20 Best Places to Enjoy Sakura Cherry Blossoms in Japan

If you are ever in Japan during spring, you can't miss seeing the beautiful cherry blossoms in bloom! Japan has a unique way of appreciating its sakura trees in spring with events called "hanami", where viewers take strolls and have picnics under the blossoming trees. People enjoy hanami during the day and in the evenings, when the illuminated blossoms make a beautiful contrast against the night sky. This list of top 20 spots were chosen after considering various factors like location, famous castle grounds, unique features, and more. We hope that this list of the best cherry blossom spots in Japan will serve as a useful reference for when you plan your next springtime holiday!

Nationwide

Things to Do

1. Goryokaku Park [Hokkaido]

 

There are about 1600 sakura trees planted throughout Goryokaku Park, which is famous for being a site of the Battle of Hakodate. You can imagine how impressive the landscape here looks when all the trees are lit up at night!

Bloom forecast: Beginning to the middle of May
Night viewing events: 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 varieties blooming at the same time.  

Bloom forecast:  End of April to the end of May
Night viewing events: Not available

 

3. Hirosaki Park [Aomori]

 

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

Bloom forecast:  End of April to the beginning of May
Night viewing events: Available (During the Hirosaki Sakura Festival until 10:00 p.m.)

 

4. Shiroishigawa Tsuzumihitome Senbon Cherry Blossoms [Miyagi] 

This place is nicknamed the "thousand cherry tree view" because here you can see around 1,200 sakura trees growing along an 8 km stretch between Oogawara-machi to Shibata-machi.

Bloom forecast:: Mid to late April
Night viewing events: Available (The trees are lit up during the Oogawara Sakura festival)

 

5. Meguro River [Tokyo]

Here around 800 Yoshino cherry trees bloom along a 3.8 km stretch of Meguro River from Ikejiri Bridge to Kamenoko Bridge.

Bloom forecast: End of March to the beginning of April  
Night viewing events: Available

 

6. Rikugi-en [Tokyo]

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

Bloom forecast: Middle of March to the beginning of April   
Night viewing events: Available

 

7. Ueno Park [Tokyo]

About 1,200 sakura trees bloom in Ueno Park in the spring. As this is a very famous and popular Tokyo hanami spot, you can expect a huge crowd. 

Bloom forecast: End of March to the beginning of April
Night viewing events: Not available

 

8. Odawara Castle Park [Kanagawa]

If you ever make your way here during the hanami season you can see around 350 Yoshino cherry trees blooming with the Odawara Castle's tower in the background. The Odawara Kamaboko Sakura festival is also held here. 

Bloom forecast: End of March to the beginning of April   
Night viewing events: Available

 

9. Takatojoshi Park [Nagano]

Takatojoshi Park is known as one of the top three spots in Japan for flower viewing. Around the castle area there about more than 1,500 Takato Kohigan variety cherry trees that bloom gracefully in spring.  

Bloom forecast: Beginning to the end of April  
Night viewing events: Available

 

10. Takada Park [Niigata]

This spot is also another one of the top three places for flower viewing in Japan. During the Takada Castle Sakura festival, the trees are lit up and beautifully decorate the castle's moat.

Bloom forecast: Beginning to the end of April 
Night viewing events: Available (Illmunations from sunset to 10:00 pm)

 

11. Lake Kawaguchi [Yamanashi]

 

Lake Kawaguchi is the place to be to enjoy both a view of the grand Mount Fuji and beautiful cherry blossoms. You can also come and enjoy a festive mood during the Fuji Lake Kawaguchi Sakura festival. 

Bloom forecast: Middle of April 
Night viewing events: Not available

 

12. Kenroku-en [Ishikawa]

Kyle Hasegawa/Flickr

This park offers a wide variety of cherry blossom varieties including the prized Kenroku-en garden Kiku-zakura and Tani-zakura varieties. Other types include Asahi-zakura, Shiogama-zakura, Fugenzoh, Ukon cherry and Yoshino cherry trees.  

Bloom forecast: Middle of April 
Night viewing events: Available (limited to a week only)

 

13. Okazaki Park [Aichi]

This is a well-known place for night events in the east. Here you can see about 1,000 trees lit up in the middle of the Okazaki Castle grounds.

Bloom forecast: End of March to the beginning of April 
Night viewing events: Available (One week only)

 

14. Daigo-ji [Kyoto]

Fondly known as "flower Daigo", Daigo-ji Temple is a famous sakura spot in Kyoto. There are different types of sakura trees here which you can see blooming at different times in spring, starting off with the Kawazu-zakura variety and ending with the Oyama-zakura. In other words, this location has flowers in bloom for around three whole weeks!

For more cherry blossom spots in Kyoto, check out our guide to 10 Must-Visit Spots For Cherry Blossom Viewing In Kyoto.

Bloom forecast: End of March to the beginning of April
Night viewing events: Available (limited to a week only)

 

15. Mount Yoshino [Nara]

 

As one of Japan's top three places to go to for sakura, you will be amazed at the grand blooming of about 30,000 Shiroyama variety sakura trees here. 

Bloom forecast: Beginning to the middle of April
Night viewing events: Available

 

16. Osaka Castle Park [Osaka]

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

Osaka is not just one of Japan's largest metropolises, it also has a wealth of great cherry blossom spots. Browse our picks in our guide to the 15 Best Hanami Spots in Osaka

Bloom forecast: End of March to the beginning of April
Night viewing events: Not available

 

17. Daigo Zakura [Okayama]

The thousand year old sakura trees here have been designated protected assets by Okayama Prefecture. The view is simply spectacular. We guarantee your breath will be taken away!

Bloom forecast: Beginning to the middle of April
Night viewing events: Available (From sunset to 9.00 pm)

 

18. Miyajima [Hiroshima]

On this island you will find the World Heritage listed Itsukushima Shrine. The surroundings are home to around 1,900 sakura trees.

Bloom forecast: Beginning to the middle of April
Night viewing events: Not available

 

19. Ritsurin Garden [Kagawa]

Awarded three stars in the Michelin Green Guide Japan, this gorgeous garden offers about 290 Yoshino variety cherry trees to enjoy.

Bloom forecast: End of March to the beginning of April
Night viewing events: Available (Until 9:00 pm during the Spring Light-up event)

 

20. Isshingyo no Ozakura [Kumamoto]

Surrounded by a field of mustard flowers, this giant cherry tree is said to be about 400 years old. It stands an impressive 14 meters high, with branches that span 21 meters east to west and 26 meters from north to south. The trunk of this majestic tree has a circumference of 7 meters!

For more picks a little off the beaten track, read our guide to 20 Sites to Enjoy Cherry Blossoms in the Japanese Countryside!

Bloom forecast: End of March to the beginning of April
Night viewing events: Available (For 3 days from when the trees are in full bloom, from 7.00 pm to 9.00 pm)


Conclusion

We hope this guide to the 20 best cherry blossom spots in Japan gives you some inspiration for your next trip! For more about cherry blossoms, check out our 2020 Cherry Blossom  Forecast. We cover all the best spots to see cherry blossoms and up to date information about when they're forecasted to be at their peak, so you can plan your trip like a pro!

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

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