Here’s a list of Cherry Blossom Japan Festivals across the country. From the historic castles of Hirosaki and Kumamoto to the serene parks of Tokyo and Kyoto, discover the best spots for hanami and experience the beautiful Sakura season.
As spring unfurls its colors across Japan, the country transforms into a picturesque canvas painted with the soft pinks and whites of cherry blossoms.
This heralds the beginning of the much-anticipated Cherry Blossom Japan festivals, a series of celebrations that capture the essence of Japanese culture, beauty, and the transient nature of life.
These festivals, known locally as “Sakura Matsuri,” invite both locals and travelers from around the globe to partake in the age-old tradition of “hanami,” the practice of cherry blossom viewing.
Each region of Japan offers its unique backdrop for the festivities, from the snow-capped mountains of Hokkaido with its late-blooming trees to the warm, sunny parks of Okinawa where the blossoms peek out as early as January.
The cherry blossom season is not just a time to admire nature’s fleeting beauty but also an opportunity to experience the vibrant festivals that take place in the shadows of ancient castles, serene parks, and bustling city streets.
You might also like: 26 most beautiful spots to see cherry blossoms in Japan
Here’s a complete list of the most incredible Cherry Blossom Japan Festivals across the country:
1. Yoshino Cherry Blossom Japan Festivals in Nara
The Yoshino Cherry Blossom Festival in Nara is a quintessential experience for anyone seeking to immerse themselves in the heart of Cherry Blossom Japan Festivals.
Taking place in Mount Yoshino, known historically as Japan’s most famous cherry blossom viewing spot, this festival usually occurs from early to late April, depending on the blooming period.
The area is blanketed with over 30,000 cherry trees, creating a breathtaking sea of pink and white blossoms that stretch as far as the eye can see.
Venture beyond the common viewing spots to Yoshimizu Shrine for a less crowded, yet equally stunning view of the blossoms. Also, try the local sakura-themed treats available only during the festival season for a taste of local culture.
How to get to Yoshino Cherry Blossom Festival:
- From Osaka, take the Kintetsu Railway from Osaka Abenobashi Station to Yoshino Station. The journey takes about 90 minutes.
- From Kyoto, take the Kintetsu Kyoto Line to Kashiharajingu-mae Station, then transfer to the Kintetsu Yoshino Line to Yoshino Station. The total travel time is approximately 2 hours.
Plan your trip to Japan with us! Get expert travel advice and customized trip-planning itineraries from our local experts on the ground.
2. Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival in Aomori
The Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival in Aomori is celebrated in Hirosaki Park, home to one of the oldest and most spectacular cherry blossom groves in Japan.
This Cherry Blossom Japan Festivals’ highlight takes place from late April to early May, featuring over 2,500 trees that illuminate the grounds in a vibrant display of colors.
The festival is renowned for its unique setting with Hirosaki Castle, a moat filled with fallen petals creating a picturesque “sakura carpet,” and rowboat rides that offer an up-close view of the hanging blossoms.
You can enjoy nighttime illuminations, cultural events, and local Aomori cuisine. For a memorable experience, visit the park in the early morning to enjoy the serene beauty of the blossoms in solitude or late in the evening for the magical lantern-lit views.
How to get to Hirosaki Park Cherry Blossom Festival:
- From Tokyo. take the Tohoku Shinkansen to Shin-Aomori Station, then transfer to the JR Ou Line to Hirosaki Station. The total journey is around 4 hours.
3. Ueno Cherry Blossom Festival in Tokyo
Tokyo’s Ueno Cherry Blossom Festival is one of the city’s most anticipated events, held in the expansive Ueno Park, a site that boasts more than 1,000 cherry trees lining its central pathway.
This festival, a cornerstone of Cherry Blossom Japan Festivals, typically runs from late March to early April. The park becomes a lively hub of activity, with food stalls, hanami parties, and impromptu performances adding to the festive atmosphere.
Ueno Park’s cherry blossoms are illuminated at night, creating a stunning spectacle that draws visitors from across the globe. For an alternative view, take a boat ride on Shinobazu Pond within Ueno Park to see the cherry blossoms from the water.
