2024 Japanese Cherry Blossom Forecast ・ 8 Best Places to See Japanese Cherry Blossoms in Japan in 2024

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Looking for the best places to see cherry blossoms in Japan? Ready for a day of hanami picnics? Here’s a little guide to sakura spots around Japan, and when to see them, to get you started on your cherry blossom journey.

🌸 The Best Time to See Cherry Blossoms in Japan 🌸

The exact dates for cherry blossom blooms around Japan vary year to year, and from city to city, but the best time for cherry blossom viewing in Japan is from late March through April. Your next question will probably be "so when exactly should I visit Japan to see the cherry blossoms at their best?", but choosing exact dates can be a little complicated, since regional climates and even individual trees can vary a lot! Colder weather in the north means that cherry blossoms bloom a little bit later, and different varieties of cherry tree also bloom at different times. The most popular sakura bloom on a tree called the Yoshino Cherry or the Somei-yoshino, and since its pale pink blossoms can be found all around Japan, peak cherry blossom season in Japan is often focused on this one variety. But there are early and late-blooming cherry blossoms in Japan, too like the early spring Kawazu-sakura or even cherry trees that bloom in autumn! Cherry blossom season isn't exactly one specific time, which means that with a little planning, it's not too hard to see gorgeous cherry blossoms in Japan.

In the early days of each spring, experts take a look at the weather patterns, and they make much more specific predictions for that spring's sakura season, deciding when exactly the cherry blossoms will look the most beautiful. As you can see on this popular sakura season map, in 2024 Japan's cherry blossom blooms will be a little late! The dates indicate predictions for when the flowers (especially Somei-yoshino) will really start to bloom, kicking off a sakura season that only lasts a couple of weeks. While the earliest predictions this year anticipated a slightly early cherry blossom season, probably influenced by a handful of warm days in February, a series of cold rainy weeks have pushed the cherry blossom season further and further back, resulting in a rather late bloom! Osaka and Nagoya are looking at a season that starts at the end of March, and Tokyo's dates have moved incrementally from mid-March all the way to the end of the month, or even the beginning of April. But sightseers looking to enjoy Japan's beautiful cherry blossoms will still want to get a start on their hanami plans before it's too late! For some of the best cherry blossom viewing destinations to visit in Tokyo and around Japan, check out our guide below.



Image Source: Weathermap / English added by Japankuru

🌸 Tokyo Cherry Blossom Spots 🌸

Ready to surround yourself with pink petals and sweeping cherry boughs? We've collected a few top spots around Japan just for you, starting with Tokyo!



① Meguro River (目黒川の桜)

Located in the Nakameguro area near Shibuya, Meguro River (目黒川) is consistently one of, if not the, most popular place to go cherry blossom viewing in Tokyo. There are over 800 cherry blossom trees lined up along the riverbanks, stretching on for almost 4km (2.5 miles). Lanterns hang along the river in front of the trees, making the spot equally beautiful in the sunshine and after sunset, when the lanterns cast a soft glow on the flowers. While there are a few restaurants and convenience stores nearby, and food and drink stands set up during the Meguro River Cherry Blossom Festival season, this isn't really a good place for the hanami picnic tradition. There isn't much space to lay down a tarp and spread out! So join the crowds and take a nice walk among the flowers instead!

Meguro River (目黒川の桜)
Meguro River, Meguro City, Tokyo
Access: 5 min walk from JR Meguro Station



② Rikugien (六義園の桜)

During the cherry blossom season, Rikugien is most famous for the garden's huge weeping cherry blossom tree, which towers above at 15m (almost 50ft) high and 20m (65ft) wide, with blooms said to "pour like a waterfall." At night the weeping cherry blossom tree is lit from below, making it one of Tokyo's most famous nighttime cherry blossom viewing spots. Aside from its spectacular sakura, Rikugien is a traditional Japanese garden, first constructed by a local samurai in 1695, with permission from the Tokugawa shogunate.

