Thinking about accommodation in Yokohama? It’s no surprise that visitor numbers to Japan during this season have rapidly increased from around 900,000 visitors in 2013 to 2.9 MILLION in 2019! My favourite spot was around the playground, but a little ways apart so it wasn’t full of people. Thinking about accommodation in Kyoto? The large temple complex features a huge wooden hondo (main hall), a pond, and many cherry trees throughout. It is most famous for the deer that roam the parkland along with numerous temples and shrines. The dates of the Cherry Blossom can vary throughout the island meaning you can start off in the largest city, Fukuoka, and then travel south through the island and get to catch it again in the dramatic city of Kagoshima. 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. I am much the same as you for wanting to avoid crowds, Leigh! Kawazu Cherry trees blossom for longer so you have an extra month to see them. Even if it is your first time to the country it is straightforward to link it with a tour of Honshu as there are direct trains from Tokyo to Hakodate as well as domestic flights between most cities on both islands. Yoshino is Japan's most famous cherry-blossom destination, and for a few weeks in early to mid-April, the blossoms of thousands of cherry trees form a floral carpet gradually ascending the mountainsides. The Somei Yoshino cherry tree, a variety developed in the last century, lends a mysterious beauty to the region. Thanks for this post. In Suzuka-shi there’s this park called Flower Park. We visited Kyoto in the last week of March. Hirosaki Castle Park – … The slopes are also lined with shops selling some traditional sweets and handicrafts. If it is your second time to Japan you can concentrate solely on Hokkaido and hire a car to explore the whole island. The north island of Hokkaido can expect their blossoms to flourish around late April – early May. When it comes to sakura season in Japan, it’s never too early to book your accommodation to avoid disappointment! As I pointed out earlier, visitor numbers to Japan almost tripled in the short timeframe from 2013 to 2019! Kawazu is located four hours south of Tokyo (or a two and a half hour train ride) in the Izu Peninsula. s.async = true; I haven’t been to a lot of these places. If they did, the air certainly would smell incredible! TIP: We highly recommend Koyasan for enjoying cherry tree blossoms – it has fresh mountain air, beautiful temples, and many hikes. It’s truly one-of-a-kind. There was a cherry festival on both sides of the bridge. Contributed by: Thais, World Trip Diaries Only on very special occasions do visitors get to catch a glimpse of the pretty extended gardens and the royal buildings that hide behind the towering walls and fortified gates. 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! Kyoto has dozens upon dozens of incredible places to view cherry blossoms! Thinking about accommodation in Kumamoto? In 2020 full blossom in Tokyo was 22 March and Kyoto it was 30 March. The area could a little bit off the beaten track, but I had wonderful experience with the cherry blossoms during late March – from the historic Himeji Castle, iconic Korakuen Garden, to world-famous Itsukushima Shrine. Contributed by: Paula, Truly Expat Japan is 3,008 km (1,869 mi) long and has both subarctic and subtropical climates. Need more inspiration for Japan? Contributed by: Alexander, Destinavo The best viewing time is about 5–7 days after the first bloom of cherry blossoms. The locals are all out drinking and having a good time under the pale pink canopy of the blossoms. Thank you for sharing it with us. We haven’t realized until then that Koysan can also be one of the top places to watch sakura in Japan. 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. Reprinting, republishing or copying of any content on this site, whether whole or in part, is strictly prohibited. The best time to visit Japan is during early spring when the short-lived cherry blossoms are blooming but before or after the busy stretch of Golden Week holidays. The blossom is spectacular here with stunning views out across the Inland Sea. It was something we had been dreaming about for years. While there has been damage to parts of the complex from the 2016 earthquake in this region you can still see the beautiful blossoms around the castle and enjoy a picnic in one of the nearby parks. Contributed by: Smita, Smita Bhattacharya Contributed by: Jennifer, The Rainbow Route We headed to Kyoto hoping for better weather and were greeted by the sun on our visit to Nara. We can tailor-make holidays to any of these destinations and give you time in some of the best places to enjoy the Cherry Blossom in full bloom. The sakura trees in Suzuka usually flower in early to mid-April. Contributed by: Fae, FaeCelinee I can also help get your itinerary planning off to a good start by sharing my tips for planning a trip to Japan and more helpful info so you can make the most of your experience! Thinking about accommodation in Matsumoto? Read reviews and compare prices for all accommodation in Kumamoto here. The Kansai region is an insanely popular place to see cherry blossoms in Japan. TIP: Check out the many food stalls and game booths, enjoy a bento box and have a picnic on the riverside, the beauty and tranquility of the surrounding will make your day! Being further south the weather is typically warmer here than in Honshu. You can find my full Japan archive here, including videos and itineraries detailing how travelling The Invisible Tourist way at all destinations is the most efficient option to make use of your precious travel time. What beautiful photos! Thinking about accommodation in Osaka? 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. For hundreds of years, it has symbolised the extreme fragility and the beauty of life. In particular, Matsumoto Castle is simply magical. 