We haven’t realized until then that Koysan can also be one of the top places to watch sakura in Japan. And (and that is a big AND) much less crowded so if you have the chance head down to Yokohama for some cherry blossom viewing. Spotlights on the cherry trees and the castle add a touch of romance and glamour. Best Time to Visit Japan for Cherry Blossom Viewing. If you are unable to travel in March or April it is still possible to see the Cherry Blossom. But trying to get a photo is almost impossible due to the abundance of people in and around these areas. Shinjuku Gyoen is one of the largest and most beautiful parks in Tokyo and it consists of three different types of gardens: Japanese traditional, French formal and English landscape. During spring, there are many other beautiful flowers around the park too, and they’re also worth a stop. Contributed by: Bistra, The Magic of Traveling This guide to the best time to visit Japan for cherry blossoms will cover: When is the best time to visit Japan for cherry blossoms? Tokyo to Matsumoto in mid-April is an ideal journey to see cherry blossoms. You can find alternative hotels in Shibuya here, or Come spring, the 54ha park in Tokyo becomes the epicentre of a crowded, noisy and wild hanami party. The small island of Shikoku experiences the cherry blossom at a similar time to Honshu so it is a perfect addition to a holiday to this part of Japan. Since 2014 two more were added. s.src = u + '?v=' + (+new Date()); If you’re going to see cherry blossoms in Tokyo, you may as well go all out and hit Ueno Park. Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is home to a large number of cherry trees, including early and late blooming cherry trees, which extends the cherry blossom viewing season. Read reviews and compare prices for accommodation in Kawazu here. In spring, the weeping cherry trees almost touch the ground, laden with stunning pink blossoms. We visited on 31st March and while some cherry trees were in full bloom, the area would have been at its best a week later. The northern island of Hokkaido experiences full bloom in May and is both easily accessible and easy to explore independently. The trees line the moat around the castle as well as filling the grounds in front of it, so there is no shortage of cherry blossoms to enjoy. The exact dates vary depending on the blossoms and are announced on the official website of the Imperial Palace Household agency. When is the best time to see cherry blossom in Japan? Personally, I am yet to visit during full bloom but I can tell you it’s one of the highest experiences I want to check off my bucket list. TIP: While walking the main park pathway is a wonderful way to see the blossoms, we especially enjoyed the section of trees that runs right through Shinobazu pond. Tailored especially for first-time visitors, these are my tried-and-tested personal itineraries I used during my own trips to Japan. As I’ve written about many times before, any month of year is the best time to visit Japan as each season is beautifully different to the next – but the window of time where cherry blossoms (sakura さくら in Japanese) dominate the country with their incredible show is a truly special treat. Visit Fuji 5th Station, includes all you can eat fruit picking and trip on Kachi Kachi Ropeway, Early-blooming Cherry Blossoms, Mt Fuji Sledding Trip from Tokyo → The centrally located and impressive castle is a key landmark and attraction in Kumamoto. My favourite spot was around the playground, but a little ways apart so it wasn’t full of people. The view of Matsushima Bay from the observation deck over the cherry blossoms in front of Byakui Kannon Temple is outstanding. They reach full bloom in major tourist destinations like Kyoto, Osaka and Kanazawa during early April, while mid-to-late April is the best time to see sakura in the Tohoku region. The best places to see cherry blossoms in Tokyo. Contributed by: Annie, Off Goes Annie Based on this year the first blooms were in the second half of March but full bloom could be seen in Kagoshima in the first week of April. Himeji town is fun to wander around, explore and shop in. You’re making me jealous, Viola! Contributed by: Fae, FaeCelinee Each month, Japan has incredible treats for the tourist because every season seems to unleash more beauty than the last. The first is the New Year’s Greeting Event, the second is the Emperor’s birthday. We headed to Kyoto hoping for better weather and were greeted by the sun on our visit to Nara. If you’re looking for accommodation in Tokyo, I highly recommend. Himeji Castle’s other name, White Heron Castle, comes from its brilliant white exterior. These times, which line up with spring and most of autumn, are filled with calm days and comfortable temperatures. There