Japan is a wonderful place to visit and there is arguably no better time to come than springtime. Because springtime is the most magical time of year in Japan when the cherry blossoms come out and the whole country goes crazy for the spectacle – find the best places to see cherry blossoms with the help of our quick guide.
The time for cherry blossoms in Japan is from February through to the middle of May, and the blossoms (also called sakura in Japan) arrive at slightly different times in different places. There is no hard and fast rule, although the blossoms in Tokyo tend to appear a bit later than those in the southern part of the country. Check out the best places in Japan to see the cherry blossom arrival – you won’t want to miss this unique event.
1) Mount Fuji
Find your favorite view of the iconic Mount Fuji at the right time of year when the mountain is framed with frothy cherry blossom. The best places to see Mount Fuji with its cherry blossom gown include Hakone and also the beautiful Fuji Five Lakes Region.
2) Tokyo – Ueno Park and Shinjuku Gyoen Park
In Tokyo the most popular spot for cherry blossom spotting is Ueno Park. This is not a place for tranquil blossom viewing however, as it attracts thousands of people to the thousands of trees that line the paths around the National Museum. In the evening the trees are lit up so you can more easily see the beauty of the flowers in the darkness. The flowering season for these trees is from late March to late April. In addition, you can see blossoms in Tokyo at the Shinjuku Gyoen Garden – this is a fins city spot for seeing the blossoms in spring.
3) Hokkaido – Goryokaku Fort Park in Hakodate
This is one of the later flowerings of the cherry blossoms. Come here to Hokkaido in the north of the country to see cherry blossoms from late April into the first part of May. The fort contains a large park which is the best place in the area to see cherry blossoms. It is also a fine place to come to see the plum trees in full bloom at the same time.
4) Kanazawa – Kenrokuen Garden
This is a wonderful place to visit all year round but it is special during cherry blossom season when the blooms are the dominant force in these landscaped gardens. Wander around the gardens at leisure – it will take you some time. In addition, you can see blossoms at other locations in Kanazawa including at the castle.
5) Aomori – Hirosaki Castle
Located in the Tohoku region of the country, this is the perfect spot for the cherry trees. The castle is a beautiful backdrop to the phenomenon and you can get some great pictures when you walk to the Shunyo Bridge and look over towards the snow-topped peak of Mount Iwaki. Come here between late April and late May in order to get the best of the blossoms.
6) Kyoto – Daigo-ji Temple
This is one of the most famous places in the country to view cherry blossoms. The temple is a world heritage site and there are many landmarks to enjoy here including an island and a waterfall. The whole picture is painted to coordinate with the blossoming trees. There are some good hikes in the area too, which are perfect in the spring time. The best time to see the cherry blossoms is between the end of March and the end of April.
7) Kyoto – Maruyama Park
Maruyama Park is one of the best-known parks in the country and it is famous for its displays of cherry blossom trees that can be seen during April. These trees are perfect when viewed at night. There is a path called the Philosopher’s Path which stretches from the Ginkaku-ji Temple and reaches to Wakaoji-jinja Shrine. These beautiful monuments are perfectly framed by the weeping cherry blossom trees, and with the sky blue this is really a wonderful view.
8) Fukushima – Hanamiyama Park
Hanamiyama Park is in the Tohoku section of the country. It is a park that was started by farmers and now has many different varieties of flowering cherry blossom trees. Here you also get some fine views of the mountains in the distance.
9) Osaka – Japan Mint
The Japan Mint in Osaka hosts a long passageway lined with trees which is only open for a week when the blossoms come. This is a special seasonal event that has been celebrated here since the 19th century. You will see many different varieties of these lovely trees in all their glory. The season for flowering in this region is between mid- to late-April.
10) Hiroshima – Senkoji Park
Hiroshima is a wonderful place to observe the cherry blossoms. Senkoji Park is next to Onomichi Station and it also reaches to the foothills of Mount Senkoji. The park has over 10,000 cherry trees and there are some weeping cherry trees to admire. The flowering season is from early April to the middle of April.
Check out more places to visit in Japan and places to see cherry blossoms at the blog PhuketOn. Find out more about Asia travel at PhuketOn.