Cherry Blossom Forecast and The Best Hanami Spots Across Japan

Mar 27 2020
Apr 28 2020
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When thinking of spring, cherry blossoms come to mind, and with that comes hanami! The time when cherry blossoms are at their peak is highly popular for Japanese people and foreign nationals, and it’s a time to remind everyone that spring has arrived. In this article, we will present some famous cherry blossom places across Japan alongside some videos; some tips on how to enjoy hanami, a fundamental part of spring in Japan; as well as the the timing for cherry blossom blooming in different areas in 2020.

How to Enjoy Hanami

In Japanese, enjoying a view of blossoming cherry trees is called hanami, which literally translates to “flower watching.” In this case, “flower” refers only to cherry blossoms, which have a special significance in Japanese culture. There are many different ways to enjoy the blossoms: sitting in a park under some pink cherry trees and sharing a meal with friends, looking up at the blossoms along a river while riding on a leisure boat, walking around and trying different dishes from food stalls set up along rows of cherry trees, or even gazing at the blossoms lit up at night. Festivals are also held all across the country, allowing people to even further enjoy the cherry blossoms. Popular hanami spots are scattered all over Japan, and people striving to save a picnic spot by laying out tarps is a distinctive sight of the hanami season.

The timing at which cherry blossoms bloom differs depending on the location, and there is more than a month’s difference between when the blooming starts in Kyushu in the south and Hokkaido in the north. 2020 has had a mild winter, so the flowers over the whole country are expected to bloom up to ten days earlier than average. Additionally, the blooming period for cherry blossoms is quite short, at a little less than two weeks. Make sure to check in advance the timing for when the cherry blossoms will bloom in the following areas so you don’t miss the beauty of full bloom.

forecast

An Introduction to Famous Cherry Blossom Spots by Area

By clicking on each of the area links below, you can jump to information about the areas you’re interested in.

The best places to see cherry blossoms in the Kyushu area

Oyama Koen Park (Nagasaki)

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Oyama Koen Park is a top cherry blossom spot in Nagasaki Prefecture. The scenery of the blooming cherry trees lining the hills in front of the ocean in spring is simply stunning. Endowed with about 700 cherry trees, the entire mountain is dyed in the color of the blossoms. The shidare-zakura (weeping cherry) and Yoshino cherry covered by the pink blossoms are well-known for their beauty. During the nighttime illuminations, visitors can enjoy the fantastical yozakura (night blossoms). Also held during the blooming period is the Oyama Koen Park Cherry Blossom Festival, which children and adults alike can enjoy. If you have the chance to visit the Nagasaki area during the cherry blossom season, definitely consider making a stop here.

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Maizuru Koen Park (Fukuoka)

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Fukuoka Prefecture's Maizuru Park is famous for both its historical sites and its cherry blossoms. The main attraction of the park is the roughly 1,000 Yoshino cherry and shidare-zakura (weeping cherry) trees that bloom here from late March through early April. During the blooming period, Fukuokajo Castle Cherry Blossom Festival is held, and at night there are beautiful illuminations on both the blossoms and the castle walls. With plenty of events and food stalls with gourmet cuisine, this is always a popular place with visitors.

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Shiranoe Botanical Garden (Fukuoka)

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The Shiranoe Botanical Garden is the only flower and tree park in northern Kyushu. The garden boasts a prefecturally-designated national monument: Shiranoe's 500-year-old Japanese cherry tree, and the blossoms here can bloom as early as February. These are known as kanzakura, which means "cold cherry blossoms." The park is known for its vast collection of cherry blossoms, with a total of 60 varieties and 800 trees. There are even some that bloom in autumn, as early as October. Although the main peak is in spring, around April, it is a wonderful park that allows you to see cherry blossoms for half of the year.
A festival is also held each year when the blossoms are in full bloom. At the festival there is a cherry blossom stamp rally, and on Saturdays and Sundays bento lunch boxes, flower seedlings, and other miscellaneous goods are for sale, so be sure to check it out.