are many beautiful places to see the cherry blossoms in Kyoto, but most of them get so crowded that it’s hard to relax and really appreciate the beauty of the flowers. Himeji castle is a short walk from Himeji station, which is served by the Japan Rail bullet trains. It was in full bloom when we visited and it is also just a walking distance from the Kiyomizu-Dera Temple. The Kansai region is an insanely popular place to see cherry blossoms in Japan. A professional language hoarder, she can usually be found burying herself in travel books and Wikipedia articles. Thinking about accommodation in Osaka? While. We first heard of Koya Mountain and the town of Koyasan from some heavy illustrated books about Japan. Being further south the weather is typically warmer here than in Honshu. So, I’ve reached out to travel bloggers who were fortunate enough to visit Japan for the cherry blossom season and put together a list of places they recommend for viewing as well as revealing the best times to visit each. Booking.com Generally speaking, the best time to visit the Chugoku region for cherry blossoms is late March to early April. The map below indicates the expected best viewing time of cherry blossoms in Japan last year, and will be updated once the latest information is available in 2021. We use cookies to ensure the best user experience and to help our website run effectively. Read my Tokyo Treat Review and use code ALYSE for a discount at the checkout! If you found this article useful, I’d love if you could share it to spread the word! The slopes are also lined with shops selling some traditional sweets and handicrafts. Nature lovers will appreciate the blooming flowers of spring, including the famed cherry blossoms, along with the equally stunning foliage of late autumn. There are cherry trees throughout the city but one of the best places to see them is along the river. Kyoto has dozens upon dozens of incredible places to view cherry blossoms! The best time to see the full bloom is from end of March until the middle of April. in a perfect location near Dotonbori and Namba Station! The older locals generally come to participate in Hanami (cherry blossom viewing) in the evening after work and set up impressive picnic spreads in the typical fashion to enjoy each other’s company and the beautiful blossoms. As this season is a popular time to visit Japan, the country gets very busy toward the end of the month. It’s a very off-the-beaten-track destination, making it a wonderful place to visit to avoid the crowds! Dedicated to travellers with a mid-range budget, my responsible travel blog explores ways we can enjoy being a visitor in a foreign place by 'blending in'. Read reviews and compare prices for all accommodation in Suzuka here. In 2020 full blossom in Tokyo was 22 March and Kyoto it was 30 March. Judging from these shots and stories from my fellow travel bloggers, the best time to visit Japan for cherry blossoms is from late March to mid April, although this can vary depending on environmental factors and the destinations you wish to see. Read more in my 3 Days in Osaka Itinerary + Nara Day Trip guide, or It was something we had been dreaming about for years. The southern island of Kyushu is another great choice if you are planning on visiting slightly earlier in the year or if you have been to Japan before. I haven’t been to a lot of these places. We visited Kyoto in the last week of March. The best time to visit Japan is generally in spring or autumn when the country is at its most beautiful thanks to the budding of cherry blossom and stunning autumnal colours. A gentle breeze carries petals peacefully by you as though they were floating, pink snowflakes. Photos need to be taken at just the right time with just the right angle to ensure that unwanted faces are not caught in your camera frame too. However, the Philosopher’s Path remains comparatively quiet due to its large area. The street is lined with 103 cherry streets of 31 varieties and is opened for 5 consecutive days in late March or early April. The north island of Hokkaido can expect their blossoms to flourish around late April – early May. However, when you have an ancient temple as a background at the Todaiji Temple, this effect is even stronger. We all know and love Tokyo for the numerous spots that you can view the infamous Cherry Blossoms. The cherry trees here are known as Kawazuzakura whereas others are known as sakura. I may receive a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. A lot of people say that Japan is not cheap (well, not in comparison to its south-east Asian neighbours) but I really believe the “expensive” reputation is undeserved! Best Time to Visit Japan for Cherry Blossoms The cherry blossoms bloom from south to north, and each year detailed