Rikugien (六義園の桜)​
6-16-3 Honkomagome, Bunkyo City, Tokyo
Access: 7 min walk from JR Komagome Station
Park Hours: 9:00 – 17:00
Light Up: sunset – 21:00
Admission: 300 yen



③ Sumida Park (隅田公園)

Right next to the popular sightseeing area of Asakusa, and with a great view of Tokyo Skytree in the background, the many sakura trees that grow along the water on the Sumida River make it a beautiful place to take a walk under the fluttering pink petals and breathe in the fresh spring air.

Sumida Park (隅田公園)​
1 Hanakawado, Taito City, Tokyo
Access: 5 min walk from Asakusa Station



④ Chidorigafuchi Park (千鳥ヶ淵公園)

One of the most impressive cherry blossom viewing spots in Tokyo is just five minutes from the nearest station, with about 170 cherry trees spread between Tokyo's Imperial Palace and the British Embassy. The reflection of the cherry blossoms in the water is noted as being particularly beautiful, and the area is always crowded with people during sakura season.

Chidorigafuchi Park (千鳥ヶ淵公園)​
1-2 Kojimachi, Chiyoda City, Tokyo
Access: 5 min walk from Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Station Exit 5



⑤ Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden (新宿御苑の桜)

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, where over 1000 cherry trees of 65 different species bloom each year, has an incredibly long cherry blossom season thanks to the trees' variety! Visit the popular park any time in late March or early April to see different sakura blooming throughout the different gardens, each blooming at a slightly different time, and many with slightly different flowers as well. Plus, Shinjuku Gyoen is (unsurprisingly) right in Shinjuku, so after a picnic in the park you can spend the afternoon exploring one of Tokyo's busiest neighborhoods.

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden (新宿御苑の桜)
11 Naitomachi, Shinjuku City, Tokyo
Access: 5 min walk from Shinjuku Gyoenmae Station, or 10 min walk from JR Shinjuku Station South Exit



↑ Ueno Park

Other great places to see cherry blossoms in the Tokyo area include 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). Tokyo's cherry blossoms generally begin blooming towards the end of March, but they'll usually stick around through early April!

🌸 Osaka Cherry Blossom Spots 🌸



⑥ Osaka Castle (大阪城)

One of Osaka's most famous sightseeing spots, Osaka Castle is the perfect venue for hanami (cherry blossoms viewing). Osaka Castle has a long history of being taken and (unfortunately) destroyed by many Japanese warlords like Oda Nobunaga and Hidetada Tokugawa, making it an extremely important historical site, but the surrounding park is also filled with sakura! The park area covers around 494 acres, filled with trails and grassy areas perfect for picnics or frisbee under the cherry blossoms. There are over 4,000 cherry blossom trees all around the castle, and at night the cherry blossoms are lit up by surrounding lanterns and lights, for a romantic touch.

Osaka Castle (大阪城)
1-1 Osakajo, Chuo Ward, Osaka
Access: Osakajo Koen Station on the JR Osaka Loop Line
Castle Admission: 600 yen (park is free)



⑦ Expo'70 Commemorative Park (万博記念公園)

A symbol of Osaka, the Expo’70 Commemorative Park is about 260 hectares (642 acres) packed with not only a Japanese garden, but also the Japan Folk Crafts Museum, National Museum of Ethnology, and many sports and recreation areas. It's a little like the Ueno Park of Osaka! There are some 5,500 cherry blossom trees planted around the park, with nine different varieties of cherry blossoms. Ever since the park was chosen as one of "Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots," they've extended the hanami hours until 9pm every night, and they light up the trees at night as well!

