Planning to see the Japanese cherry blossom? Here are the best spots for cherry blossoms in Japan including dates and tips on how to visit!
It’s cherry blossom season in Japan! Each spring, the country transforms into a vibrant tapestry of pink and white, as the Japanese cherry blossom, or ‘Sakura,’ begins its fleeting but unforgettable display.
This spectacular natural event is not just about the blossoms; it’s a celebration deeply ingrained in Japan’s cultural fabric, symbolizing beauty, renewal, and the transient nature of life.
From the iconic slopes of Yoshino to the historic parks of Tokyo, each cherry blossom destination offers a unique way to experience this magical season.
In the lesser-known parks of the countryside, the Japanese cherry blossom season is an ethereal journey through a landscape painted in shades of pink. Join us as we explore the best places to witness this iconic symbol of Japanese beauty and tradition!
👉 See also: The 46 most beautiful places to visit in Japan
🌸 2024 Dates for Cherry Blossoms in Japan
- Fukuoka: March 21 – 30, 2024
- Hiroshima: March 22 – April 1, 2024
- Hokkaido: May 2-6, 2024
- Kagoshima: March 22 – April 3, 2024
- Kanazawa: April 1-7, 2024
- Kochi: March 18 – 26, 2024
- Kyoto: March 23 – April 1, 2024
- Miyagi: April 8-12, 2024
- Nagoya: March 21-31, 2024
- Osaka: March 25 – April 1, 2024
- Tokyo: March 23 – 30, 2024
1. Maruoka Castle Cherry Blossom Festival: early to mid-April
The Maruoka Castle Cherry Blossom Festival offers a unique blend of history and natural beauty, making it a prime spot for cherry blossoms in Japan.
The festival, set against one of Japan’s oldest castles, provides a stunning display of Japanese cherry blossom, with over 400 trees creating a breathtaking pink canopy.
The best period for cherry blossoms in Maruoka Castle is early to mid-April. To get there, take the JR Hokuriku Main Line to Fukui Station. From Fukui, take a Keifuku bus directly to Maruoka Castle, which is a popular route during the festival.
Remember to carry cash, as many vendors don’t accept cards. Arrive early to beat the crowds and secure a good spot for ‘hanami’ (flower viewing). Explore the castle for a panoramic view of the blossoms!
2. Kitakami Tenshochi Cherry Blossom Festival: late April to early May
The Kitakami Tenshochi Cherry Blossom Festival in Iwate offers one of the most picturesque cherry blossoms in Japan. The park, with over 10,000 cherry trees along the Kitakami River, creates a stunning tunnel of Japanese cherry blossom.
The festival typically peaks in late April to early May. Reach Kitakami by taking the Tohoku Shinkansen to Kitakami Station. From there, Tenshochi Park is just a short bus ride or a leisurely walk away.
The park’s famous Sakura-lined riverbank and traditional horse-drawn carriages offer a unique experience. Try boat rides on the river for a different perspective of the blossoms!
The festival includes cultural events and stalls, providing an immersive Japanese spring experience.
3. Takada Castle Park Cherry Blossom Festival: early April
The Takada Castle Park Cherry Blossom Festival in Niigata is a renowned event for experiencing cherry blossoms in Japan.
The park, featuring a moat and the historical Takada Castle, is adorned with over 4,000 cherry trees, creating an enchanting Japanese cherry blossom atmosphere.
The festival peaks in early April. To reach Takada Castle Park, take the Hokuriku Shinkansen to Joetsu-Myoko Station, then a local train to Naoetsu Station, followed by a short bus ride to the park.
The night-time illumination of cherry blossoms reflected in the moat is a must-see. Visitors can enjoy traditional food stalls and cultural events during the festival.
4. Muramatsu Park Cherry Blossom Festival: mid-April
Muramatsu Park, located in Niigata Prefecture, is celebrated for its Cherry Blossom Festival. The park’s hundreds of cherry trees create a vibrant canopy of blossoms, making it a prime spot for Japanese cherry blossom viewing.