Sakura Forecasts become available both in the news and online. If you’re after some inspiration for early blossoms, take a look at my guide to hidden gems in Tokyo: Contributed by: Cindy, Free Two Roam The blossoms are extra large and a very deep shad of pink in Kawazu. I highly recommend Cross Hotel Osaka in a perfect location near Dotonbori and Namba Station! Located close to the centre of Kyoto, this short walk along the sakura lined canal is totally unmissable. The six-storey keep dates back to the 16th century and is listed as a National Treasure of Japan. With the temple in the background, they look even more majestic than they are already. Contributed by: Jennifer, The Rainbow Route Japan’s cherry blossoms begin blooming in mid-March in Shikoku and Kyushu islands, as well as in Tokyo. This looks like an amazing time to visit. Like the cherry blossoms in DC, this is something I’ll have to enjoy from photos only – I pretty much avoid crowds at all costs and try to travel in the off season whenever possible! It is most famous for the deer that roam the parkland along with numerous temples and shrines. This post contains affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. The sakura trees in Suzuka usually flower in early to mid-April. I will not deny these areas of Tokyo are just amazing (I lived 1 street away from Meguro River). There’s no train station nearby so it’s best visited on foot—it’s about a 2 km (1.2 mile) walk from the Ginkakuji-ji end of the Philosopher’s Path (a popular sakura spot). It is, however, definitely cold. Photos need to be taken at just the right time with just the right angle to ensure that unwanted faces are not caught in your camera frame too. Sannenzaka slope is one of my favourite cherry blossom spots in Kyoto. The ideal time to visit is similar to Kyushu, late-March through to mid-April. The Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival attracts over two million visitors a year. Even the Imperial Family takes part in this yearly celebration as you can see by this special opening. For hundreds of years, it has symbolised the extreme fragility and the beauty of life. Love getting off the beaten path and have some extra time for a day trip from Tokyo? Strolling around the park will allow you to see many different types of cherry blossom, and they are all lovely when in full bloom. It’s free to enter the castle park, and the only admission fee is if you want to go up into the Osaka castle. One of best places in Japan to enjoy the famous cherry blossoms is the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden in Tokyo. Contributed by: Jennifer P., aka Dr. J, Sidewalk Safari For the main tourist areas (Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima) cherry blossom season is usually from the end of March to the beginning of April. Even on their own, cherry blossoms are beautiful and convey a sense a magic. Her dreams? Love getting off the beaten path and have some extra time for a day trip from Tokyo? To view cherry blossoms in these areas are tricky in itself. Read reviews and compare prices for all accommodation in Himeji here. These blossom-related day trips from Tokyo may be for you: Mt Fuji Flower Sightseeing Trip from Tokyo → As mentioned earlier, there are many great spots to view cherry blossoms around the Kansai region, such as Nara, Osaka and Koyasan! Reprinting, republishing or copying of any content on this site, whether whole or in part, is strictly prohibited. Here’s a small selection of travel blogger’s favourite spots: Contributed by: Erin, Never Ending Voyage Cherry blossom time is festival time, but be warned – … It’s about a 20-minute walk from Maruyama Park to Keage Incline, but you might want … Nowadays there are many temples here that attract plenty of tourists, not only because they are beautiful pieces of art, but also because monks still inhabit them. I may earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase and if you do, thanks for your support! Considering it’s one of Japan’s smaller regions by size, the Kanto region sure packs a big punch! But trying to get a photo is almost impossible due to the abundance of people in and around these areas. Along the journey, you’ll find several temples and shrines, aiding you to find your inner peace. While you can see cherry blossom trees all throughout the city (the street we were staying on was covered overhead by sakura flowers in bloom), our favourite location to view them was Ueno Park. As well as being the best time to see the Cherry Blossom the spring is also the best time to visit this part of Japan in general. If you are unable to travel in the spring but want to experience the blossom then you could head to Okinawa. Kawazu is one of the first places in Japan to see the cherry