SAKURA – JAPAN
“Sakura” Cherry Blossoms in Japan
Forecast and where to see them
The cherry blossom (sakura) is Japan’s unofficial national flower. It has been celebrated for many centuries and holds a very prominent position in Japanese culture. There are many dozens of different cherry tree varieties in Japan, most of which bloom for just a couple of days in spring. The seasonal spectacle is celebrated with hanami (cherry blossom viewing) parties under the trees.
Below is a list of some of Japan’s most popular cherry blossom spots with the typical timing for best viewing in the average year.
Shinjuku Gyoen – Early April
features more than one thousand cherry trees of over a dozen varieties, including numerous early and late blooming trees. There are spacious lawn areas, and the atmosphere is calm and peaceful. Thanks to the early and late blooming trees, Shinjuku Gyoen is a good hanami destination for those who miss the main season by a week or two.
Ueno Park – Early April
One of Japan’s most crowded, noisy and popular spots for cherry blossom parties, Ueno Park features more than 1000 trees along the street leading towards the National Museum and around Shinobazu Pond. Ueno Park’s blossoms typically open 1-3 days ahead of the blossoms in other spots in the city.
Philosopher’s Path – Early April
The Philosopher’s Path is a pleasant path besides a canal that connects Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion) with the vicinity of Nanzenji. It is lined by hundreds of cherry trees.
Maruyama Park – Early April
Yasaka Shrine is Kyoto’s most popular public park for cherry blossom parties. Its centerpiece is a large weeping cherry tree that gets lit up in the evenings. Many food stands and temporarily constructed restaurants with tables under the trees are available.
Arashiyama – Early April
Arashiyama is a pleasant and busy district in the outskirts of Kyoto. Many cherry trees can be found around the Togetsukyo Bridge at the foot of Arashiyama mountains, especially in the riverside Nakanoshima Park
Kema Sakuranomiya Park – Early April
Nearly 5000 cherry trees line Okawa River for several kilometers. The seemingly endless rows of cherry trees can be viewed from a pleasant riverside promenade or from ships cruising the river. There are also lawn areas with a lot of space for picnics.
Osaka Castle – Early April
Over 4000 cherry trees are planted on the spacious grounds of Osaka Castle. A particularly nice place for a picnic is Nishinomaru Park in the castle’s western citadel with wide lawns, views of the castle tower and light up in the evening.
Osaka Mint Bureau– Mid April
More than 300 trees of over 100 varieties, mostly later blooming yae-zakura trees can be viewed on the premises of the Osaka Mint Bureauduring one week in mid April, about one week after the end of the regular cherry blossom season.
Hanamiyama Park – Mid to late April
Hanamiyama Park is set on the slopes of the hills southeast of central Fukushima City. The park provides a plethora of cherry trees with many different hues of pink. Obtain a map from the information booth which shows the walking trails and recommended picture-taking spots.
Shinobuyama Park – Mid to late April
Shinobuyama Park is a spacious public park on a forested hill north of central Fukushima City. At the top of the hill, there are cherry trees and observation decks with views over the city.