The festival typically takes place in mid-April. Access Muramatsu Park by taking the JR Joetsu Line to Gosen Station, then a short taxi ride to the park.
The festival includes cultural performances and local food vendors, adding to the cherry blossom experience. Explore the historic monuments within the park!
5. Takato Joshi Park Cherry Blossom Festival: early to mid-April
Takato Cherry Blossom Festival in Nagano is known for its unique “Takato Kohigan” cherry trees, offering a distinctive experience of cherry blossoms in Japan. The best time to visit is from early to mid-April.
To get there, take the JR Limited Express to Inashi Station, followed by a bus to Takato. The festival features over 1,500 cherry trees, painting the landscape with a vibrant pink hue.
The evening illumination of the blossoms creates a magical atmosphere. The festival’s mountainous backdrop adds to the scenic beauty. Try local specialties and participate in traditional events during the festival!
6. Tsubame Cherry Blossom Festival: early April
Tsubame Cherry Blossom Festival, in Tsubame City, Niigata, offers a delightful Japanese cherry blossom experience. The festival, held in Tsubame Sanjyochijyo Park, features rows of cherry trees along the river, creating a picturesque landscape.
The best time for viewing is in early April. To visit, take the Joetsu Shinkansen to Tsubame-Sanjyo Station, then a local bus or taxi to the park.
The festival includes local food stalls, cultural performances, and a flea market, providing a lively atmosphere.
The riverside location is perfect for peaceful walks under the cherry blossoms. The park also has play areas, making it an excellent choice for families.
7. Sumida Park Cherry Blossom Festival: late March to early April
Sumida Park, located in Tokyo, is a celebrated venue for the Cherry Blossom Festival, offering stunning views of cherry blossoms along the Sumida River. This location is ideal for experiencing both the modern and traditional aspects of Japanese cherry blossom.
The festival usually peaks in late March to early April. Accessing the park is easy: take the Tokyo Metro to Asakusa Station, which is a short walk from the park.
The riverside setting provides a unique experience, with boat rides available for viewing the blossoms from the water. The juxtaposition of cherry blossoms with the Tokyo Skytree in the background offers a quintessential Tokyo experience.
The festival includes numerous food stalls and cultural events, making it a lively and enjoyable outing.
8. Nakameguro: early April
Nakameguro in Tokyo is a popular spot for cherry blossom viewing, known for its picturesque canal lined with cherry trees. The peak season is typically in early April.
To visit, take the Tokyo Metro to Nakameguro Station. The area is famous for its “hanami” along the Meguro River, with illuminated cherry trees at night creating a magical atmosphere.
Cafes and restaurants along the river offer special menus and seating for enjoying the view. It’s a fashionable neighborhood, offering a blend of relaxed charm and stylish dining options.
9. Shinjuku Gyoen: late March to late April (most accessible spot for cherry blossoms in Japan)
Shinjuku Gyoen in Tokyo is one of the city’s largest and most popular parks for cherry blossom viewing. With over a thousand cherry trees and a variety of species, it offers a longer blooming season, typically from late March to late April.
The nearest stations are Shinjuku-gyoemmae and Shinjuku-sanchome. The park combines traditional Japanese, English, and French garden elements, providing a tranquil escape from the city’s hustle.
There’s an entrance fee, so carry cash. Shinjuku Gyoen is perfect for a peaceful ‘hanami’ experience, with spacious lawns and quieter areas compared to other spots in Tokyo.
10. Kinugawa Onsen: early to mid-April
Kinugawa Onsen, a hot spring resort area in Tochigi Prefecture, is a unique destination for cherry blossom enthusiasts. The area’s natural beauty is enhanced by cherry blossoms in spring, typically in early to mid-April.
To reach Kinugawa Onsen, take the Tobu Railway from Asakusa Station in Tokyo to Kinugawa Onsen Station. The resort town offers a relaxing experience with its hot springs and scenic views of the cherry blossoms along the Kinugawa River.