Additionally, visit the nearby Tokyo National Museum for a cultural excursion that complements the natural beauty of the sakura season.
How to get to Ueno Park Cherry Blossom Festival:
- Ueno Park is accessible by JR Yamanote Line, getting off at Ueno Station. The park is a short walk from the station.
4. Maruyama Park Cherry Blossom Festival in Kyoto
Kyoto’s Maruyama Park Cherry Blossom Festival is a celebration deeply embedded in the fabric of Cherry Blossom Japan Festivals, offering a picturesque setting in Kyoto’s oldest public park.
Held from late March to mid-April, this festival is famed for its centerpiece, a giant weeping cherry tree that, when lit up at night, casts a magical glow over onlookers.
Maruyama Park transforms into a lively venue with traditional lanterns, food stalls serving Kyoto delicacies, and spaces where visitors can enjoy hanami beneath the cherry trees.
The festival not only celebrates the breathtaking beauty of cherry blossoms but also Kyoto’s rich cultural heritage, with impromptu geisha performances in nearby Gion.
For a tranquil viewing experience, visit the park early in the morning. Additionally, take a stroll through the nearby Yasaka Shrine for a spiritual complement to the natural beauty of the Sakura.
5. Matsumae Cherry Blossom Festival in Hokkaido
The Matsumae Cherry Blossom Festival in Hokkaido stands out among Cherry Blossom Japan Festivals for its late blooming period, typically from late April to late May, due to Hokkaido’s cooler climate.
Matsumae Park, surrounding the historical Matsumae Castle, is home to over 10,000 cherry trees of various species, ensuring a longer-lasting bloom period.
The festival features not only the spectacular views of cherry blossoms but also cultural events, samurai and ninja performances, and traditional tea ceremonies, reflecting the rich history of the Matsumae clan.
Visit the Matsumae Castle’s museum to learn about the area’s unique history and culture. For those looking to avoid crowds, the surrounding areas offer numerous lesser-known spots for cherry blossom viewing, providing a serene and intimate experience.
How to get to Matsumae Cherry Blossom Festival:
- From Hakodate, take a JR Hokkaido bus from Hakodate Station to Matsumae. The journey takes about 2 hours.
👉 Recommended: 16 best spots to see the Hokkaido Cherry Blossom
6. Takato Castle Ruins Park Cherry Blossom Festival in Nagano
The Takato Castle Ruins Park Cherry Blossom Japan Festivals in Nagano is celebrated for its unique variety of cherry blossom, the Takato-kohigan-zakura, which paints the landscape in a vibrant shade of pink unlike any other in Japan.
Occurring from early to late April, this festival attracts visitors to the site of the former Takato Castle, where the ruins and stone walls are beautifully framed by over 1,500 cherry trees.
The park offers nightly illuminations, creating a breathtaking scene under the starlit sky, and local vendors sell crafts and foods, adding to the festive atmosphere.
For a panoramic view of the cherry blossoms with the Japan Alps in the background, hike up to the observatory within the park.
Also, consider staying in a local ryokan (traditional inn) to fully immerse yourself in the region’s cultural and natural beauty during your visit.
How to get to Takato Cherry Blossom Festival:
- From Tokyo, take the JR Chuo Line Limited Express to Okaya Station, then transfer to the JR Iida Line to Inashi Station. From Inashi, take a local bus to Takato Station. Total travel time is around 3.5 hours.
7. Kakunodate Cherry Blossom Festival in Akita
The Kakunodate Cherry Blossom Festival, set in the historical samurai district of Kakunodate in Akita, is a highlight among Cherry Blossom Japan Festivals, typically taking place from late April to early May.
This festival is celebrated for its picturesque avenue lined with weeping cherry trees that once belonged to samurai residences, offering a unique blend of history and natural beauty.
You can stroll through the well-preserved samurai district, now open to the public, where the pink blossoms create a stunning contrast against the traditional black wooden fences.
