuoka
With the earliest blooming dates from early February to early March, Kawazu is an area on the east coast of the Izu Peninsula. There are around 8,000 sakura trees in Kawazu, which makes for plenty of prime viewing spots. If you plan to head here for sakura season, make sure to layer up and pack some hot tea for your picnic.
2. Fukuoka Castle, Fukuoka
The second spot on our list in Fukuoka Castle. Sakura trees are expected to bloom starting from March 20th and ending on March 29th. As one of our hidden gems on our list, not many people come to Fukuoka Castle to hanami, so it may be the perfect place for those who want to avoid the crowds.
3. Hiroshima Peace Park, Hiroshima
With peak viewing dates from March 23rd to April 1st, Hiroshima Peace Park is also a cherry blossom spot with less visitors. While you hanami, you can also make a day trip to the Itsukushima Shinto Shrine, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
4. Mount Yoshino, Nara
The most famous, and therefore most crowded, sakura spot on our list is Mount Yoshino in Nara. There are many options for cherry blossom viewing, whether it’s having a picnic at Naka Senbon Park or hiking an hour up to Hanayahura View Point where you’re sure to have an amazing photo op. Since Mount Yoshino has a high elevation, cherry blossom trees can be seen from April up until early May, which is another reason for the popularity.
5. Osaka Castle, Osaka
Osaka is a bustling city that’s fun to visit during any season, but especially so during the cherry blossom season in Japan. If you head up to one of the most famous tourist spots in Osaka, Osaka Castle, you’ll be able to kill two birds with one stone by experiencing the cherry blossoms amidst the regal backdrop of the castle. Sakura trees start to bloom from March 27th to April 8th, so make sure to plan accordingly!
6. Himeji Castle, Himeji
As one of Japan’s most impressive and famous castles, Himeji Castle is a perfect place to see Cherry blossoms in Japan. Take a boat trip around the moat or have a picnic under one of the 1000 sakura trees surrounding the castle. To catch the flowers in bloom here, be sure to visit during early April.
7. Philosopher’s Path, Kyoto
Kyoto is known for offering a more traditional setting compared to Osaka and Tokyo. It’s the perfect place to relax, get dressed in kimonos, and see some cherry blossoms. The Philosopher’s Path is a well-known tourist spot in Kyoto, which becomes even more stunning during sakura season. Trees start to bloom over the path and adjacent canal from March 30th to April 7th.
8. Maruyama Park, Kyoto
Another great spot to see Cherry Blossoms in Kyoto is Maruyama Park, which is the oldest park in Kyoto. As another popular sakura viewing spot, Maruyama Park offers something special for those who’d rather experience the cherry blossoms after the sun sets. There is a weeping tree (shidarezakura) that lights up during sakura season, so make sure to mark your calendars for April 23rd to May 6th.
9. Mount Fuji, Shizuoka
Regarded as one of Japan’s most well-known natural attractions, Mount Fuji is a glory to behold whether it’s sakura season or not. However, if you’re lucky enough to be visiting from April 6th to the 22nd, make sure to stop by Lake Kawaguchiko where you’ll get a breathtaking view of the cherry blossoms with Mount Fuji as the backdrop.
10. Ueno Park, Tokyo
Another great night time option for seeing Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo is Ueno Park. Along with the sakura trees, there are over 1000 paper lanterns, which light up the trees when the sun sets. Cherry Blossom season sees trees bloom in early April, which is earlier than the other Tokyo spots on our list, so make sure to plan your trip accordingly!
11. Shinjuku Gyoen, Tokyo
The only non-free option on our list is Shinjuku Gyoen, which costs around $5 to get in the park. However, some consider those $5 to be well spent as the park holds over 1,000 cherry blossom trees inside. Peak bloom dates are from March 22nd to April 7th, so grab some cash and try to time your visit to be able to see the blossoming of all the different varieties of sakura here.
12. Nakameguro, Tokyo
The last on our list for seeing cherry blossom in Tokyo is Nakameguro, which is highly regarded as one of the best spots during Cherry Blossom season in Japane. This is because there’s a canal that runs through the neighborhood with more than 800 sakura trees lining the waterway. There’s even the Nakameguro Sakura Festival, which runs from March 23rd to April 9th.
13. Kakunodate, Akita
Kakunodate is known as one of the most famous samurai districts in Akita. During sakura season, you can walk along the wide open streets and courtyards, which will have weeping cherry blossom trees that were planted by actual samurais back in the Edo Period. Peak season here is later than other spots with the first blossoms blooming in late April and ending in early May.
14. Hirosaki Castle Park, Hirosaki
Concluding our Japanese Cherry Blossom Guide is Hirosaki Castle Park with the latest blooming dates from late April to early May as it is the most northern spot on our list. Boasting over 2500 cherry blossom trees, which line tunnels and cover the moat where you can take a boat ride on, Hirosaki Castle Park is arguably the best place to experience sakura season in all its glory. It’s even a great night time viewing spot during the sakura festival where illuminations are displayed after dark.
Are you planning to see the cherry blossoms in Japan?
Whether you’re planning a trip to Japan specifically to see the Japanese cherry blossom trees or just happen to be visiting during sakura season, you’re in for a treat. Cherry blossoms bring a certain magical atmosphere to all of Japan, so get ready for beautiful sights and lots of celebrations.
Love Cherry Blossoms? Check out other places to see these beautiful trees such as in Seoul and South Korea!
Author: Ria is writer based in South Korea who loves travel, food, beauty, video games, and dogs. She likes to spend her weekends exploring her home and surrounding countries but also enjoys a night in watching rom-coms with her pup.