It’s an ideal destination for those looking to combine ‘hanami’ with a soothing onsen (hot spring) experience. The town has various accommodations, from traditional ryokans to modern hotels, many offering private cherry blossom viewing areas.
11. Mitsuike Park: late March to early April
Mitsuike Park is a standout destination for viewing cherry blossoms in Japan, boasting over 1,600 trees spanning 78 varieties. This diversity offers a unique panorama of Japanese cherry blossom, with colors ranging from classic pink to white and yellow.
The best time to visit Mitsuike Park for cherry blossoms is late March to early April, aligning with the peak blooming period.
To reach Mitsuike Park, take the JR Negishi Line to Yokohama Station, then transfer to the Yokohama Municipal Subway Blue Line and disembark at Center Kita Station.
From there, it’s a 15-minute walk to the park. Alternatively, Tsurumi Station on the JR Keihin-Tohoku Line is also nearby; a bus from there can drop you closer to the park.
Bring a picnic to enjoy ‘hanami’ (flower viewing) and arrive early to secure a good spot, especially on weekends.
12. Chidorigafuchi Moat: early April
Chidorigafuchi Moat, part of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, is a prime location for cherry blossoms in Japan. Its waterside path, lined with hundreds of cherry trees, offers a unique perspective on the Japanese cherry blossom.
The best time to visit Chidorigafuchi Moat for cherry blossoms is early April. The nearest stations are Hanzomon and Kudanshita on the Tokyo Metro, offering a short walk to the moat.
Renting a boat to paddle along the moat provides a unique view of the blossoms from the water. Be prepared for crowds, especially in the evenings when the trees are illuminated.
It’s a great spot for photographers looking to capture the contrast between modern Tokyo and the traditional beauty of cherry blossoms.
13. Mifuneyama Rakuen: mid-April
Mifuneyama Rakuen is a spectacular garden in Saga Prefecture, renowned for its stunning seasonal transformations, especially during the cherry blossoms in Japan.
This historic garden is a canvas of vibrant colors with over 5,000 cherry trees, creating an unforgettable Japanese cherry blossom experience.
Mid-April is usually the best time to visit Mifuneyama Rakuen for cherry blossoms.
To get there, take the JR Kyushu Shinkansen to Takeo Onsen Station. From the station, Mifuneyama Rakuen is just a short taxi or bus ride away.
The garden’s expansive layout requires comfortable walking shoes.
14. Kamagatani Park: early April
Kamagatani, a less-known but spectacular spot, offers an intimate experience of cherry blossoms in Japan. Here, the Japanese cherry blossom unfolds in a serene, natural setting, away from the usual crowds.
The best time to visit Kamagatani for cherry blossoms is early April when the valley is in full bloom.
Reaching Kamagatani involves a bit of travel but is well worth the effort. The nearest major train station is Niigata. From Niigata Station, take the JR Shinetsu Main Line to Shibata Station.
From Shibata, it’s best to take a taxi or rent a car, as public transport options to Kamagatani are limited.
Prepare for a walk through rural landscapes, so comfortable footwear is a must. The area doesn’t have many tourist facilities, so bring snacks and water.
15. Matsumae Park: late April to early May
Matsumae Park, located in Hokkaido, is unique for its late-blooming cherry blossoms in Japan, typically in late April to early May.
The park, home to Matsumae Castle, features over 10,000 cherry trees of 250 different varieties, offering a prolonged and varied Japanese cherry blossom experience.
Access Matsumae by taking a train to Hakodate Station, then a bus to Matsumae. The park’s historical setting, with samurai houses and a castle, adds a cultural depth to the cherry blossom viewing.
It’s advisable to dress warmly as Hokkaido can be chilly even in spring. The park’s layout allows for leisurely strolls through different cherry blossom varieties, each with its unique beauty.