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Kogurajo Castle (Fukuoka)

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About 300 cherry blossom trees bloom in the plaza in front of Kokurajo Castle's keep, making it a perfect location the view the cherry blossoms while eating lunch on a clear day. Many people also come to view the nighttime illuminations of Kokurajo Castle and its surrounding cherry blossoms during this season. At the cherry blossom festival also held during this time, plenty of food stalls are lined up on the streets, and songs and dances are performed on a stage specially set up in the plaza in front of the keep. Visitors can also enjoy local specialties at the Furusato Umaimono Market.

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Isshingyou no Oozakura (Kumamoto)

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Isshingyou no Oozakura is the huge cherry tree at Aso, Kumamoto.
Standing 14 meters high and an impressive 7 meters around, this tree is approximately 400 years old. Visitors can enjoy seeing lit up cherry trees at night during the right season. The contrast of pink cherry blossoms and yellow field mustard flowers attracts people to this colorful place.

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The best places to see cherry blossoms in the Chugoku area

Ichinosakagawa River Cherry Blossom Trees (Yamaguchi)

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About 200 Yoshino cherry blossoms stretch along a span of roughly 600 meters on both banks of the Ichinosaka River during the cherry blossom season. The cherry blossoms are lit up in the evening during the flowering season, allowing visitors to take in the beauty of yozakura, or night blossoms, that look so different than during the day. In addition, there are cafes and stores remodeled from old townhouses in the area, so this is a great spot to take a relaxing stroll.

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Kintaikyo Bridge (Yamaguchi)

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Kintaikyo Bridge is one of the three Meikyo Bridges of Japan, and the scenery interwoven with cherry blossoms around it in the spring is magnificent. Together with the cherry blossoms in the nearby Kikko Koen Park, the blossoms of several thousand cherry trees all bloom at once. There are grassy plazas around the bridge and food stalls also set up shop each year, making for an excellent hanami spot.

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Hijiyama Koen Park (Hiroshima)

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Hijiyama Koen Park is famous for its cherry blossoms; around 1,300 cherry trees bloom in springtime, attracting many visitors to the park with their vibrant colors and beauty. From the top of gentle hills, visitors will have a panoramic view reaching as far as Hiroshima City and the Seto Inland Sea. There is also an observation platform, a modern art museum, a manga library, walking paths, and sculptures making it a unique place where not just the cherry blossoms, but art can also be enjoyed.

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Utsubuki Koen Park (Tottori)

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Utsubuki Koen Park has been chosen as one of Japan's 100 Best Cherry Blossom Spots, and in spring the the blossoms of many kinds of cherry trees color the whole area. The park is famous for its vibrant cherry blossoms, but there are a number of other activities to enjoy in the area as well. Within the garden there is a monkey house and an area where visitors can interact with small animals. The streets bustle with stalls and booths, and at night over 500 paper lanterns of different sizes dot the area, together with the night blossoms creating a romantic aura. Events such as sakura sumo are also held at the Kurayoshi Spring Festival, which is held at Utsubuki Koen Park.

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Kannonin Temple (Tottori)

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Kannonin is also fondly known by the nickname "Shusse Kannon." Famous for its abundance of blooming cherry blossoms during spring, it is a popular tourist attraction. Within the area, a Buddhist temple can be found at the end of a road lined with cherry blossoms. A matcha green tea service is offered, so visitors can sit down and relax while appreciating the cherry blossoms.

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The best places to see cherry blossoms in the Shikoku area

Ritsurin Koen Garden (Kagawa)

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Ritsurin Koen Park has been selected as a national special place of scenic beauty, and it has become popular both domestically and internationally as one of Japan’s daimyo teien parks. In Ritsurin Koen Park, there are about 320 cherry trees, mostly of the Yoshino variety but also including other species such as edohigan cherry, yamazakura, and Japanese cherry. One of the highlights of this park is the green hue of the pine trees mixed with the elegant pink of the cherry blossoms reflected on the surface of the lake. The cherry blossoms are also lit up at night, and there is a boat service on Hokko Lake during the cherry blossom season.

