On this page, I will introduce sightseeing spots with beautiful cherry blossoms. Because Japanese people plant cherry blossoms here and there, it is very difficult to decide the best area. On this page, I will introduce you to the areas where travelers from foreign countries can enjoy Japanese emotions with cherry blossoms.
Please also refer to the following articles for Japanese cherry blossoms.
Table of Contents
- Best Cherry Blossom Spots in Japan
- Hirosaki Castle (Hirosaki City, Aomori Prefecture)
- Hanamiyama Park (Fukushima City)
- Ueno Park (Tokyo)
- Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden (Tokyo)
- Chidorigafuchi (Tokyo)
- Takato Castle Ruin Park (Ina City, Nagano Prefecture)
- Philosopher’s Path (Kyoto)
- Maruyama Park (Kyoto)
- Kema Sakuranomiya Park (Osaka)
- Osaka Castle (Osaka)
- Mt.Yoshino (Yoshino Cho, Nara Prefecture)
- Himeji Castle (Himeji City, Hyogo Prefecture)
- Miyajima Island (Hatsukaichi City, Hiroshima Prefecture)
Best Cherry Blossom Spots in Japan
Japanese really like cherry blossoms. In Japan, cherry blossoms bloom from the end of March to the beginning of April except cold areas such as Hokkaido and Tohoku area. As the cherry blossoms are scattered soon, the Japanese will lay a seat under the cherry tree as soon as the cherry blossoms, sitting on top of it and holding a party. If you visit Japan when the cherry blossoms are in bloom, you will find sight of such parties here and there. Cherry blossoms start to bloom in order from the south of Japan. Cherry blossoms in the northern part of the Tohoku region and Hokkaido are in late April to early May. So, if you come to Japan, you should go to the region where cherry blossoms are blooming at that time. Please try chasing the cherry blossoms!
Hirosaki is a very beautiful city in the northern part of the Tohoku region. In the center of this town there is Hirosaki Castle, which is famous for its cherry blossoms. When the cherry blossoms bloom, the whole castle is covered with cherry blossoms. I like cherry blossoms here most.
Hirosaki Castle is now also called Hirosaki Park. The cherry blossom festival is held from late April to early May every year here. Some of the cherry blossoms bloom in the middle of April, so the light up will be done from mid April to night.
Cherry blossoms in Hirosaki Castle are much slower than Tokyo and Osaka. If you come to Japan after mid-April, I recommend you to add Hirosaki Castle to your itinerary.
For more detailed information please refer to the following site.
Hanamiyama Park (Fukushima City)
Hanamiyama is in Fukushima prefecture in Tohoku district. Although it is a small mountain, when spring comes every year, plums, magnolia, cherry blossoms, peaches and other flowers bloom one after another.
Representative cherry blossoms named “Someiyoshino” bloom from the middle of April to the end of April every year. However, cherry blossoms other than Someiyoshino bloom in order from the beginning of April to the beginning of May. So at Hanamiyama, you can enjoy the cherry blossoms for a relatively long time.
In Hanamiyama, planting has been continued for nearly 100 years to sell flower trees by local farmers. It began to be open to the public about 60 years ago and then became known as a cherry blossoming spot. The spectacle where the whole mountain is wrapped in beautiful flowers in spring is wonderful. To Hanamiyama, a direct bus will be operated from JR Fukushima Station from the beginning of April until around April 22. The bus takes approximately 20 minutes. Just crowding, it may take more time.
Ueno Park (Tokyo)
Ueno Park is a big park representing Tokyo and is about 530,000 square meters in size. There are zoos and museums in this park. And in the spring, nearly 1000 cherry blossoms are blooming and it is crowded with so many people. If you come to Ueno Park when the cherry blossoms are in bloom, you can also observe the Japanese people who talk funny under the cherry tree. In Ueno Park, cherry blossoms bloom every year from late March to early April.
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden (Tokyo)
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is a park near Shinjuku which is the busiest downtown area in Tokyo. Shinjuku is a district with many buildings, but when you enter Shinjuku Gyoen, the beautiful modern Western garden welcomes you. This park was once a garden of the Imperial family. Now, many Tokyo citizens rest in under the trees in the park with more than 10,000.
There are about 65 types of cherry trees in Shinjuku Gyoen, about 1100 trees. There are cherry blossoms of the type that start earlier in the middle of February, and some types of cherry blossoms blooming until the end of April. So, in Shinjuku Gyoen, you can enjoy cherry blossoms for quite a long time. A representative modern cherry tree “Someiyoshino” blooms from late March to early April. “Ichiyo”, the main cherry tree of Shinjuku Gyoen, will bloom from the middle of April to the end of April. Ichiyo is a very voluminous cherry tree. If you enjoy cherry blossoms at Shinjuku Gyoen, I recommend you to watch this Ichiyo.
Chidorigafuchi is a moat on the northwest side of the Imperial Palace. It was built in the 17th century when building Edo Castle (now the Imperial Palace). Chidorigafuchi is a cherry-blossom landmark representing Tokyo. Here, cherry blossoms will bloom from late March to early April. At that time, about 260 cherry blossoms will bloom in the 700 meters long walking path. It is very beautiful, as the cherry blossoms bloom densely. You can board a boat at that moat. The cherry blossoms you see from the boat are also splendid.
Takato Castle Ruin Park (Ina City, Nagano Prefecture)
Takato Castle Ruins Park has about 1,500 cherry blossoms called “Takato-Higanzakura”. This cherry tree is pinkier than ordinary cherry blossoms. The old cherry blossoms blooming in castle ruins are very powerful.
