🌸Cherry Blossoms in Japan🌸
While the exact dates for cherry blossom blooms around Japan vary year to year, and from city to city (and even from one spot to another!), the very best times to see them are generally from late March through April. Of course, peak periods are a little later the higher north you travel, thanks to cooler weather!
Take a look at the JAPANKURU sakura map below for an idea of general dates, and then read on for some of the best cherry blossom viewing destinations to visit during your trip to Japan!
🌸Best Places to See Cherry Blossoms (Sakura) in Tokyo🌸
According to a popular Japanese site, below are the 5 most famous and popular cherry blossom spot in Tokyo. (Reference site
① Meguro River (目黒川の桜)
Located in the Nakameguro area near Shibuya, Meguro River (目黒川) is this year's ranked most popular and best place to see cherry blossoms in Tokyo. There are over 800 cherry blossom trees lined along the river for about 4km (2.5 miles). Along the river in front of the trees are lanterns hanging, so once it gets dark you can see the river and cherry blossoms being lit up by these lanterns. It is a really beautiful sight. During the Meguro River Cherry Blossom Festival, there are a few restaurants, convenience stores, and food and drink stands near by, however keep in mind there aren't any places to lay down a tarp and eat like other places. But walking along the river drinking and eating is just as nice.
Access: 5min walk from JR Meguro Station
② Rikugien (六義園の桜)
Around the cherry blossom season, Rikugien is most famous for their weeping cherry blossom tree that is 15m (almost 50ft) high and 20m (65ft) wide. At night there is a light up of the weeping cherry blossom tree that makes it one of Tokyo's most famous cherry blossom viewing spots at night. The garden itself is a beautiful traditional Japanese garden that was first built in 1695 under the orders of the famous Tokugawa warlord.
Access: 7min walk from JR Komagome Station
⏰Park hours: 9am～5pm
Light up: sunset～9pm
③ Sumida Park (隅田公園)
It is famous for its watery cherry trees that pour like waterfalls. The cherry tree, a symbol of Rikugien, is about 15 meters high and 20 meters wide, with pink-colored petals pouring over waterfalls! The cherry blossoms at night are lighted up for a limited time.
Access: 5min walk from Asakusa Station
④ Chidorigafuchi Park (千鳥ヶ淵公園)
This is one of the best cherry blossom viewing spots in Tokyo, 5 minutes from the nearest station.
There are about 170 cherry trees between the hut of the Imperial Palace and the British Embassy! The appearance of the cherry blossoms in the water is also beautiful, and it is always crowded with people at this time.
Access: 5min walk from Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Station Exit 5
⑤ Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden (新宿御苑の桜)
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, where about 65 species and over 1000 distinctive cherry trees bloom, features a variety of cherry blossoms for a long time because the flowering season is different depending on the kind of cherry trees.
It is also close to the station, so accessibility is convenient.
Access: 5min walk from Shinjuku Gyoenmae Station (Exit 1 on Marunochi Line, Exit C1 or C5 on Toei Shinjuku Line)
10min walk from JR Shinjuku Station South Exit
- Ueno Park Sakura Festival
Other great places to see cherry blossoms in the Tokyo area are Ueno Park (上野公園), Inokashira Park (井の頭公園), Yoyogi Park (代々木公園), and Hibiya Park (日比谷公園). Many of the cherry blossoms are expected to be in peak bloom around March 22nd, so you can still see some of Tokyo's cherry blossoms into the beginning of April.
🌸Fun Place for Hanami in Kanagawa🌸
Nishihirabatake Park (西平畑公園)
Located in Kanagawa Prefectures Matsudayama, from Nishihirabatake Park you can see an astounding view of Mount Fuji and Odawara Castle
tower. What makes this park special is it has a large slide with slopes and turns that you can go down and be surrounded by cherry blossoms! In the park, there are also medium-sized ladders that you can climb allowing you to take up close photos of the cherry blossoms.