Expo '70 Commemorative Park (万博記念公園)
Senribanpakukoen, Suita, Osaka
Access: 1 min walk from Banpaku-Kinen-Koen Station on the Osaka Monorail
Hours: 9:30 – 21:00 (last entry 20:30)

🌸 Nagoya Cherry Blossom Spots 🌸



⑧ Nagoya – Nagoya Castle (名古屋城)

With about 1000 cherry blossom trees, Nagoya Castle might be the second most popular place for hanami in Aichi Prefecture in some rankings, but the historic majesty of the castle really sets off the lovely pink of the flowers. There's nothing more Japanese than a stroll through a cherry blossom garden in the shade of a towering castle! Even at night, Nagoya Castle keeps the castle grounds illuminated, so visitors can even enjoy the cherry blossoms after dark.

Nagoya Castle (名古屋城)
1-1 Honmaru, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi
Access: Shiyakusho Station or Sengencho Station
Castle Admission: 500 yen (park is free)

Going back to that ranking above, many people say that the very best spot for cherry blossom viewing in Aichi Prefecture is actually Dogo Park (道後公園) near Dogo Onsen! Nagoya locals also frequently recommend Tokugawaen Garden (徳川園), which is only about 10 minutes from Nagoya Castle by bus.

🌸 Plan the Perfect Cherry Blossom Trip 🌸



Cherry blossom viewing is an iconic part of springtime in Japan, and one of the biggest reasons why so many travelers choose to visit the country during March and April each year, to the point that "sakura" and "hanami" have made their way into English sightseeing brochures and beyond. With so many great places to view the flowers throughout Japan, we couldn't even begin to list them all! But armed with a few popular spots, hopefully you'll know where to get started next time you find yourself surrounded by Japan's pink flowers and hanami traditions!

For more info and updates from Japan, check Japankuru for new articles, and don't forget to follow us on twitter, instagram, and facebook!

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      Hokkaido (北海道) is the northernmost of the four main islands that make up Japan. The area is famous for Sapporo Beer, plus brewing and distilling in general, along with fantastic snow festivals and breathtaking national parks. Foodies should look for Hokkaido's famous potatoes, cantaloupe, dairy products, soup curry, and miso ramen!

    • Niki, in south-west Hokkaido, is about 30 minutes from Otaru. The small town is rich with natural resources, fresh water, and clean air, making it a thriving center for fruit farms. Cherries, tomatoes, and grapes are all cultivated in the area, and thanks to a growing local wine industry, it's quickly becoming a food and wine hotspot. Together with the neighboring town of Yoichi, it's a noted area for wine tourism.

    • Niseko is about two hours from New Chitose Airport, in the western part of Hokkaido. It's one of Japan's most noted winter resort areas, and a frequent destination for international visitors. That's all because of the super high-quality powder snow, which wins the hearts of beginners and experts alike, bringing them back for repeat visits. That's not all, though, it's also a great place to enjoy Hokkaido's culinary scene and some beautiful onsen (hot springs).

    • Otaru is in western Hokkaido, about 30 minutes from Sapporo Station. The city thrived around its busy harbor in the 19th and 20th centuries thanks to active trade and fishing, and the buildings remaining from that period are still popular attractions, centered around Otaru Canal. With its history as a center of fishing, it's no surprise that the area's fresh sushi is a must-try. Otaru has over 100 sushi shops, quite a few of which are lined up on Sushiya Dori (Sushi Street).

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      Sapporo, in the south-western part of Hokkaido, is the prefecture's political and economic capital. The local New Chitose Airport see arrivals from major cities like Tokyo and Osaka, alongside international flights. Every February, the Sapporo Snow Festival is held in Odori Park―one of the biggest events in Hokkaido. It's also a hotspot for great food, known as a culinary treasure chest, and Sapporo is a destination for ramen, grilled mutton, soup curry, and of course Hokkaido's beloved seafood.

    • Consisting of six prefectures, the Tohoku Region (東北地方) is up in the northeastern part of Japan's main island. It's the source of plenty of the nation's agriculture (which means great food), and packed with beautiful scenery. Explore the region's stunning mountains, lakes, and hot springs!