In the 16th century Takato Castle was under the control of the famous ruler called Shingen TAKEDA. When he passed away and his child Morinobu NISHINA was the castle owner, this castle was attacked by Nobunaga ODA who had almost unified Japan. Morinobu was upset after fighting. It is said that the cherry blossoms of Takato Castle were stained red with his blood.
Takato – Higanzakura blooms from the beginning of April to the end of April. Recently, due to the effect of global warming, it may have peaked in early April.
For more detailed information please refer to the following site. Although this site is written in Japanese, you can read it in English if you choose the language of Google translation in the upper right corner of the site.
Philosopher’s Path (Kyoto)
On the east side of Kyoto city, there is Kyoto University which is the leading national university in Japan. There used to be a famous philosopher named Kitaro NISHIDA at this university. It is said that He did a stroll well when he thinks. It is this “Philosopher’s Path” (Tetsugaku-no-michi) that he liked walking.
Philosopher’s Path is about 2 km from Ginkakuji in the east of Kyoto to Nanzenji south of it. A small river (hydrophobic) flows beside this road. A lot of cherry blossoms bloom around the road and stream around the end of March to the beginning of April.
I like Philosopher’s Path and I often walk. Kyoto is very crowded during the cherry blossom season and autumn leaves season. This road is also crowded in the spring, but tourists walk quietly like philosophers. Philosopher’s Path is a nice trail that such a walk is suitable.
Maruyama park is a large park of about 90,000 square meters spreading in the back of Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto city. Yasaka Shrine and Maruyama Park are one of the most familiar places for Kyoto citizens. At the weekend, many citizens enjoy walking here. I often drop in at this park when I go to Gion etc. Recently, there are also many foreign tourists. Some of them came with beautiful kimonos of rental.
Maruyama park is famous for its cherry blossoms. In the center of Maruyama Park, there are stunning cherry blossoms like the picture above, and it will be lighted up in the evening. There are 700 cherry blossom trees in this park, and when cherry blossoms bloom a lot of people enjoy “Hanami” (a party to appreciate cherry blossoms). Cherry blossoms at Maruyama Park bloom from the end of March to the beginning of April every year.
Kema Sakuranomiya Park (Osaka)
Osaka has many rivers and is said to be the city of water. Kema Sakuranomiya Park lasts about 4.2 kilometers to the riverbed of Okawa River near Osaka Castle. Many Osaka citizens rest in this park and enjoy jogging etc. There are 4,800 cherry trees lined up here. Cherry blossoms will bloom from the end of March to the beginning of April. Under these cherry blossom trees, a lot of people lay a seat, sit on it and open Hanami (cherry blossom viewing). To go to Kema Sakuranomiya Park, it is convenient to get off from JR Sakuranomiya Station or Keihan · Metro Temmabashi Station.
Osaka Castle is a huge castle that became the center of politics of Japan at the end of the 16th century. It was destroyed by the Tokugawa shogunate in Edo (now Tokyo) in the 17th century, so the remaining moats and stone walls were built after that. The castle tower was rebuilt in 1931.
Osaka Castle is now open as a park. There are about 3000 cherry trees in Osaka Castle. Cherry blossoms bloom every year from the end of March to the beginning of April. It will be lighted up at night. At this time, it is crowded with many people. There is an observation deck on the 8th floor of the castle tower, and the view of the cherry blossoms from this observation deck is superb.
Mt. Yoshino is a mountain with an altitude of 350 meters which is located about 1 hour 40 minutes south from Kyoto Station by Kintetsu Express. It was very famous as a cherry blossom spot since ancient times. There are about 30,000 cherry blossoms. Many of them are cherry blossoms of the type “Shiro-yamazakura”. The cherry blossoms of this variety are very long-lived, and the age often exceeds hundreds of years. From the beginning of April every year, cherry blossoms start to bloom in order from the foot of the mountain.
The cherry tree in the lower part of the mountain is called “Shita-senbon” (this means 1000 cherry trees below). And the cherry blossoms in the middle of the mountain are “Naka - senbon” (1,000 cherry trees in the middle), the cherry blossoms on the top of the mountain are “Ue – senbon” (1,000 cherry blossoms above), and the cherry blossoms in the back are “Oku – senbon “(1,000 cherry blossoms in the back). The sight that the mountain is covered with beautiful cherry blossoms is spectacular. Mt. Yoshino has many Ryokan (Japanese style hotels), so if you stay in Mt. Yoshino, stay at those Ryokan.
Himeji Castle (Himeji City, Hyogo Prefecture)
Himeji city is about 50 minutes west of Kyoto by bullet train. Himeji Castle is the most popular castle in Japan. The old castle tower, the gate, Ishigaki etc. are left intact, and it is registered as a world heritage. The castle is white and very elegant. If you come to Japan, I recommend you to sightsee Himeji Castle.
And Himeji Castle is also known as a cherry blossom spot. In Himeji Castle, about 1,000 cherry trees bloom in early April. Many cherry blossoms make beautiful contrast with white castle towers and white walls. Light up is done in the evening.
Miyajima Island (Hatsukaichi City, Hiroshima Prefecture)
Miyajima Island in Hiroshima is a popular tourist attraction for foreign tourists alongside Fushimi Inari shrine in Kyoto. In Miyajima there is a beautiful shrine that is also registered as a world cultural heritage Itsukushima Shinto shrine. There are nearly 2,000 cherry blossoms in the precincts of this shrine and its surroundings. These cherry blossoms will bloom from the end of March to the beginning of April every year. By contrasting cherry blossoms and shrines, you can enjoy spectacular scenery.
Thank you for reading to the end.