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Noshima Island (Ehime)

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Noshima Island is known as a particularly beautiful cherry blossom spot. The island is uninhabited, 720 meters in circumference with an area of 1.5 hectares, and completely covered in cherry trees. The Noshima no Hanami festival is held during the blooming season, and a boat operates to ferry visitors to the island while the cherry blossom are in bloom. The boats are time-limited, though-they only operate for two days during the blooming season. From the historic Nomura Village that contains the ruins of a castle that once housed pirates, visitors can view the blossoms of over 100 Yoshino cherry trees.

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Nanrakuen Garden (Ehime)

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Nanrakuen Garden is the largest garden in Shikoku, and it has been selected as one of the 100 Best Urban Parks in Japan. Every spring, about 160 cherry trees are in full bloom around Nanrakuen Garden, enclosing it in a pink haze. A cherry blossom festival is held during the flowering season, and you can also enjoy viewing the cherry blossoms lit up at night with paper lanterns.

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The best places to see cherry blossoms in the Kansai area

Osakajo Castle (Osaka)

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Osakajo Castle is surrounded by important cultural assets, and the Nishinomaru Teien Park is a well-known spot with about 300 cherry trees, mostly of the Yoshino species. The trees are lit up in the evening, allowing visitors to enjoy the contrast between the cherry blossoms and Osakajo Castle. In addition, at the Tamatsukuri entrance, there are late blooming yaezakura cherry blossoms, making for a slightly lengthened blooming season.

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Uguigawa River (Shiga)

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On either side of the Uguikawa River that flows along the foot of the Suzuka Mountains, there are rows of Yoshino cherry trees, totaling about 200. Visitors can also further enjoy the blossoms of over 1,000 cherry trees that surround the Ozuchi Dam. The cherry blossoms are lit up in the evening during the blooming season, giving them a magical ambiance. Street stalls are also set up, enabling visitors to indulge themselves in different foods while enjoying a leisurely evening walk.

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Daigoji Temple (Kyoto)

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Daigoji Temple has been called the "flower nirvana" since the Heian period (794–1185), and even in modern times it has been chosen one of Japan's 100 Best Cherry Blossom Spots. When spring arrives, the blossoms of about 1,000 trees of various cherry species bloom together here. Among them, the late-blooming yaebeni-shidare cherry in the Sanboin Teien Garden and the yukawazakura cherry (related to the shidare-zakura weeping cherry) of the Yukawa Memorial Hall are particularly attractive. Be sure not to miss the view of the blossoms with the five-storied pagoda national treasure in the background.

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Kyoto Botanical Gardens (Kyoto)

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The Kyoto Botanical Gardens is a "living plant museum" filled with all kinds of plant life. From early March to late April each year, about 450 cherry trees of 160 species can be enjoyed here. The more uncommon varieties of cherry blossoms that can be found here are not to be missed, such as the yellow-flowered ukon cherry and the green-flowered gyoiko cherry. Another highlight of the gardens is the contrast between the light pink of the Yoshino cherry blossoms and the red of the tulips.

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Nara Koen Park (Nara)

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Nara Koen Park is adjacent to historic cultural heritage sites such as Todaiji Temple, Kasuga Grand Shrine, and Kofukuji Temple, and it has also been selected as one of Japan's 100 Best Cherry Blossom Spots. The the small and delicate narano-yaezakura that bloom between late April and early May each year are something to pay particular attention to. There are also early-blooming yamazakura, Yoshino cherry, and shidare-zakura weeping cherry here, in addition to the late-blooming nokokonoe-zakura cherry. In total, there are about 1,700 cherry trees that bloom over the season.

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Mt. Yoshino (Nara)

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One of Japan's UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Mt. Yoshino of Nara Prefecture is Japan's most famous location for cherry blossom viewing. It is said that the first cherry trees were planted on the mountain in the 7th century. Currently there are roughly 30,000 trees and 200 types of cherry tree on the mountain, though most are of the white yamazakura variety. With a gradual northward slope, there is plenty of time to enjoy the blossoms when they are in season by taking a walk up the mountain. Additionally, nighttime illuminations are also held during full bloom.