    • Akita Prefecture is on the Sea of Japan, in the northern reaches of Japan's northern Tohoku region. Akita has more officially registered important intangible culture assets than anywhere else in Japan, and to this day visitors can experience traditional culture throughout the prefecture, from the Oga Peninsula's Namahage (registered with UNESCO as a part of Japan's intangible cultural heritage), to the Tohoku top 3 Kanto Festival. Mysterious little spots like the Oyu Stone Circle Site and Ryu no Atama (Dragon's Head) are also worth a visit!

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      Fukushima Prefecture sits at the southern tip of Japan's northern Tohoku region, and is divided into three parts with their own different charms: the Coastal Area (Hama-dori), the Central Area (Naka-dori), and the Aizu Area. There's Aizu-Wakamatsu with its Edo-era history and medieval castles, Oze National Park, Kitakata ramen, and Bandai Ski Resort (with its famous powder snow). Fukushima is a beautiful place to enjoy the vivid colors and sightseeing of Japan's beloved four seasons.

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      Yamagata Prefecture is up against the Sea of Japan, in the southern part of the Tohoku region, and it's especially popular in winter, when travelers soak in the onsen (hot springs) and ski down snowy slopes. International skiiers are especially fond of Zao Onsen Ski Resort and Gassan Ski Resort, and in recent years visitors have been drawn to the area to see the mystical sight of local frost-covered trees. Some destinations are popular regardless of the season, like Risshakuji Temple, AKA Yamadera, Ginzan Onsen's nostalgic old-fashioned streets, and Zao's Okama Lake, all great for taking pictures. Yamagata is also the place to try Yonezawa beef, one of the top 3 varieties of wagyu beef.

    • Japan's most densely populated area, the Kanto Region (関東地方) includes 7 prefectures: Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Saitama, Tokyo, Chiba, and Kanagawa, which means it also contains the Tokyo Metropolitan Area. In modern-day Japan, Kanto is the cultural, political, and economic heartland of the country, and each prefecture offers something a little different from its neighbors.

    • Gunma Prefecture is easily accessible from Tokyo, and in addition to the area's popular natural attractions like Oze Marshland and Fukiware Falls, Gunma also has a number of popular hot springs (Kusatsu, Ikaho, Minakami, Shima)―it's even called an Onsen Kingdom. The prefecture is popular with history buffs and train lovers, thanks to spots like world heritage site Tomioka Silk Mill, the historic Megane-bashi Bridge, and the Watarase Keikoku Sightseeing Railway.

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      Tochigi Prefecture's capital is Utsunomiya, known for famous gyoza, and just an hour from Tokyo. The prefecture is full of nature-related sightseeing opportunities year-round, from the blooming of spring flowers to color fall foliage. Tochigi also has plenty of extremely well-known sightseeing destinations, like World Heritage Site Nikko Toshogu Shrine, Lake Chuzenji, and Ashikaga Flower Park―famous for expansive wisteria trellises. In recent years the mountain resort town of Nasu has also become a popular excursion, thanks in part to the local imperial villa. Tochigi is a beautiful place to enjoy the world around you.

    • Tokyo (東京) is Japan's busy capital, and the most populous metropolitan area in the world. While the city as a whole is quite modern, crowded with skyscrapers and bustling crowds, Tokyo also holds onto its traditional side in places like the Imperial Palace and Asakusa neighborhood. It's one of the world's top cities when it comes to culture, the arts, fashion, games, high-tech industries, transportation, and more.

    • The Chubu Region (中部地方) is located right in the center of Japan's main island, and consists of 9 prefectures: Aichi, Fukui, Gifu, Ishikawa, Nagano, Niigata, Shizuoka, Toyama, and Yamanashi. It's primarily famous for its mountains, as the region contains both Mt. Fuji and the Japanese Alps. The ski resorts in Niigata and Nagano also draw visitors from around the world, making it a popular winter destination.