16. Oboshi Park: early April
Oboshi Park, located in the quaint town of Shimane, offers a tranquil and scenic setting for viewing cherry blossoms in Japan.
Known for its rows of elegantly weeping cherry trees, the park provides a uniquely picturesque backdrop for the Japanese cherry blossom experience.
Aim to visit Oboshi Park for cherry blossom in early April, which is typically the peak bloom period. To reach Oboshi Park, take the JR San-in Main Line to Izumo-shi Station, followed by a short taxi ride to the park.
Bring a picnic basket, as local dining options might be limited.
17. Hirosaki Park: late April (best spot for cherry blossoms in Japan)
Hirosaki Park is a premier destination for witnessing cherry blossoms in Japan, renowned for its 2,500 trees and stunning Hirosaki Castle backdrop.
Its variety, including some of the oldest and largest Somei Yoshino trees, creates a spectacular showcase of Japanese cherry blossom.
The optimal viewing time for cherry blossoms in Hirosaki Park is typically late April. To get there, take the JR Tohoku Shinkansen to Shin-Aomori Station, then transfer to the JR Ou Main Line to Hirosaki Station.
From Hirosaki Station, it’s a 20-minute bus ride to the park.
Consider renting a bicycle at Hirosaki Station for a scenic ride to the park. While at the park, don’t miss the evening illumination of the blossoms and the unique sight of petals floating in the moats.
Carry cash for entrance fees and local vendors, and remember to respect the park’s natural beauty by not picking blossoms and keeping the area clean.
18. Mobara Park: early April
Mobara Park is celebrated for its expansive groves of cherry trees, making it a top choice for cherry blossoms in Japan. The park’s relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere offers a more laid-back way to enjoy the Japanese cherry blossom.
The peak blooming period in Mobara Park is typically in early April. The easiest way to reach Mobara Park is by taking the JR Sotobo Line to Mobara Station. From there, the park is a pleasant 15-minute walk (with amazing views!)
Bring comfortable shoes for exploring the spacious park and a camera to capture the picturesque views. Mobara Park is also known for its spacious areas, perfect for a stroll or a picnic under the blooming trees.
19. Yoshino: early to mid-April
Yoshino is arguably the most famous cherry blossom spot in Japan, offering an iconic Japanese cherry blossom experience. The area is renowned for its thousands of cherry trees that blanket the mountainsides.
The best viewing period is typically early to mid-April. To reach Yoshino, take the Kintetsu Railway from Osaka or Kyoto to Yoshino Station. The journey itself, through winding mountain tracks, is part of the experience.
Due to the area’s popularity, arrive early to avoid crowds and consider weekday visits. Comfortable hiking shoes are recommended, as exploring Yoshino’s slopes provides panoramic views of the blossoming trees.
The town of Yoshino also offers quaint shops and eateries, perfect for enjoying local flavors amidst the stunning scenery!
20. Hanamiyama Park: early April
Hanamiyama Park in Fukushima is a hidden treasure for cherry blossom enthusiasts.
This privately-owned orchard-turned-park blooms into a spectacular landscape of cherry blossoms and other spring flowers, embodying the essence of Japanese cherry blossom.
Visit Hanamiyama Park’s cherry blossoms in early April for the best views. To get there, take the Tohoku Shinkansen to Fukushima Station, and from there, a taxi or local bus to the park.
The park’s mountainous terrain offers breathtaking scenic walks, so wear comfortable shoes. It’s smaller and less crowded than other spots.
21. Kintaikyo Bridge: early April
Kintaikyo Bridge, in Iwakuni, is a stunning historical site enhanced by the beauty of cherry blossoms in Japan.
The bridge, an architectural marvel with five wooden arches, is surrounded by cherry trees, creating a breathtaking scene during the Japanese cherry blossom season. For the best experience, visit Kintaikyo Bridge’s cherry blossom in early April.