Explore the lesser-known areas of Kakunodate beyond the main street to discover quiet spots for cherry blossom viewing. Engaging with local workshops on traditional crafts like kabazaiku (cherry bark craft) provides a deeper cultural experience during your visit.
How to get to Kakunodate Cherry Blossom Festival:
- From Tokyo, take the Akita Shinkansen to Kakunodate Station. The journey takes about 4 hours.
8. Maizuru Park Cherry Blossom Festival in Fukuoka
Fukuoka’s Maizuru Park, with its ruins of Fukuoka Castle, becomes the stage for one of the most vibrant Cherry Blossom Japan Festivals from late March to early April.
The park is adorned with over 1,000 cherry trees, making it a popular spot for hanami parties. The remnants of the castle walls, moats, and turrets offer a historical backdrop to the delicate cherry blossoms, creating a picturesque scene.
For a breathtaking view of the city and the cherry blossoms, climb to the top of the castle ruins. Additionally, visiting early in the morning or on weekdays can help avoid the crowds, offering a more peaceful cherry blossom experience.
How to get to Maizuru Park Cherry Blossom Festival:
- Maizuru Park is a short walk from Ohori Park Station on the Fukuoka City Subway
9. Memorial Peace Park Cherry Blossom Festival in Hiroshima
Hiroshima’s Peace Park Cherry Blossom Japan Festivals is not only a celebration of the fleeting beauty of cherry blossoms but also a symbol of peace and rebirth.
Held in early April, the festival takes place in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, where the cherry trees add a layer of beauty to this poignant site.
Visitors can reflect on peace while enjoying the stunning blooms, with the Atomic Bomb Dome serving as a powerful backdrop.
Participate in the lantern floating ceremony if your visit coincides with this event, offering prayers for peace and remembrance. Additionally, exploring the less crowded paths along the Motoyasu River provides a serene viewing experience.
How to get to Hiroshima’s Peace Park Cherry Blossom Festival:
- From Hiroshima Station, take the Hiroshima Electric Railway (streetcar) to Genbaku-Domu Mae Station. The Peace Park is nearby.
10. Kumamoto Castle Cherry Blossom Festival
The Kumamoto Castle Cherry Blossom Japan Festivals is celebrated in one of Japan’s most imposing and historically significant castles, offering a majestic setting for cherry blossom viewing.
From late March to early April, the castle grounds are enveloped in the soft pink hues of over 800 cherry trees, with the castle’s imposing structure providing a striking contrast.
The festival includes night illuminations, cultural performances, and a variety of local food stalls. For an unparalleled view of the blossoms and the castle, visit the newly reopened castle tower.
Also, exploring the castle’s less-visited areas can offer quieter spots for cherry blossom enjoyment, away from the main crowds.
How to get to Kumamoto Castle Cherry Blossom Festival:
- From Kumamoto Station, take the Kumamoto City Tram to Kumamotojo-mae Station. The castle is a short walk from there.
11. Shinjuku Gyoen Cherry Blossom Festival in Tokyo
The Shinjuku Gyoen Cherry Blossom Japan Festivals in Tokyo is a serene escape within the bustling city, celebrated from late March to late April.
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is a sprawling oasis that hosts over a thousand cherry trees in more than a dozen varieties, offering a longer blooming season and a multitude of colors and shapes.
The garden’s blend of traditional Japanese, English Landscape, and French Formal gardens provides a unique setting for cherry blossom viewing. Take advantage of the early opening hours to enjoy the cherry blossoms in relative tranquility.
For photography enthusiasts, the garden offers a variety of landscapes for capturing the perfect sakura shot, from traditional Japanese gardens to picturesque English lawns.
How to get to Shinjuku Gyoen Cherry Blossom Festival:
- Accessible by JR Yamanote Line, getting off at Shinjuku Station, and a short walk to Shinjuku Gyoen.
12. Chidorigafuchi Cherry Blossom Festival in Tokyo
Tokyo’s Chidorigafuchi Cherry Blossom Festivals is renowned for its spectacular cherry blossom tunnels along the moats of the Imperial Palace.