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. There is a festival held in Nago Central Park to celebrate and this is a fantastic place to view the Cherry Blossom with over 20,000 trees located within it. Love getting off the beaten path and have some extra time for a day trip from Tokyo? There is so much to see on Honshu that you can spend your entire time here – be that 10 days or three weeks. The cherry trees have a unique blossoming time that is different than other cherry trees found around 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. There are other places, such as Yamashita Park and Kamonyama Park, where you can wander around aimlessly taking endless photos of these beautiful flowers without the distraction of thousands of people to duck and dive. Love the photos. There’s a grand entrance gate and the stairs up to the complex are lined with cherry trees. However the stunning Sakura or Cherry Blossom is possibly what it is most famous for and the first question that most people ask is when is the best time to visit to see it in full bloom? Let’s begin with the the Kanto region. Thanks so much, Jillian. The cherry trees here are known as Kawazuzakura whereas others are known as. You can combine sakura with staying at a temple and you’ll have a memorable experience! Thinking about accommodation in Kawazu? Wow! The problem is everyone in Tokyo seems to agree. A professional language hoarder, she can usually be found burying herself in travel books and Wikipedia articles. Thinking about accommodation in Matsumoto? The cherry blossom season starts around 21 March in Osaka, and enter full bloom around 1 April, which is also when I visited the city for Cherry blossom. he 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. 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! This year it was held on the last weekend in January and there are dance performances and parades taking place throughout the festival. Even the Imperial Family takes part in this yearly celebration as you can see by this special opening. TIP: Bring a mat, a bento box, and a thermos filled with tea for a full experience. Every year is different when it comes to the … The weather starts to get milder in March and blossom on the plum trees marks the beginning of spring. To dodge the huge spring crowds there are two options to see the Cherry Blossom. One is the colourful fall foliage of the cherry trees and lastly the sakura season which drives all Japanese crazy. With the temple in the background, they look even more majestic than they are already. Generally speaking, the best time to visit the Chubu region for cherry blossoms is early March to mid-April. Most advertising suggests Spring is the best time to visit Japan, it is the peak tourist season too. 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. 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. Third pin image credit: Pixabay Best Time to Visit Japan for Cherry Blossom Viewing. The periods between March to May and October to November have the best weather. Himeji Castle is one of the most beautiful scenes you’ll see during your time in Japan, and it only looks even more impressive during cherry blossom season. One can even sleep in the traditional rooms in the temples themselves and take part in the morning prayers. Himeji town is fun to wander around, explore and shop in. 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. I may receive a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. Her dreams? So awesome! So glad you found this helpful I hope you get to check to cross this off your bucket list soon. With the temple in the background, they look even more majestic than they are already. If it’s your first time viewing the cherry blossoms – known as hanami in Japanese – then Ueno Park is the place to go with hundreds of hanami picnics or parties happening under more than 1,000 cherry blossom trees that exist all throughout the park. We first heard of Koya Mountain and the town of Koyasan from some heavy illustrated books about Japan. Thanks for sharing and all the location suggestions too. Generally speaking, the best time to see cherry blossoms in the Kansai region ranges from late March to mid-April, and on occasion late-April depending on the altitude of the spot. As well as being loaded with useful tips, they each cover things to do, costs, getting around, what to eat, recommendations for where to stay and much more! The best timing for viewing the beautiful pink colours is spring, somewhere between March and May, depending on the location. Australian-based Alyse has been travelling "The Invisible Tourist Way" for twelve years and hopes to encourage fellow travellers to do so, too. They really are, Nicky! The blossoms are extra large and a very deep shad of pink in Kawazu. 2017: Start 17th March/Full 24th March. Cherry blossom time is festival time, but be warned – … To me personally, the last stage of the cherry blossoms is the most poetic, when the flowers turn white and shed slowly, falling gently to the ground, carried by the wind. Stunning photos! Stand on the small bridges to fully appreciate the full length of the walk, fully encapsulated by the stunning sakura. Our favourite cherry blossom experience was in Naka-Meguro near Ebisu in Tokyo. 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. 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. The exact dates vary depending on the blossoms and are announced on the official website of the Imperial Palace Household agency. 