Cherry Blossom Season or Sakura (the Japanese word for Cherry Blossom) is Japan’s most iconic and most popular time of year. I’d seen photos online of Cherry Blossom Season in Japan for years and after visiting Japan for 2.5 weeks at the end of March and start of April I can see why this is such a popular time of year to visit as the Cherry Blossoms really do bloom all sorts of beautiful pink colours during this season like in no other Country!
I was lucky enough to see Cherry Blossoms throughout the whole of my Japan trip, from my first days in Osaka, all the way to my last days in Tokyo.
The Cherry Blossoms in Japan appear at different times throughout Sakura Season 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.
You can keep an eye on when the Cherry Blossoms will bloom in Japan on this Sakura Forecast here which will also help you plan your trip to Japan around Cherry Blossom Sakura Season. Although remember that these dates are not fixed and mother nature will warm up when she wants to!
I didn’t get to see all of Japan on my backpacking Japan trip for 2.5 weeks but I did see a fair few Cities with beautiful Cherry Blossoms, so if you are planning your trip to Japan around Cherry Blossom / Sakura Season, make sure you fit these places in your Japan Itinerary to see the best Cherry Blossom.
Osaka Castle Park blooms really well in Cherry Blossom season. There are lots of tree’s up near the Castle in the Castle Grounds but also in the Park below.
I saw a cornered off section of the park which was filled with tree’s with a view of the Castle behind, I believe there is a charge to visit these.
If you want somewhere where you can have a picnic in a park under a ceiling of Cherry Blossoms, Hiroshima Peace Park is the place to go.
The Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima is a beautiful park anyway but in Spring the banks of the River are filled with Cherry Blossoms and so are the grassy areas which are perfect for picnics.
As you can see in the photo below people are still wrapped up as Cherry Blossom season isn’t that warm in Japan which in my opinion is a negative of visiting.
This post will help you on What to Wear in Japan during Cherry Blossom Season!
The best Cherry Blossoms I saw in Japan were on Miyajima Island and it helped I was there on a perfect Spring Day. I took a day trip from Hiroshima to Miyajima Island using my JR Pass and there were so many spots well within walking distance of the Ferry Terminal where the Cherry Blossoms were in bloom, especially around the Five Story Pagoda and the small stream that runs through the town area of Miyajima island.
If you want the iconic view of a Japanese Castle and Cherry Blossom, you need to visit Himeji Castle in the Spring.
There are many Cherry Blossom tree’s in the Castle Grounds which you can get artistic with to get the perfect Cherry Blossom Castle Photo, or you can enjoy the Cherry Blossoms down on the River surrounding the Castle in Spring too.
Note that although it was very pretty, the Castle was horribly busy! This is just something you have to deal with in Japan in Cherry Blossom Season is the huge crowds.
Kyoto is probably the best place to see Cherry Blossoms in Japan and the most beautiful as the City is already beautiful without them, but with them it is a sea of Pink!
Gion is a popular place to see the Cherry Blossoms in Kyoto and is the true image of what you’ll think Japan will look like in Sakura Season with the wooden merchant buildings, people walking around in Kimono’s and Cherry Blossom hanging over the streets.
I saw a Cherry Blossom tunnel when getting off at Gion Subway station which was a very popular place for Cherry Blossom photo shoots in Gion, Kyoto!
Walking the Philosophers Walk along the Canal is absolutely beautiful and a must do in Kyoto in Spring to see all of the Cherry Blossoms. The path ways are covered with Cherry Blossom arches and on a beautiful Sunny day it is simply stunning.
Nara Park is a huge park most famous for the deer but when you visit Nara in Spring you’ll also be welcomed by many Cherry Blossom trees in the park area giving you the chance to have a picnic under the Cherry Blossoms in Japan.
The best place to see the Cherry Blossom in Tokyo is in the park’s of Tokyo and this will also give you the chance to have a picnic under a sea of pink Cherry Blossoms. Good Parks to visit in Tokyo in Spring to see the Cherry Blossom are Yoyogi Park and Shinjuku Park in the popular areas of Harajuku and Shinjuku. You could easily visit both of these in one day.
Another good park to see the Cherry Blossoms in in Tokyo is Ueno Imperial Grant Park and Tokyo Gaien National Garden near the Imperial Palace.
I got to Tokyo just as the Cherry Blossom were dissappeating, I still saw bits of pink but not as much as the week before when it was fully in bloom. To see some amazing pictures of Tokyo in Bloom have a look at my friend Abbie’s post here from when she was in Tokyo in Sakura.
I hope that helps you plan your trip tp Japan in the Spring to see the best of the Cherry Blossoms!
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My Name's Ellie Quinn.
I'm a complete travel addict and have been since I took my first backpacking trip in 2010.
Since then I've visited 50+ Countries on various trips! I created this blog to share my travel tips to help you travel better!
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