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The best places to see cherry blossoms in the Tokai area

Nabana no Sato (Mie)

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Nabana no Sato is famous for its 300 Kawazu cherry trees that bloom annually from February to March. The blooming season of these trees is longer than other species of cherry blossoms, lasting about a month, and the main characteristic of this variety is the large, pink flowers. Visitors can also enjoy a tunnel of cherry blossoms that covers a promenade surrounding a pond. In addition to the Kawazu cherry blossoms, it is also popular to view the simultaneously blooming Yoshino cherry blossoms and tulips.

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Nagoyajo Castle (Aichi)

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At Nagoyajo Castle, there are about 1,000 cherry trees of 10 different species, mostly of the Yoshino and shidare-zakura (weeping cherry) varieties. The less common green-flowered gyoiko cherry blooms later than other cherry varieties, and the best time to see the blossoms starts around mid-April each year. The cherry blossoms are also lit up at night during the blooming season. One of the best views at the castle is the castle’s keep and the blossoms together.

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Izu Kogen Highland Cherry Blossom Trees (Shizuoka)

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Every year in spring, 600 cherry trees bloom along both sides of the road that begins at Izu-Kogen Station and heads toward Mt. Omuro, creating a three-kilometer-long tunnel of cherry blossoms. During the blooming season, food stalls are set up in the plaza in front of Izu-Kogen Station, so there are plenty of different dishes to try while taking a walk and enjoying the blossoms. There are also yozakura night blossom illuminations after dark.

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The best places to see cherry blossoms in the Hokuriku area

Matsukawa Koen Park (Toyama)

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Chosen as one of Japan's 100 Best Cherry Blossom Spots, the blossoms of around 470 trees bloom and fall along the Matsukawa River that flows through the middle of town. The riverbank is outfitted with walking paths, so visitors can take leisurely strolls along the lines of trees and admire the sakura in full bloom. Additionally, visitors can admire the cherry blossoms while floating leisurely on the Matsukawa River which flows in front of Toyama-josho Koen Park on a Matsukawa River Cruise. Passengers can appreciate the 28 sculptures along the river while gliding under the peaceful bows of sakura blossoms.

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Funa Riverbank Cherry Blossoms (Toyama)

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Funa River boasts the blossoms of 250 Yoshino cherry trees lining both banks and stretching 800 meters. They make a beautiful contrast against the mountains of the Northern Alps. On top of that, tulips and field mustard flowers can also be seen just in front of the cherry blossoms. The collection of cherry blossoms, lingering snow on the mountains, tulips, and field mustard flowers is known as the "spring quartet," and the sight is well worth a look.
The Asahi Cherry Blossom Festival is held during the blooming period, and with a variety food stalls lined up, it's an excellent spot for hanami. When the flowers are in full bloom, there are also illuminations after dark, so visitors can enjoy romantic views of evening blossoms.

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Mt. Asuwa (Fukui)

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Mt. Asuwa is a 116-meter-tall hill in the center of Fukui City. Asuwayama Koen Park has been selected as one of Japan's 100 Best Cherry Blossom Spots, and in addition to the more than 260-year-old shidare-zakura weeping cherry tree at Asuwa-jinja Shrine, about 3,500 cherry blossom trees decorate the surrounding area in the spring. Paper lanterns are lit after dark, allowing visitors to enjoy viewing the cherry blossoms at night. Inside the park, there is an amusement park, a natural history museum, and a mini zoo alongside Asuwa-jinja Shrine, so children and adults alike can have fun. While visiting, don’t miss the chance to try Asuwayama's specialty dishes: kinome dengaku and konjac oden.