To reach Kintaikyo Bridge, take the Sanyo Shinkansen to Shin-Iwakuni Station, then a bus to Kintaikyo Bridge. The area around the bridge is perfect for leisurely strolls, with local street food vendors offering a taste of the region.
Comfortable walking shoes are recommended. The bridge itself is a paid attraction, so carrying cash is advisable.
22. Tadamoto Park: early April
Tadamoto Park in Akaiwa is a lesser-known but splendid location for viewing cherry blossoms in Japan. The park’s tranquility and natural beauty offer an intimate setting for enjoying the Japanese cherry blossom.
The best time for Tadamoto Park’s cherry blossom is in early April. Accessing Tadamoto Park requires taking the Sanyo Shinkansen to Okayama Station, followed by a local train to Akaiwa Station.
From there, a short taxi ride will take you to the park. Tadamoto Park is ideal for visitors seeking a quiet and relaxing ‘hanami’ (flower viewing) experience away from the crowds.
The park’s open spaces are perfect for picnics, so bringing a blanket and some snacks is recommended. Enjoy the serene atmosphere and the stunning views of cherry blossoms against the backdrop of the park’s pond and landscape!
23. Goryokaku Park: late April to early May
Goryokaku Park, located in Hakodate, Hokkaido, is famous for its star-shaped fort and spectacular cherry blossoms. The park becomes a haven for cherry blossoms in Japan, with thousands of trees blooming in late April to early May.
To get there, take the Hokuto Limited Express to Hakodate Station, then a tram or bus to Goryokaku Park. The park’s unique shape is best appreciated from the Goryokaku Tower, offering a stunning aerial view of the cherry blossoms.
Comfortable footwear is essential for exploring the large park. Despite its popularity, the park’s spacious layout allows for a relatively peaceful experience.
24. Mikamine Park: late April
Mikamine Park, located in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, is a splendid location to witness the cherry blossoms in Japan. This urban park is adorned with over a thousand cherry trees, creating a lush canopy of Japanese cherry blossom.
The best time to visit Mikamine Park for cherry blossoms is in late April. To get there, take the Tohoku Shinkansen to Sendai Station. From there, Mikamine Park is a short bus ride away.
The park’s expansive lawns are perfect for ‘hanami’ picnics, so bringing a mat and some snacks is recommended. Unlike more crowded destinations, Mikamine Park offers a relaxed atmosphere, ideal for families and those seeking a tranquil blossom viewing experience.
The park’s gentle hills also provide lovely views of the surrounding cherry blossoms.
25. Tsuruoka Park: late April to early May
Tsuruoka Park, in Yamagata Prefecture, offers a unique experience of cherry blossoms in Japan, combining historical and natural beauty. The park, surrounding Tsuruoka Castle ruins, is home to over a thousand cherry trees.
Visiting in late April to early May is ideal. To reach Tsuruoka Park, take the JR Uetsu Main Line to Tsuruoka Station. From there, the park is easily accessible by a short walk.
Tsuruoka Park is known for its night-time illuminations of cherry trees, providing a magical viewing experience. The park’s slightly elevated position offers panoramic views of the city and the cherry blossoms.
Consider exploring the nearby Shonai Shrine and the local cuisine available in the area for a full cultural experience!
26. Iwate Park: late April
Iwate Park, also known as Morioka Castle Ruins Park, in Morioka, Iwate, is a historical site famous for its spectacular cherry blossoms. The park, with the ruins of Morioka Castle, becomes a stunning backdrop for the Japanese cherry blossom in late April.
Access the park by taking the Tohoku Shinkansen to Morioka Station, followed by a short walk. The park’s numerous cherry trees, set amidst the castle’s stone walls, offer a blend of history and natural beauty.
Iwate Park is ideal for leisurely walks and enjoying ‘hanami’ in a historical setting. The park’s proximity to downtown Morioka makes it easy to explore local shops and restaurants, enriching the cherry blossom viewing experience.
Comfortable walking shoes and a camera are must-haves for visitors to capture the beauty of the blossoms against the feudal-era structures.