blossoms. Also, I clicked over to your post on how to be an invisible tourist and I LOVED it–all SO true . TIP: You’ll need at least a few hours to explore the castle (if you plan on going inside), but may want to set aside an entire day if you have time. If they did, the air certainly would smell incredible! When visiting Kyoto in Spring, many of the beautiful cherry blossom viewing spots can get very busy. After living in Japan, Kawazu is my favourite place to see the cherry blossoms. Kawazu-zakura Joren Falls & Nanohana Tour from Tokyo →, Visit Joren no Taki waterfall, enjoy strawberry picking, stroll along the cherry blossom-lined river. During cherry blossom season, the white castle is contrasted by both the bright blue sky from above and the pastel pinks that surround it from the ground. The best time to see the blossom is the first week of May and the best places include the main city of Sapporo and the beautiful countryside around the towns of Biei and Furano. Like in many countries, the flower blossoming marks the arrival of warmer weather and is very much welcomed by everyone. When is the best time to visit Japan? The bridge is a unique wooden arch bridge that was built in 1673, connecting the Iwakuni Castle with the outside world. Depending on a number of varying factors every year, the cherry blossoms can come into bloom anywhere from mid-March to the beginning of April. In the cherry blossom’s shade, there’s no such thing as a stranger” ~ Kobayashi Issa. })(document, 'script', '//aff.bstatic.com/static/affiliate_base/js/flexiproduct.js'); Featured image credit: Pixabay Its garden houses a central pond, surrounded by manicured bushes, impressive rock formations, pine trees and the lush Arashiyama Mountains. It gets very crowded with tourists in late April. Copyright © 2017-2021 The Invisible Tourist. It is a must-visit cherry blossom spot in Kyoto. This helps with the costs of running my blog so I can keep my content free for you. Do you love Japanese snacks and candies? However, it was also the perfect time to see the cherry blossoms in Sannenzaka Slope. So why not join them? Boasting seaside towns in the south and alpine scenery, mountainous tracks and a more rural atmosphere in the north makes it a perfect off-the-beaten path destination to view cherry blossoms in the country. The weather is also great at this time with mild temperatures. 2 weeks in Japan | Tokyo Itinerary | Kyoto Itinerary | Osaka + Nara Itinerary | Miyajima Day Trip by Ferry | Hiroshima Itinerary, Hidden Gems in Kyoto | Kurashiki: The Venice of Japan | Takayama’s Hidden Jewel, Hida Folk Village | Snow Monkey Park in Summer | Japan Off the Beaten Path Destinations, Crucial Do’s & Don’ts in Japan | Best Japan Travel Guide Books | Japanese Phrases for Tourists | Meaningful Japanese Souvenirs, Authentic Kyoto Cooking Class | Traditional Kyoto Tea Ceremony | Hidden Local Bars in Kyoto. Visit Joren no Taki waterfall, enjoy strawberry picking, stroll along the cherry blossom-lined river. Contributed by: Kenny, Knycx Journeying The street is lined with 103 cherry streets of 31 varieties and is opened for 5 consecutive days in late March or early April. So awesome! I personally loved my stay at the amazing Matsumoto Hotel Kagestu! I love finding them in Central Park and can only imagine how beautiful they are in Japan! From what I have heard, the blossoms don’t actually have much of a fragrance (how unfortunate is that!). It’s an easy day trip if you’re. Contributed by: Sylvia, Wapiti Travel Although the blossoms begin coming to life in the country’s south and inch northwards, for the purpose of this article I’m going to divide the destinations up into their regions based on popularity. Thinking about accommodation in Kawazu? Nowadays there are many temples here that attract plenty of tourists, not only because they are beautiful pieces of art, but also because monks still inhabit them. We got lucky with the cherry blossoms again, which were out in full force. Contributed by: Thais, World Trip Diaries My wife and I were so excited for our first trip to Japan. From there you can get a nice overlook of the park with all the cherry trees, which is quite spectacular to see from above. It was tough to decide when to visit, but ultimately we chose cherry blossom season for its beauty. Kawazu Cherry trees blossom for longer so you have an extra month to see them. TIP: It’s recommended to book your accommodation well ahead, the sooner the better as this is the most popular time of the year to visit. Now I know the perfect time to visit her! Unfortunately, we were a bit late – at the end of April, so half of the trees had passed the blossom. I also love Matsumoto Castle because it’s open after dark for Matsumoto-jo Sakura Matsuri, a cherry blossom festival