Taking place from late March to early April, this festival sees the Chidorigafuchi Park area transformed into a bustling yet picturesque viewing spot, with thousands of visitors paddling in rented boats under the cascading blossoms.
Nighttime illuminations enhance the magical atmosphere, making the cherry blossoms glow against the night sky.
For a less crowded experience, consider walking along the Chidorigafuchi Ryokudo (Greenway), especially beautiful in the early morning or during the evening illumination.
Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the nearby Yasukuni Shrine, where another variety of cherry blossoms can be enjoyed.
How to get to Chidorigafuchi Cherry Blossom Festival:
- Take the Tokyo Metro to Kudanshita Station. Chidorigafuchi is a short walk from the station.
13. Himeji Castle Cherry Blossom Viewing in Hyogo
The Himeji Castle Cherry Blossom Japan Festivals transforms the surroundings of Japan’s most exquisite and well-preserved feudal castle into a breathtaking spectacle of floral beauty.
From early to mid-April, over 1,000 cherry trees bloom, creating a stunning contrast with the castle’s brilliant white exterior, aptly nicknamed “White Heron Castle.”
The festival not only offers spectacular views but also cultural events and traditional performances. Climb to the top floor of Himeji Castle for a panoramic view of the cherry blossoms and the city.
For a quieter experience, explore the western bailey (Nishi-no-Maru), where the cherry blossoms frame the castle’s impressive architecture and moats, offering a more serene and picturesque setting.
How to get to Himeji Castle Cherry Blossom Festival:
- From Osaka, take the JR Kobe Line (part of the Sanyo Shinkansen) to Himeji Station. The castle is about a 20-minute walk from the station.
14. Kanazawa Castle Park Cherry Blossom Festival in Ishikawa
The Kanazawa Castle Park Cherry Blossom Festival in Ishikawa is a splendid celebration set against the backdrop of the historic Kanazawa Castle and its expansive gardens.
Occurring from early to mid-April, this festival is a highlight among Cherry Blossom Japan Festivals, where visitors can enjoy the sight of cherry blossoms intertwined with traditional Japanese architecture.
The park is home to several hundred cherry trees, including some rare and ancient varieties, making for an exceptional viewing experience.
For a more intimate cherry blossom experience, explore the Gyokusen’inmaru Garden within the castle grounds, where the night illumination of cherry trees creates a mesmerizing scene.
Additionally, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the nearby Kenrokuen Garden, one of Japan’s “Three Great Gardens,” for a different but equally stunning floral display.
How to get to Kanazawa Castle Park Cherry Blossom Festival:
- From Tokyo, take the Hokuriku Shinkansen to Kanazawa Station. The park is about a 20-minute walk or a short bus ride from Kanazawa Station.
15. Miyajima Cherry Blossom Festival in Hiroshima
The Miyajima Cherry Blossom Japan Festivals in Hiroshima offers a unique combination of natural beauty and cultural heritage, taking place on the scenic island of Miyajima, famous for its floating torii gate at Itsukushima Shrine.
From late March to early April, the island becomes a picturesque landscape adorned with cherry blossoms, with various viewing spots around the shrine, Daisho-in Temple, and the Momijidani Park.
Take a cable car up to Mount Misen for breathtaking views of the cherry blossoms from above and the surrounding Seto Inland Sea.
How to get to Miyajima Island Cherry Blossom Festival:
- From Hiroshima Station, take the JR Sanyo Line to Miyajimaguchi Station (about 26 minutes).
- From Miyajimaguchi, walk to the ferry terminal and take a ferry to Miyajima Island (about 10 minutes).
16. Sumida Park Cherry Blossom Festival in Tokyo
The Sumida Park Cherry Blossom Japan Festivals, located along the banks of the Sumida River in Tokyo, offers visitors a unique urban hanami experience with the iconic Tokyo Skytree in the backdrop.
Running from late March to early April, this festival features over 600 cherry trees that bloom vibrantly, creating a picturesque scene along the river.