Expected start of the sakura season: around March 14
Access: 20min walk from Matsuda Station (there is a free shuttle bus that leaves every 30mins from the station)
🌸Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots in Osaka🌸
Osaka Castle (大阪城)
One of Osaka's most famous sightseeing spots, Osaka Castle is the perfect venue for hanami (viewing cherry blossoms). Osaka Castle has a long history of being destroyed by many Japanese warlords like Oda Nobunaga and Hidetada Tokugawa. The park itself covers around 494 acres and is filled with lots of space for picnics and activities like throwing frisbees. There are over 4000 cherry blossom trees, and at night the cherry blossoms are lit up by surrounding lanterns and lights.
Expected start of the sakura season: around March 20
Access: Osakajo Koen Station on the JR Osaka Loop Line
💴Park entrance is free, but to enter the castle it costs 600yen for adults
Expo'70 Commemorative Park (万博記念公園)
As a symbol of Osaka, the Expo’70 Commemorative Park is about 260 hectares (642 acres) that not only has a Japanese garden but also other sources of entertainment like the Japan Folk Crafts Museum, National Museum of Ethnology, and many sports and recreation activities. It is basically like the Ueno Park of Osaka. There are some 5500 cherry blossom trees at this park with 9 different varieties of cherry blossoms. Since this park was chosen as one of "Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots", the park's hours are extended until 9pm (last entry at 8:30), offering an illuminated at night.
Expected start of the sakura season: around March 20
Access: 1min walk from Banpaku-Kinen-Koen Station on the Osaka Monorail
⏰Park hours: 9:30am～9pm (last entry 8:30pm)
🌸Seeing Cherry Blossoms in Nagoya and Kanazawa🌸
Nagoya - Nagoya Castle (名古屋城)
Nagoya Castle, with about 1000 cherry blossom trees, full bloom, is the second most popular place for hanami in Aichi Prefecture (first is Dogo Park (道後公園) near Dogo Onsen). This is another great place that blends culture and nature, that has a lovely light-up show on the castle grounds.
Expected start of the sakura season: around March 17
Access: Shiyakusho Station or Sengencho Station
💴Park entrance is free, but to enter the castle it costs 500yen for adults
Kanazawa - Kenrokuen Garden (兼六園 )
Being one of Japan's three most beautiful gardens (along with Kairakuen Garden in Ibaraki and Okayama Korakuen Garden in Okayama), this is the leading tourist spot in Kanazawa, especially when it comes to the cherry blossom season. Kenrokuen Garden has an area of about 110,000 square meters (27 acres)
with more than 400 cherry blossoms of approximately 40 varieties, and in the evening, they are illuminated. While this garden doesn't have areas where you can lay out tarps and have a picnic, it is a truly beautiful spot to see cherry blossoms.
Expected start of the sakura season: around March 19
Transportation: Take a shuttle bus from Kanazawa Station (get off at Kenrokuenshita bus stop)
🌸Sendai and Sapporo's Popular Cherry Blossom Viewing Spot🌸
Sendai - Nishi Park (西公園)
Nishi (West) Park is the oldest city park in the city which opened in 1888. At that time it was called Sakuragagaoka Park, but since it is located on the west side of town, it became called Nishi-koen (West Park). There are plenty of beautiful cherry blossom tunnels to walk under and areas to have picnics.
Expected start of the sakura season: around March 25
Access: 1 minute walk from Omachi Nishi-koen Station (大町西公園駅)
Sapporo - Maruyama Park (円山公園)
Sapporo has a strong image of being a snowy wonderland, but there are some great cherry blossom viewing spots in Sapporo. Maruyama Park, a famous cherry blossom viewing spot in Sapporo, is a natural monument of primeval forest. Nearby Hokkaido Jingu Shrine and Maruyama Zoo are also worth visiting!
Expected start of the sakura season: around April 24
Access: 10 minutes on foot from Maruyama Park Station
Everyone has their favorite place to go, maybe you will be able to find yours too!
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