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Maruokajo Castle (Fukui)

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Maruokajo Castle is one of only twelve remaining ancient castle keeps in Japan. The castle is a popular spot to visit, especially during the cherry blossom season, and it is considered one of Japan's 100 Best Cherry Blossom Spots. Inside the castle’s gardens are 400 cherry trees of the Yoshino variety, and every April a cherry blossom festival is held. During the illuminations, around 300 trees are lit up by paper lanterns, and Maruokajo Castle emerging through the haze of flowers creates a magical atmosphere. Also called "Kasumigajo," the sight is not one to miss.

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Kanazawa Castle Park (Ishikawa)

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At Kanazawa Castle, the symbol of Ishikawa Prefecture, the Yoshino cherry trees can also be enjoyed. The cherry blossoms that bloom along the stone wall are a particular highlight. During the illumination period of the cherry blossom viewing season, the adjacent Kenroku-en Garden and Kanazawa Castle are open free of charge. In addition to enjoying nature, take this opportunity to also indulge in Kanazawa's history and culture.

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The best places to see cherry blossoms in the Koshinetsu area

Takada Koen Park (Niigata)

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Famous as one of Japan’s top three nighttime sakura viewing spots, Takada park contains over 3,000 paper lanterns which light up the some 4,000 trees that bloom here in spring. The 200-meter-long tunnel of blossoms called Sakura Road is a popular spot to visit as well, and the contrast between the cherry blossoms and Takada Castle is a particularly engaging point. Many events take place here during the hanami season, including evening fireworks and mikoshi (portable shrine) parades.

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Minobusan Kuonji Temple (Yamanashi)

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Minobusan Kuonji Temple in Yamanashi Prefecture is the main temple of the Nichiren-shu sect of Japanese Buddhism. Within the temple grounds are two 400-year-old shidare-zakura (weeping cherry) trees that have been chosen as some of the top 10 shidare-zakura in all of Japan. During the blooming period at the Cherry Blossom Festival, sales of special products and chindonya performances are held.

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Arakurayama Sengen Koen Park (Yamanashi)

arakurayama_sengen_koen_park(Photograph provided by Yamanashi Tourism Organization)

In mid-April, Arakurayama Sengen Koen Park turns into a sea of cherry blossoms as more than 650 cherry trees of the Yoshino variety start to bloom. The sight of the five-storied pagoda monument, the cherry blossoms, and Mt. Fuji in the distance has made this one of the most popular tourist spots among both Japanese and foreign travelers. We recommend this spot for those who want to see a particularly Japanese style of sakura scenery.

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Ueda Castle Koen Park (Nagano)

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Ueda Castle Koen Park is one of the top cherry blossom viewing spots in Nagano Prefecture. The park boasts around 1,000 cherry trees, the blossoms of which seem to cover the castle when in full bloom. During the Ueda Castle Senbon-zakura Festival there are special product displays, stage events, and hands-on attractions for visitors to try. Whether you are visiting for the natural scenery, the festival in mid-April, the history, or the local oyaki dumplings, Ueda Castle and its park is definitely worth your time.

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The best places to see cherry blossoms in the Kanto area

There are also tons of great flower viewing spots in Tokyo! Take a look at this article too.

Odawarajo Castle (Kanagawa)

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Filled with cherry blossoms and flowers, officially designated historical site Odawarajo Castle certainly has a beautiful aesthetic. The cloud of blossoms from roughly 300 cherry trees of the Yoshino variety and the the tower of Odawarajo Castle emerging in the backdrop create a picture-perfect scene. During the blooming period, the cherry blossoms are lit up by paper lanterns. Depending on the time, the color of the illuminations will change, and visitors will be able to enjoy a atmosphere different from than that of the daytime.

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Sankeien Garden (Kanagawa)

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Sankeien Garden, designated as one of Japan's Important Cultural Properties, is an authentic Japanese garden with a long history. The garden is famous for its rich cherry blossoms, and its 500-meter-long tunnel of cherry trees is a particular point of interest. During the blooming period the blossoms are illuminated, and the contrast between the old-fashioned buildings and the cherry blossoms is quite beautiful. Here, visitors can enjoy traditional Japanese food such as matcha green tea and warm, freshly made dango dumplings while viewing the garden's landscape.