that occurs for a week when the sakura open. Don’t expect it to be possible to leave booking your accommodation to the last minute or rock up hoping you’ll be able to find somewhere to stay – you’re sure to be disappointed if you’re turned away. If it is your second time to Japan you can concentrate solely on Hokkaido and hire a car to explore the whole island. TIP: Don’t forget to visit again in the evening as during the festival, the trees are all lit up at night and it looks dreamy! Tip: to guarantee your spot, get there early in the morning, lay out your mat and make sure one of you stays there until the entire group arrives. Come April the cherry blossom trees are reaching full bloom and despite +44 (0)20 7819 9770 info@ampersandtravel.com My sister is getting her teaching degree and is moving to Japan to teach English. TIP: If you plan to visit mid-day the crowd tends to be more visitors and young people enjoying the blossoms and young romance after school lets out. Thinking about accommodation in Koyasan? Read reviews and compare prices for all accommodation in Matsumoto here. The ideal time to visit is similar to Kyushu, late-March through to mid-April. It’s great you have them in Central Park at least And thank you so much, glad you enjoyed it! Third pin image credit: Pixabay Contributed by: Jodie, Alajode As a photographer it would be a dream to capture some photographs during this time. Let’s begin with the the Kanto region. Please get in touch with your travel plans either by phone, email or by completing our simple enquiry form. Climb steep flights of stairs at Matsumoto Castle and delight in amazing views of Matsumoto City and the surrounding countryside awash in delicate white and pink flowers. Honestly, I didn’t expect the bridge to be so big that I was very impressed by the shape and the size of the architecture. If you’ve ever thought about visiting Japan, you’re probably familiar with the advice that you should “go for cherry blossom season.” The annual blooming of sakura (cherry tree flowers) and accompanying nationwide conviviality of hanami (cherry blossom-viewing) can indeed be a magical time to experience the joy of being in Japan.. Kawazu. The best part, they have a Sakura Festival every year where the many cafés and restaurants bordering the river serve delicious street food and Champagne with strawberries for the occasion. Contributed by: Wendy, Pint Size Gourmets The Best Times to Visit Japan for Cherry Blossoms For travelers determined to visit Japan during cherry blossom season, the dates of bloom depend on … A visit to the Imperial Palace is a unique experience where you can see both the buildings of the Imperial Family and the beautiful colourful cherry blossoms. Read reviews and compare prices for all accommodation in Koyasan here. Even though it can be very busy, it has an incredible atmosphere. Its garden houses a central pond, surrounded by manicured bushes, impressive rock formations, pine trees and the lush. All those autumn colours starting to show I visited during August/September so it was super hot, I’d love to go back in some cooler weather! When the cherry blossoms start blooming around the last week I recommend spending at least half a day to go to the Kintaikyo (Bridge); the bridge is located in Iwakuni, a small city that’s about an hour away from Hiroshima by the JR. This central park in Tokyo is home to over 1,000 cherry blossom trees, with a mix of both early and late blooms. Shinjuku Gyoen – Tokyo. 20+ Essential Travel Tips to Know Before You Go, 6 Ethical Alternatives to Airbnb for Responsible Tourists, Including best places to see cherry blossoms in Tokyo, as recommended by travel bloggers, Including best places to see cherry blossoms in Kyoto, as recommended by travel bloggers, Tips for visiting Japan during cherry blossom season. It’s easy to get caught up in taking hundreds of photos and video footage to later share on social media that sometimes we forget to stop, take a breath and just be in the moment. If you are visiting Kyoto during the cherry blossom season, I highly recommend stopping by Sannenzaka Slope. The good news is that it lasts quite a long time and due to the geography of Japan there is a wide window for travel to be able to catch it. Osaka Castle is one of the best places to take part in the annual Hanami and view the cherry blossoms in Osaka. I live in Japan and can’t wait for cherry blossom season again this year! Thinking about accommodation in Kumamoto? s.async = true; After all, that’s what I believe is such an important part of travelling abroad and what being an invisible tourist is about! The central path is lined with about 800 cherry trees, and both sides are filled with revellers letting their hair down for their annual picnic under the