Photo by cpo57 via Flickr
Any well-seasoned Japan lover knows the obsession with cherry blossom season across the island. Every spring, thousands of viewers flock to see the various shades of beautiful blooms decorate the air. There is no shortage of spectacular locations to enjoy a stroll through the fairy-tale like atmosphere, so we’ve listed a few of our favorite options here.
23 Places To See Cherry Blossoms In Japan This Spring
Ueno Onshi Park
Photo by YukiNoSato via Flickr
One of the most popular and cheerful cherry blossom spots in Tokyo, the central pathway in Ueno Onshi Park has over 1000 cherry trees.
Photo by Tatters via Flickr
Another large and lively park, Shinjuku Gyoen is a convenient hanami location for those who can’t make it during the primary season as the park includes numerous early and late-blooming trees.
Photo by Christian Kadluba via Flickr
Located along the Sumida River, this long straight path is perfect for walks while admiring the blooming cherry blossoms.
Photo by Dan Crowther via Flickr
The second largest park in Metropolitan Tokyo is actually the former aqueduct that supplied Udo (the former Tokyo) with fresh drinking water. This spacious park is great for lounging, especially among one of the 430 trees found in it’s dedicated 2.9-hectare cherry-tree orchard.
Photo by kanegen via Flickr
Don’t miss the Benzaiten shrine that sits vibrantly amongst the colorful surroundings or the opportunity to take in the cherry blossoms from a swan-shaped boat ride or rowboat on the tranquil Inokashira lake!
Photo by Dick Thomas Johnson via Flickr
The site of Japan’s first successful powered aircraft flight, Yoyogi Park is more suited for the rowdy party time.
Photo by Chris Gladis via Flickr
The oldest park in Kyoto, Maruyama Park is also one of it’s most popular for hanami. Don’t miss grabbing a meal and admiring the enormous weeping cherry tree as it lights up the night.
Photo by Pablo Padierna via Flickr
A casual stroll along the Path of Philosophy takes you along a stream with cherry blossoms on either side. To avoid the crowds try walking the path just after sunset as lights illuminate the trees for several hours after dark.
Photo by Kimon Berlin via Flickr
The Imperial Palace Park hosts many cherry blossoms throughout, but the highlights are the large shidare-zakura (weeping cherry trees) at the north end.
Photo by bluXgraphics via Flickr
Famous for its UNESCO world heritage site of grass farmhouses and historic villages, a trip to Shirakawa during cherry blossom season is like traveling back in time.
Photo by Takashi Nishimura via Flickr
On the second Sunday in April this large UNESCO listed temple is host to Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s cherry blossom-viewing parade. Hideyoshi was a prominent daimyo (feudal lord) and is known as one of the three great historical unifiers of Japan. In 1598 he originally had 700 cherry trees planted where now over 1000 stand.
Photo by Yuki Shimazu via Flickr
This star-shaped fort, which can be viewed at the top of the tower, is a popular The moat is surrounded by some 1,600 cherry trees,
Photo by Wendy Cutler via Flickr
Created around the castle ruins, Matsumae Park proudly boasts being the site of some 10,000 cherry trees of 250 different early, mid and late bloom varieties.
Photo by makou0629 via Flickr
The large grounds of Moerenuma Park encompasses about 467 acres and an area called “Cherry Blossom Forest” with an astounding 2,600 cherry blossom trees.
Ashino National Park
Photo by PROAkinori YAMADA via Flickr
The Kanagi Cherry Blossom Festival, hosted by Ashino Park, is held from April 29 to May 5 every year. We recommend grabbing the train that runs through the plains of Tsugaru peninsula from Tsugaru Goshogawara station to Tsugaru Nakazato station as you admire the cherry blossoms as they pass from your seat.
Photo by Yuichi Shiraishi via Flickr
The entire park has approximately 2,600 cherry trees of 50 different varieties including a 134-year-old Yoshino cherry tree, the oldest Yoshino sakura tree in Japan. Be sure not to miss the elegant Hirosaki Castle with its moat filed with pink petals.
Photo by ayu oshimi via Flickr
The main attraction here is the famous “waterfall cherry tree” considered by some to be the single most beautiful cherry tree in all of Japan. Stretching over 18 meters in diameter and rising 12-meters tall; this magnificent tree is thought to be more than a thousand years old.
Photo by Kimon Berlin via Flickr
The private park opened to the public in 1959, allowing visitors to trek to the top of the hill where the view of the gentle pink blossoms covering the gently rolling hills is particularly spectacular.
Photo by fortherock via Flickr
There are plenty of cherry trees to enjoy in this expansive park. It’s also a famous spot to enjoy the company of the resident deer.
Photo by Reginald Pentinio via Flickr
If you’ve got half a day to spare, then head south of Nara City to admire the cherry blossoms that cover the hills in and around the town of Yoshino.
Kema Sakuranomiya Park
Photo by lasta29 via Flickr
A promenade along the Okawa River is lined with nearly 5000 cherry trees stretching for several kilometers. For another vantage point, enjoy the seemingly endless rows of cherry trees from one of the ships cruising the river.
Osaka Mint Bureau
Photo by lasta29 via Flickr
The cherry trees here were initially transplanted from the Todo clan’s residence to the Mint Bureau early in the Meiji Era. For just one week out of the year, the Osaka Mint Bureau opens its gates for the public to enjoy hanami.
Photo by Andy via Flickr
Nishinomarue Park is a particularly pleasant place for a picnic as it’s view of the Osaka castle is spectacular, especially when lit up at night. This space includes large lawns, perfect for picnicking amongst the over 4000 cherry trees planted on the spacious grounds.
Be sure to book your hotel well in advance as accommodation fills up fast in popular areas!