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Omoigawazakura Cherry Blosoom Bank (Tochigi)

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About 80 omoigawa-zakura cherry blossoms bloom every year along the embankment of the Omoigawa River, and the promenade along both sides creates a light pink cherry blossom tunnel. Omoigawa-zakura cherry blossoms came into existence due to a mutation and were discovered in Oyama City in 1954. The shape of these trees has a characteristic supple gracefulness to them. They are illuminated after dark as well, so visitors can enjoy the uniqueness of the omoigawa-zakura in the city both day and night.

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Amabikisan Rakuhoji Temple (Ibaraki)

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Amabikisan Rakuhoji Temple is also called Amabiki Kannon, and this temple is known for a faith that focuses on childcare and easy childbirth. One of its features is that peafowl are allowed to roam freely on the grounds. It's also famous for its cherry blossoms, with about 3,000 cherry trees of various species that bloom over the course of roughly a month, including the early-blooming Kawazu cherry and Yoshino cherry. There are also nighttime illuminations during the blooming season. The unique experience of viewing cherry blossoms while accompanied by peafowl is not something to miss.

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Cherry Blossoms on Heiwa St. (Ibaraki)

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The Heiwa-dori street that stretches about one kilometer from Hitachi Station was opened after being reconstruction from damage sustained during the war, and it was named by the locals. It has been chosen as one of Japan's 100 Best Cherry Blossom Spots, and every year the blossoms of about 120 Yoshino cherry trees adorn the area. When they are in full bloom, visitors can experience the feeling of walking through a cherry blossom tunnel. Nighttime illuminations can also be enjoyed during this period.

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The best places to see cherry blossoms in the Tohoku area

Tsurugajo Castle (Fukushima)

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Tsurugajo Castle has been selected as one of Japan's 100 Best Cherry Blossom Spots, and here about 1,000 Yoshino cherry trees can be viewed along with the only red-tiled castle keep in Japan. The cherry blossoms are also beautiful at night, and they are lit up from the beginning of the blooming period through Golden Week in early May. This is the largest illumination held in eastern Japan, and the sight of the cherry blossoms reflected on the surface of the moat is a must-see. In addition, the view from the observation deck in the castle keep is particularly enjoyable.

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Hitome Senbonzakura Cherry Blossoms / Funaokajoshi Koen Park (Miyagi)

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This is a wonderful hanami spot where both the panoramic view of the cherry blossoms on the embankment of the Shiroishi River and the Funaokajo Castle Ruins Park can be enjoyed in a single day. Along the embankment of the Shiroishi River runs an eight-kilometer-long row of cherry blossoms. Moving eastwards towards Funaokajo Castle Ruins Park, over 1,000 cherry trees can be viewed. A slope care the reaches the summit at Funaokajo Castle Ruins Park operates daily during the blooming season, and this is the only place where the scenery of emerging from a 305-meter-long cherry blossom tunnel can be experienced. Not only this, but the view from the summit of the cherry blossoms along the Shiroishi River and on Mt. Zao are picture-perfect.

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Sendaijo Castle (Miyagi)

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The extended marshland that leads toward the tower at Sendaijo Castle has about 480 Yoshino cherry trees, and the castle in the background creates a wonderfully elegant view. In addition, the ruins of the inner citadel at an elevation of about 130 meters has an excellent panoramic view of the area. Aobayama Koen Park surrounds Sendaijo Castle, and the cherry blossoms can also be enjoyed around the ruins of the large castle gate and the multicolored marshland. This area is great for walking around historic areas while viewing the cherry blossoms, so it’s a great place for those who love history.

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Seishi Koen Park (AKita)

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Seishi Koen Park, located in Nikaho City in northern Japan, is a famous park for cherry blossom viewing in springtime. Hosting the earliest-blooming sakura in all of Akita Prefecture, this park boasts the blossoms of around 1,000 cherry trees. With snow-clad Mt. Chokai in the background, it's a fantastic place to relax and have a picnic with friends or family or meet locals who frequent the park.