    • Nagano Prefecture's popularity starts with a wealth of historic treasures, like Matsumoto Castle, Zenkoji Temple, and Togakushi Shrine, but the highlight might just be the prefecture's natural vistas surrounded by the "Japanese Alps." Nagano's fruit is famous, and there are plenty of places to pick it fresh, and the area is full of hot springs, including Jigokudani Monkey Park―where monkeys take baths as well! Thanks to the construction of the Hokuriku shinkansen line, Nagano is easily reachable from the Tokyo area, adding it to plenty of travel itineraries. And after the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics, ski resorts like Hakuba and Shiga Kogen are known around the world.

    • Aichi Prefecture sits in the center of the Japanese islands, and its capital city, Nagoya, is a center of politics, commerce, and culture. While Aichi is home to major industry, and is even the birthplace of Toyota cars, it's proximity to the sea and the mountains means it's also a place with beautiful natural scenery, like Saku Island, Koijigahama Beach, Mt. Horaiji. Often used a stage for major battles in Japanese history, Sengoku era commanders like Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu left their own footprints on Aichi, and historic buildings like Nagoya Castle, Inuyama Castle, and those in Meiji Mura are still around to tell the tale.

    • NIIGATA

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      Niigata is a prefecture on Japan's main island of Honshu, situated right on the coast of the Sea of Japan, and abundant with the gifts of nature. It's known for popular ski resorts such as Echigo-Yuzawa, Japanese national parks, and natural hot spring baths, plus local products like fresh seafood, rice, and sake. Visitors often spend time in the prefectural capital, Niigata City, or venture across the water to Sado Island.

    • SHIZUOKA

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      Shizuoka Prefecture is sandwiched between eastern and western Japan, giving the prefecture easy access to both Tokyo and Osaka. Not only is it known for beautiful natural attractions, with everything from Mount Fuji to Suruga Bay, Lake Hamanako, and Sumata Pass―Shizuoka's Izu Peninsula is known as a go-to spot for hot springs lovers, with famous onsen like Atami, Ito, Shimoda, Shuzenji, and Dogashima. Shizuoka attracts all kinds of travelers thanks to historic connections with the Tokugawa clan, the Oigawa Railway, fresh eel cuisine, Hamamatsu gyoza, and famously high-quality green tea.

    • Kansai (関西) is a region that includes Mie, Nara, Wakayama, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, and Shiga Prefectures. Kansai contained Japan's ancient capital for hundreds of years, and it's making a comeback as one of the most popular parts of Japan. Kyoto's temples and shrines, Osaka Castle, and the deer of Nara are all considered must-sees. Plus, the people of Kansai are especially friendly, making it a fun place to hang out.

    • Kyoto flourished as the capital of Japan between the years 794 and 1100, becoming a center for poilitics and culture, and to this day it's a great place for close encounters with Japanese history. The cobbled streets of Gion, the atmospheric road to Kiyomizudera Temple, Kinkakuji's golden walls and countless historic attractions, even Arashiyama's Togetsukyo Bridge―Kyoto is a place of many attractions. With new charms to experience throughout the seasons, travelers can't stop themselves from returning again and again.

    • Nara Prefecture's important history reaches back to 710, a time now called the Nara era, when it was once capital of Japan. Called "Heijo-kyo" during its time as a capital, it's said that nara was once the end of the silk road, leading it to flourish as a uniquely international region and produce important cultural properties of all kinds. To make the most of each season, travelers head to Nara Park, where the Nara deer who wander freely, or climb Mount Yoshino, a famous cherry blossom spot.

    • Osaka is known for friendly (and funny) people, but its history is nothing to laugh at, playing a major part in Toyotomi Hideyoshi's 16th century unification of Japan. Thanks to long years of economic activity, it's one of Japan's biggest cities, and Osaka's popular food culture earned it the nickname "The Kitchen of the Nation." To this day Osaka is the model of western Japan, and alongside historic structures like Osaka Castle, it also has major shopping malls like Umeda's Grand Front Osaka and Tennoji's Abeno Harukas. Osaka is a place to eat, eat, eat, with local specialties like takoyaki, okonomiyaki, and kushi-katsu, and for extra fun, it's home to Universal Studios Japan.