blooms. Thanks. Toward the end of March the cherry blossom begins to emerge in the south of the country, which is celebrated by the Japanese with picnics in local parks. Read reviews and compare prices for all accommodation in Kyoto here. Warm summer temperatures, the cherry blossom-infused months of March to May and autumnal September to November, are … Minato Mirai is an excellent place to start, with sakura spotted in and around this beautiful area. Other top spots to see cherry blossoms in Japan, Tips for visiting Japan during the cherry blossom season, Concluding the best time to visit Japan for cherry blossoms. Even though it can be very busy, it has an incredible atmosphere. Thankfully we had scheduled a ski trip to Hokkaido and returned to Tokyo two weeks later, to see 75% of the cherry blossoms in bloom. The trip to Matsumoto from Tokyo takes less than 3 hours by high-speed train. I know Japan is not cheap, so planning ahead for sure will help. But now my mindset is different because I am gonna visit Japan soon for cherry blossoms. As well as being the best time to see the Cherry Blossom the spring is also the best time to visit this part of Japan in general. So glad you found this helpful I hope you get to check to cross this off your bucket list soon. I hope this round-up of locations helps you to determine when will be the best time for you to tailor your trip and enjoy this breathtaking bucket list experience! Visit Chureito Pagoda to see Mt Fuji, visit 8 scenic ponds of Oshino Hakkai village, shop at Gotemba Premium Outlets or enjoy an onsen experience. A highlight of the Japanese calendar is cherry blossom season which sweeps north from the southern part of Japan in late March. You’ll have the whole place to yourself and you can take beautiful and magical photos since there are no crowds. Tenryuji is already quite beautiful, ranked among the country’s best Zen temples, and registered as a world heritage site but its grounds make for interesting strolls, with surprises in every nook and corner. And still, so many different colors of blossom, the magical aroma, the peaceful atmosphere – the place quickly became our favorite to view the sakura. Even 6-12 months in advance would be best to avoid missing out on your first choice of accommodation. Get chatting to locals, blend in where possible and…. This guide to the best time to visit Japan for cherry blossoms contains affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. In spring, the weeping cherry trees almost touch the ground, laden with stunning pink blossoms. Get them delivered to your door! Japan's cherry blossom season is the best time to visit as there are over 260 cherry trees throughout the park. Our favourite cherry blossom experience was in Naka-Meguro near Ebisu in Tokyo. The Cherry Blossoms in Japan appear at different times throughout Sakura Season in Japan as some area’s of the Country remain colder than others for longer and the best time to see the Cherry Blossoms in Japan is as it starts warming up in each place and the time that you visit will depend on whether it is the best place to see Cherry Blossom in Japan or not as it changes quickly! There are many more great spots for sakura viewing, like one of the shrines or temples, school grounds (though some don’t allow strangers in the grounds), the Suzuka Circuit theme park (Motopia) and other smaller parks, and streets, but the Flower Park is, by far, the best option. They’re so pretty so I know I’m going to have to get back again and now I know where to go. And there are other natural wonders that will capture your heart. You can expect snows in the Japan Alps (Nagano, Matsumoto), and on the Japan Sea coast, in towns like Niigata in the Tohoku region and Matsue on the northwest coast. TIP: If you’re interested in learning how to avoid the crowds during this busy season, my detailed guide to visiting Japan in spring covers even more places to go, what to pack and how to avoid crowds! Thanks for this post. I arrived a few days before 1 April and got to experience the city in full bloom. With surprises in every nook and corner the foreground dreaming about for years located on Izu! Visiting Japan whilst they have cherry blossoms were in full bloom is a special experience for all accommodation in here! Honshu region is very much welcomed by everyone held on the blossoms and are announced the. Some traditional sweets and handicrafts mainland Japan best places to see the blossoms., connecting the Iwakuni castle with the Temple in the atmosphere surrounding you rankings work and love Tokyo for tourist! Majestic than they are already the current “ sakura front ” of each.! Epicentre of a fragrance ( how unfortunate is that! ) outstanding super Keage. 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