The spring season is what we call the season of hope or the season of love. Every year different countries on the northern hemisphere will usher in the season of flowers around March.
In Japan, each year around March to early April, cherry blossoms, or better known as sakura, will usher in a beautiful season that transforms the landscape into gorgeous light pink across the country. So, when will be the full blooms of sakura be in different parts of Japan? Check out the below list so that you could plan your trip and enjoy the beautiful sakura in Japan. Mind you, the viewing period is rather short – about a week (if the weather permits), so plan well!
1. Sapporo, Hokkaido
Where: Maruyama Park and Hokkaido Shrine
When: May 5 to May 12
Maruyama Park is located just next to Hokkaido Shrine. This area attracts a huge crowd for hanami parties (sakura viewing party) along the way to Hokkaido Shrine as it is lined up with beautiful cherry trees.
2. Hakodate, Hokkaido
Where: Goryokaku Park
When: May 5 to May 12
There are over 1,000 cherry trees planted along Fort Goryokaku’s moats, making it one of the idea spots to spend a hanami party.
3. Hirosaki, Tohoku
Where: Hirosaki Park
When: April 26 to May 4
With over 2,500 different types of cherry trees, Hirosaki Park also has cherry blossom tunnels and petal filled moats, making it an idea spot for a hanami party in Tohoku. The park also provides pleasant picnic areas, rowing boat rentals and illuminations in the evening.
4. Kitakami, Tohoku
Where: Kitakami Park
When: April 23 to May 1
One of the best sakura blossom spots in Tohoku, Kitakami Park has more than 10,000 cherry trees planted along the Kitakami River.
5. Tokyo, Kanto
Where: Shinjuku Gyoen and Ueno Park
When: March 30 to April 8
Both Shinjuku Gyoen and Ueno Park have more than 1,000 cherry trees which make both a wonderful location for hanami. In Shinjuku Gyoen there are cherry trees that bloom both early and late, making the pinkish sight lasting longer. However the trees leading towards the National Museum in Ueno Park only last for about three days.
6. Nagoya, Chubu
Where: Four Seasons Road at Yamazaki River and Tsuruma Park
When: March 31 to April 8
Both Four Seasons Road at Yamazaki River and Tsuruma Park are listed by Wikitravel as the 100 best spots for sakura viewing. At Yamazaki River, you can see beautiful cherry trees along the river which make up almost 1 km.
7. Kyoto, Kinki
Where: Arashiyama, Ninnaji Temple and Daigoji Temple
When: April 2 to April 11
Located on the outskirts of Kyoto, Arashiyama is one of the best Hanami spots near Kyoto where many cherry trees are scattered around the Togetsukyo Bridge located at the foot of Arashiyama mountain.
8. Osaka, Kinki
Over 4000 cherry trees are planted on the spacious grounds of Osaka Castle. A particularly nice place for a picnic is Nishinomaru Park in the castle’s western citadel with wide lawns, views of the castle tower and light up in the evening.
9. Nara, Kinki
Mt. Yoshino is well known from old times for the best cherry blossom site in Japan.
It covers all over the mountain paths around 8 kms, from the north end to the south of Omine Renzan mountains.
10. Hiroshima, Chugoku
Senkoji Park is located from the top to middle of this mountain. It is recognized as one of Top 100 sites of Beautiful Cherry Blossoms in Japan.
11. Matsuyama, Shikoku
Hundreds of cherry trees are planted on the grounds of Matsuyama Castle in the center of the city. The view from the castle tower over the trees and the city beyond is remarkable.
12. Kumamoto, Kyushu
Kumamoto Castle is by far the city’s most popular cherry blossom spot. Nearly a thousand cherry trees are planted across the castle grounds and in the adjacent public parks. Trees are lit up in the evening.
13. Fukuoka, Kyushu
Nishi Park is one of Japan’s 100 best cherry blossom spots. Over a thousand cherry trees are located on the hillside park, which is also the site of Terumo Shrine, the family shrine of Fukuoka’s former feudal lords. The park provides green space for picnics.