20 Best Places to Enjoy Sakura Cherry Blossoms in Japan

If you are ever in Japan during Spring, you shouldn't miss out on Japan's cultural event that focuses on appreciating its country flower, cherry blossoms. Here, we'll introduce the 20 best spots in the whole country to catch the breathtaking views of cherry blossoms.

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Japan has a unique culture of appreciating its Sakura trees by organizing events called "hanami".

So what do we usually do during a hanami? Well, we take strolls among rows of sakura trees and have picnics under the blossoming trees. You might think that this outdoor activity is only done during the day, but we also have our night hanamis. The lit up trees in the dark background creates a beautiful contrast, which makes the view exceptionally breathtaking. Night hanamis are called "yozakura".

This list of top 20 places are picked after considering various factors like easy access, famous castle grounds, its unique features and so forth. We hope that this list will serve as a useful reference for when you want to plan your next hanami event. 

1. Goryokaku Park [Hokkaido]

 

There are about 1600 sakura trees planted in Goryokaku Park that was famous through the Battle of Hakodate. Imagine how impressive the landscape would be when all the trees are lit up at night. 

Bloom forecast :  Beginning to the middle of May
Yozakura event:Available

2. Makomanai Park [Hokkaido]

This park was the main venue for Sapporo 1972 Winter Olympics Games. If you come at the right time of season, you might be able to enjoy two different sakura species blooming at the same time.  

Bloom forecast :  End of April to the end of May
Yozakura event:Not available

3. Hirosaki Park [Aomori]

 

Here at Hirosaki Park, you will get to view the blooming sakuras with the grand Hirosaki Castle as its background. There are more than 300 Yoshino Cherry trees that are more than a century old!

Bloom forecast .  End of April to the beginning of May
Yozakura event:Available (Until about 10 p.m. The trees are lit up during Hirosaki's Sakura festival)

4. Shiroishigawa Tsuzumihitome Senbon Cherry Blossoms [Miyagi] 

 

 

This place is called Hitome Senbon Cherry Blossoms because there are about 1200 sakura trees planted from Oogawara-machi to Shibata-machi, stretching as far as 8 km!
Bloom forecast:Middle to the end of April
Yozakura event:Available (The trees are lit up during Oogawara's Sakura festival)

5. Meguro River [Tokyo]

Along the 3.8 km stretch of Meguro River, from Ikejiri-Ohashi to Kamenoko-hashi, about 800 Yoshino Cherry trees will bloom!

Bloom Forecast:End of March to the beginning of April  
Yozakura Event:Available

6. Rikugi-en [Tokyo]

 

Rikugi-en was built by Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu as a circuit style garden with miniature hills and springs. Its weeping cherry blossom tree is extremely famous in the area. The majestic tree is 15m tall and 20m wide.  

loom Forecast:Middle of March to the beginning of April   
Yozakura Event:Available (The weeping cherry blossom tree and the whole garden is beautifully lit up)

7. Ueno Park [Tokyo]

Within this park, there are about 1200 sakura trees that will bloom in spring. As this is a very famous and popular hanami spot, you will have to expect a huge crowd. 

loom Forecast:End of March to the beginning of April
Yozakura Event:Not available

8. Odawara Castle Park [Kanagawa]

If you ever make your way here during the hanami season, you will get to see about 350 Yoshino Cherry trees blooming with the Odawara Castle's tower in the background. There will also be a Odawara Kamaboko Sakura festival. 

Bloom Forecast:End of March to the beginning of April   
Yozakura Event:Available

9. Takatojoshi Park [Nagano]

This is one of the top 3 places in Japan for hanamis. Around the castle area, there about more than 1500 Takato Kohigan Cherry trees that will bloom gracefully in spring.  

Bloom Forecast:Beginning to the end of April  
Yozakura Event:Available

10. Takada Park [Niigata]

 

 

This spot is also another one of the top 3 places in Japan for hanamis. During the Takada Castle Sakura festival, the trees will be lit up, decorating the castle's moat.

Bloom Forecast:Beginning to the end of April 
Yozakura Event:Available (The trees will be lit up from sunset to 10 p.m.)

11. Lake Kawaguchi [Yamanashi]

 

This is the place to be to enjoy both the grand Mount Fuji and the sakuras at Lake Kawaguchi. You can also come to enjoy the festive mood during the Fuji Lake Kawaguchi Sakura festival. 

Bloom Forecast:Middle of April 
Yozakura Event:Not available

12. Kenroku-en [Ishikawa]

Kyle Hasegawa/Flickr

 

This park offers a wide variety of cherry blossoms from their prized possessions, Kenroku-en's Kiku Zakura, Kenroku-en's Tani Zakura and Asahi Zakura to Shiogama Zakura, Fugenzoh, Ukon Cherry and Yoshino Cherry trees.  

Bloom Forecast:Middle of April 
Yozakura Event:Available (limited to a week only)

13. Okazaki Park [Aichi]

This is a well-known place for Yozakura events in the east. Here you can see about 1000 trees being lit up in the middle of Okazaki Castle grounds. 

Bloom Forecast:End of March to the beginning of April 
Yozakura Event:Available (limited to a week only)

14. Daigo-ji [Kyoto]

It is fondly known as "Hana no Daigo" as it is a famous sakura location. There are different types of sakura trees here and you will get to see them blooming at different times in spring, starting off with the Kawazu Zakuras and then ending off with the Oyama Zakuras. In other words, this location will have blooming cherry blossoms for about 3 weeks. 

Bloom Forecast:End of March to the beginning of April
Yozakura Event:Available (limited to a week only)

15. Mount Yoshino [Nara]

 

As one of Japan's top 3 places to go to for sakuras, you will be amazed at the grand blooming of about 30,000 Shiroyama Zakuras. 

Bloom Forecast:Beginning to the middle of April
Yozakura Event:Available

16. Osaka Castle Park [Osaka]

This luscious park houses the majestic Osaka Castle in its center.  It is also a popular hanami spot. We also recommend you to head to the Nishi no Maru Garden as the cherry blossoms there are probably the most beautiful ones in the entire grounds.

Bloom Forecast:End of March to the beginning of April
Yozakura Event:Not available

17. Daigo Zakura [Okayama]

 

The thousand year old Sakura trees here are designated as the prefectures protected treasures. The view is simple spectacular and we guarantee that your breath will be taken away.

Bloom Forecast:Beginning to the middle of April
Yozakura Event:Available(From sunset to 9.00 p.m.)

18. Miyajima [Hiroshima]

On this very island, you will find the world heritage, Itsukushima Shrine. The surroundings house about 1900 Sakura trees.

Bloom Forecast:Beginning to the middle of April
Yozakura Event:Not available

19. Ritsurin Garden [Kagawa]

This Michelin Green Guide Japan 3 star garden offers about 290 Yoshino Cherry trees.

Bloom Forecast:End of March to the beginning of April
Yozakura Event:Available(9.00pm during the Spring Light-up Event)

20. Isshingyo no Ozakura [Kumamoto]

Surrounded by field mustards, the giant cherry tree is about 400 years olds with a height of 14m. It's branches span from east to west, covering about 21m and 26m from north to south. The trunk of this majestic tree already covers 7m!

Bloom Forecast:End of March to the beginning of April
Yozakura Event:Available(For 3 days from when the trees are in full bloom, from 7.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m.)

The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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