    • CHUGOKU

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      The Chugoku Region (中国地方) consists of five prefectures: Hiroshima, Okayama, Shimane, Tottori, and Yamaguchi. In Chugoku you’ll find the sand dunes of Tottori, and Hiroshima’s atomic bomb site, plus centers of ancient history like Grand Shrine of Izumo.

    • HIROSHIMA

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      Hiroshima Prefecture has everything, from world heritage sites to beautiful nature and delicious local cuisine, and it's either an hour and a half from Tokyo by plane, or four hours by train. Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island and the Atomic Bomb Dome, two Hiroshima UNESCO sites, are famous around the world, but in Japan it's also famous for food. Seafood from the Seto Inland Sea, especially oysters, Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, and Setouchi lemons are all popular, and the natural scenery alone is worth seeing.

    • SHIKOKU

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      On the other side of the Seto Inland Sea opposite Japan’s main island, Shikoku (四国) is a region made up of four prefectures: Ehime, Kagawa, Kochi, and Tokushima. The area is famous for its udon (in Kagawa), and the beautiful Dogo Onsen hot springs (in Ehime).

    • Kagawa Prefecture is on the northern part of the island of Shikoku, facing Japan's main island and the Seto Inland Sea. It's known for being the smallest prefecture in Japan, by area, but at the same time Kagawa is called the "Udon Prefecture" thanks to its famous sanuki udon. Aside from Kotohiragu Shrine and Ritsurin Garden, the prefecture's small islands are popular, and Kagawa is full of unique destinations, like Angel Road. They say that if you lay eyes on Zenigata Sunae, a huge Kagawa sand painting, you'll never have money troubles ever again.

    • Located in the most southwestern part of Japan, Kyushu (九州) is an island of 7 prefectures: Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Oita, Miyazaki, and Kagoshima. The island's unique culture has been influenced by Chinese and Dutch trade, along with missionaries coming in through Nagasaki's port. Modern-day travelers love the lush natural scenery and fresh food, plus the natural hot springs found all throughout the area (thanks to volcanic activity)!

    • FUKUOKA

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      Fukuoka Prefecture has the highest population on the southern island of Kyushu, with two major cities: Fukuoka and Kitakyushu. Thanks to growing transportation networks, Fukuoka is more accessible than ever, and so are the many local attractions. On top of historical spots like Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, travelers shouldn't miss Fukuoka's food scene, with motsu nabe (offal hotpot), mentaiko (spicy cod roe), and famous Hakata ramen―best eaten from a food stall in the Nakasu area of Hakata. Plus, it's full of all sorts of destinations for travelers, like trendy shopping centers, and the beautiful nature of Itoshima and Yanagawa.

    • KAGOSHIMA

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      Kagoshima Prefecture played a major role in Japan's modernization as a backdrop for famous historical figures like samurais Saigo Takamori and Okubo Toshimichi, who pushed Japan out of the Edo era and into the Meiji. Because of that, Sengan-en Garden is just one of many historical destinations, and when it comes to attractions Kagoshima has plenty: the active volcano of Sakurajima, popular hot springs Ibusuki Onsen and Kirishima Onsen, World Heritage Site Yakushima Island, even what Japan calls the "island closest to heaven," Amami Oshima. Kagoshima might be found on the very southernmost tip of the southern island of Kyushu, but there's plenty to see.

    • OKINAWA

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      The island chain of Okinawa (沖縄) makes up the southernmost tip of Japan, which is why it's also the most tropical area in the country. Thanks to a history of independence and totally distinct political and cultural events, Okinawa has a unique culture, and remnants of the Ryukyu Kingdom are still visible all over the islands. Food, language, traditional dress, it's all a little different! It's also said to be the birthplace of karate.

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