Boating under the cherry blossoms and enjoying the food stalls and lantern illuminations are popular activities here.
For a distinct view, take a river cruise from Asakusa to enjoy the cherry blossoms from the water, offering a peaceful contrast to the bustling city surroundings.
Early morning or evening visits are recommended for a more serene experience, especially when the lanterns light up and create a magical atmosphere along the river.
How to get to Sumida Park Cherry Blossom Festival:
- Accessible by Tokyo Metro Ginza Line or Toei Asakusa Line, getting off at Asakusa Station. The park is within walking distance from the station.
17. Takada Castle Cherry Blossom Festival in Niigata
The Takada Castle Cherry Blossom Japan Festivals in Niigata is celebrated at the Takada Park, renowned for its spectacular night-time sakura viewing, known as “yozakura.”
From early to mid-April, the park’s 4,000 cherry trees are illuminated by thousands of lanterns, with Takada Castle providing a majestic historical setting.
The festival is famous for its reflection of cherry blossoms on the castle’s moat, creating a stunning double vision of blooms.
Attend the night viewings for an enchanting experience, considered one of Japan’s top three night cherry blossom viewings. Additionally, exploring the park’s lesser-known corners can reveal quieter spots for enjoying the blossoms away from the main pathways.
How to get to Takada Castle Cherry Blossom Festival:
- From Tokyo, take the Joetsu Shinkansen to Joetsumyoko Station, then transfer to a local train to Naoetsu Station, followed by a short bus ride to Takada Park.
18. Mitsuike Park Cherry Blossom Festival Yokohama
Yokohama’s Mitsuike Park Cherry Blossom Festival is celebrated in one of the best cherry blossom viewing spots in the Kanagawa Prefecture, featuring over 1,000 cherry trees of about 100 different varieties.
This diversity ensures a longer blooming season, from late March to mid-April, allowing visitors to enjoy various stages of sakura.
The park’s three ponds, around which the cherry trees are planted, offer stunning views and a serene atmosphere for picnicking and leisurely walks.
Visit on a weekday to avoid the crowds and enjoy a peaceful hanami experience. For photography enthusiasts, the early morning light offers a soft, natural filter for capturing the delicate beauty of the cherry blossoms against the water.
How to get to Mitsuike Park Cherry Blossom Festival:
- From Yokohama Station, take a bus directly to Mitsuike Park, or take the Yokohama Municipal Subway Blue Line to Shimoiida Station, followed by a bus to the park.
19. Nago Castle Cherry Blossom Festival in Okinawa
The Nago Castle Cherry Blossom Festival marks the beginning of Cherry Blossom Japan Festivals, taking place in late January to early February due to Okinawa’s subtropical climate.
This festival, set in the ruins of Nago Castle, offers a unique opportunity to witness cherry blossoms amidst the island’s warmer weather.
The park is adorned with Ryukyu cherry trees, known for their deep pink blossoms, which create a striking contrast against the castle’s stone walls.
Take the time to hike up to the castle ruins not just for the cherry blossoms but also for the panoramic views of Nago city and the ocean.
Visiting early in the morning allows for a more tranquil viewing experience, and don’t forget to try the local Okinawan cuisine at the festival, which adds a cultural flavor to the visit.
20. Tsuruga Castle Cherry Blossom Festival in Fukushima
The Tsuruga Castle Cherry Blossom Japan Festivals in Fukushima is a magnificent event that takes place from early to mid-April, surrounding the historic Tsuruga Castle with over 1,000 cherry trees in bloom.
The contrast of the castle’s white walls against the pink cherry blossoms offers a stunning visual experience, enhanced by the illumination of the castle and trees at night.
For a memorable experience, attend the tea ceremony held in the castle grounds amidst the cherry blossoms. Exploring the castle’s interior offers a glimpse into Japan’s feudal history and provides elevated views of the surrounding cherry blossoms and the Aizu-Wakamatsu city.