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Kakunodate Samurai District (AKita)

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Known as the Little Kyoto of the northeast, this is a beautiful district of samurai residences lined with rows of almost 400 cherry trees. The main street, which stretches roughly 720 meters, has received an official designation as a nationally protected group of traditional buildings. Together with their yakuimon gates, traditional blacked wood fencing, and the nearby shidare-zakura (weeping cherry) trees all preserved in their original state, the row of samurai houses offers a rare insight into the ancient lifestyle as well as a beautiful and harmonious view. Illuminations and the Kakunodate Cherry Blossom Festival are also held here.

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Gappo Koen Park (Aomori)

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The 670 cherry blossom trees in this park typically bloom from late April to early May, informing their surroundings of the arrival of spring. Mainly consisting of Yoshino cherry but also including shidare-zakura (weeping cherry) and Japanese cherry, the blossoming sakura brighten the park's landscape. During the blooming period, paper lanterns are lit as the sun sets to illuminate the area.

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Hirosaki Koen Park (Aomori)

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The park surrounds Hirosaki Castle, which was built by the daimyo in the Sengoku period (c. 1467-1600). There is something for everyone to enjoy in each of the seasons here, and in particular the cherry blossom festival in spring is said to be Japan’s finest. With the blossoms of 2,600 trees of 52 varieties, a tunnel of sakura, and night blossom illuminations, there are plenty of things to see. Hanaikada refers to when the surface of a river is covered in cherry blossom petals, resembling a raft, and it's known for being one of the most sought-after sights in the world. The sight of the canal swelling with petals as if it's a carpet of blossoms is definitely worth a look.

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Ashino Koen Park (Aomori)

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Chosen as one of Japan's 100 Best Cherry Blossom Spots, Asahino Koen Park is especially popular in spring when the park and its surroundings transform into a sea of sakura. The blossoms of around 1,500 Yoshino cherry and Japanese cherry trees make a beautiful contrast with the surrounding pines, not something to miss. The nearby Ashino Koen Station is known as one of the most scenic rural train stations in Japan. The railway itself passes through a forest of cherry trees, close enough to almost touch the branches. During the blooming period, fireworks festivals, an all-Japan shamisen competition, and folk song performances are also held in the park.

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The best places to see cherry blossoms in the Hokkaido area

Goryokaku Tower (Hokkaido)

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A beautiful spot for cherry blossom viewing, Goryokaku Tower is surrounded by 1,600 cherry trees, mostly of the Yoshino variety. From the observation deck on the tower, visitors can look out on the stunning scenery including the star-shaped moat below, dyed pink in spring by the blooming sakura.

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Matsumaejo Castle (Hokkaido)

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Matsumae has been selected as one of Japan's 100 Best Cherry Blossom Spots, over 10,000 cherry trees of 250 different species can be enjoyed here in spring. Among the many different kinds of sakura, early-blooming, mid-blooming, and late-blooming cherries are all included, so the hanami season extends for approximately one month. One particular feature of this place is that it is the only area where about 100 different species of cherry blossoms that originated in Matsumae can be seen. In the adjacent Matsumae Koen Park, there is a cherry blossom orchard that has 140 species of cherry blossom collected from all across Japan as well as a Japanese-style garden, and many historic sites can also be visited during the same trip.

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Indulge Yourself in The Cherry Blossoms of Each Spot

Have you itching to go out at see some sakura yet? Depending on the spot you choose, the ambiance of your hanami experience will change. Appreciating the cherry blossoms while trying out the local cuisine in each of these areas is sure to be memorable. If you are going to be traveling in Japan in spring, make sure not to miss out on sakura and hanami culture.

Due to the spread of the novel coronavirus, the cherry blossom festivals in some regions have been canceled. Before you visit each location, be sure to check the official website for the newest information, and be sure to be extra cautious during your travels.

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