How to get to Tsuruga Castle Cherry Blossom Festival:
- From Tokyo. take the Tohoku Shinkansen to Koriyama Station, then transfer to the Ban-etsu West Line to Aizu-Wakamatsu Station. The castle is a short bus ride from the station.
21. Kitakami Tenshochi: best Cherry Blossom Japan Festivals in Iwate
The Kitakami Tenshochi Cherry Blossom Japan Festivals in Iwate is celebrated in one of the Tohoku region’s most renowned cherry blossom spots.
From late April to early May, the Tenshochi Park becomes a canvas of color with over 10,000 cherry trees lining the Kitakami River. The park, famous for its tunnel of cherry trees, also offers carriage rides and boat trips for unique viewing experiences.
Take a leisurely boat ride on the Kitakami River to see the cherry blossoms from a different perspective, with the reflections in the water adding to the beauty.
Visiting during the weekday mornings offers a more peaceful experience, and be sure to check out the traditional cultural events, such as koinobori (carp streamer) displays, adding to the festive atmosphere.
How to get to Kitakami Tenshochi Cherry Blossom Festival:
- From Tokyo, take the Tohoku Shinkansen to Kitakami Station. Tenshochi Park is about 20 minutes on foot from the station, or a short bus ride.
22. Sapporo’s Moerenuma Park Cherry Blossom Festival in Hokkaido
Sapporo’s Moerenuma Park Cherry Blossom Japan Festivals is a highlight of spring in Hokkaido, typically taking place from late April to early May, later than most other regions of Japan due to its northern location.
Moerenuma Park, designed by the renowned sculptor Isamu Noguchi, transforms into a spectacular display of cherry blossoms, with several varieties of trees blooming in succession.
The park’s modern art installations and spacious lawns become the perfect backdrop for cherry blossom viewers.
Explore the park’s geometrically designed landscapes and art installations, which offer unique photo opportunities with the cherry blossoms.
For a panoramic view of the park and its surroundings, climb to the top of the Mount Moere observatory. The festival’s timing also means fewer crowds, providing a more relaxed atmosphere for enjoying the blossoms.
How to get to Moerenuma Park Cherry Blossom Festival:
- From Sapporo Station, take the Toho Subway Line to Kanjodori-Higashi Station, then transfer to a bus bound for Moerenuma Park.
23. Egeyama Park Cherry Blossom Festival in Kobe
Kobe’s Egeyama Park Cherry Blossom Festival is a local favorite, celebrated for its scenic views of the city and the sea against the backdrop of blooming cherry trees.
Occurring from early to mid-April, the park’s hillside location provides a unique vantage point for cherry blossom viewing.
Egeyama Park’s relatively quieter atmosphere compared to other cherry blossom spots makes it an ideal location for those seeking a peaceful hanami experience.
Bring a picnic to enjoy under the cherry trees, with the added bonus of Kobe’s cityscape and Osaka Bay as your backdrop. For an enhanced experience, visit the park at sunset to see the cherry blossoms in the soft evening light.
How to get to Egeyama Park Cherry Blossom Festival:
- From Sannomiya Station (central Kobe), take a city bus or walk to Egeyama Park. The walk can take about 20-30 minutes but is pleasant and offers city views.
25. Nagoya Castle Cherry Blossom Festival in Aichi
The Nagoya Castle Cherry Blossom Festival in Aichi is an iconic event that beautifully combines the historical allure of Nagoya Castle with the natural beauty of cherry blossoms.
From late March to early April, the castle grounds are adorned with over 1,000 cherry trees, making it a premier spot for hanami in the region.
The festival features night illuminations, where the castle and cherry blossoms are lit up, creating a magical atmosphere.
Take advantage of the guided tours offered during the festival to learn about the historical significance of Nagoya Castle and its surrounding gardens.
For a serene viewing experience, visit the Ninomaru Garden within the castle grounds, where the tea houses and traditional landscape design offer a tranquil setting for cherry blossom viewing.
How to get to Nagoya Castle Cherry Blossom Festival:
- From Nagoya Station, take the city subway Meijo Line to Shiyakusho Station. Nagoya Castle is a short walk from there.