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. Thinking about accommodation in Himeji? Visit Joren no Taki waterfall, enjoy strawberry picking, stroll along the cherry blossom-lined river. The exact dates vary depending on the blossoms and are announced on the official website of the Imperial Palace Household agency. Himeji Castle’s other name, White Heron Castle, comes from its brilliant white exterior. During spring, there are many other beautiful flowers around the park too, and they’re also worth a stop. Within the Chugoku region, the Sanyo region is an area in the south of Honshu covering cities like Hiroshima, Okayama, and Miyajima. Thanks for the advice! As an Amazon Associate The Invisible Tourist earns from qualifying purchases. Making me very excited! Read reviews and compare prices for all accommodation in Matsumoto here. Thinking about accommodation in Nara? Tailored especially for first-time visitors, these are my tried-and-tested personal itineraries I used during my own trips to Japan. This guide to the best time to visit Japan for cherry blossoms contains affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. The view of Matsushima Bay from the observation deck over the cherry blossoms in front of Byakui Kannon Temple is outstanding. 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. For example, the blossoming of nemophila flowers, which turn Hitachi Park in Ibaraki into a sea of blue blossoms. Its garden houses a central pond, surrounded by manicured bushes, impressive rock formations, pine trees and the lush. Sakura or cherry blossom season is one of the most popular times of the year in Japan. Here, travel bloggers reveal the best places to see cherry blossoms in Tokyo, and include a few tips for making the most of your encounter. The earlier you can book, the better. One of best places in Japan to enjoy the famous cherry blossoms is the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden in Tokyo. After all, that’s what I believe is such an important part of travelling abroad and what being an invisible tourist is about! Booking.com If you’re looking for accommodation in Tokyo, I highly recommend Dormy Inn Premium, Shibuya. Note: The times to visit are based on recommendations featured on www.japan-guide.com. One of the best things about going to smaller towns to do your hanami is that there are often enormous parks with plenty of sakura but none of the crowds of the big cities. If you suffer from vertigo or simply don’t like heights skip the tower and walk around the moat lined with cherry trees for beautiful views of the castle and the scent of the flowers. When the cherry blossoms start blooming around the last week The best time to visit Japan for cherry blossoms is towards the end of winter to mid-spring for the majority of the country (late March through to early May). Depending on your destinations, the best time to see cherry blossoms can vary. The largest and most popular island of Honshu has some of the best places to see the Cherry Blossom. Japan’s Cherry Blossom – January to February. Even though it can be very busy, it has an incredible atmosphere. in a perfect location near Dotonbori and Namba Station! As always, I only recommend a product or service that I genuinely love and use myself! Contributed by: Annie, Off Goes Annie The cherry blossoms usually ... Fuji Five Lakes region. If you’re looking for accommodation in Tokyo, I highly recommend. 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. Nara can easily be reached by train from both Kyoto and Osaka or you can stay here for a few nights. Spotlights on the cherry trees and the castle add a touch of romance and glamour. The area could a little bit off the beaten track, but I had wonderful experience with the cherry blossoms during late March – from the historic Himeji Castle, iconic Korakuen Garden, to world-famous Itsukushima Shrine. © 2021 Bamboo Travel - All rights reserved worldwide. I'm all about efficient, invisible tourism and would love to inspire you by sharing my tips, tricks and detailed personal itineraries from my adventures around the world. var s = d.createElement(sc), p = d.getElementsByTagName(sc)[0]; p.parentNode.insertBefore(s,p); I may earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase and if you do, thanks for your support! 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. We were lucky enough to head to Japan in March last year and spent 2 full days viewing sakura during the cherry blossom season. However, the Philosopher’s Path remains comparatively quiet due to its large area. To escape the crowds, head to Yoshida Hill in northeastern Kyoto where you’ll find a number of Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines (all with free entry) and very few visitors. Even 6-12 months in advance would be best to avoid missing out on your first choice of accommodation. The view of the bridge is even better framed by the blossoming cherries. The castle park has more than 4000 varieties of cherry trees planted within its premises. Glad you found this helpful . Thinking about accommodation in Kumamoto? Ahh October would have been so lovely anyway, Melissa! Tokyo counts many splendid places to see the cherry blossoms but the exclusivity to walk along Inui Street, one of the main streets on the Imperial grounds, makes this one thing to add on your bucket list of your upcoming Japan trip. Osaka Castle is one of the best places to take part in the annual Hanami and view the cherry blossoms in Osaka. TIME YOUR VISIT TO SEE THE GORGEOUS CHERRY BLOSSOMS IN JAPAN When is the best time to visit Japan? Typically, the blossoms come alive in Japan’s south first as the climate is milder, before gradually creeping up north towards major cities such as Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo. I personally loved my stay at the amazing. Be sure to avoid doing these things that are contributing to overtourism in Japan to have the most enjoyable trip. Kanto is also home to Japan’s second largest city after Tokyo, Yokohama. Read more in my 3 Days in Osaka Itinerary + Nara Day Trip guide, or I highly recommend Cross Hotel Osaka in a perfect location near Dotonbori and Namba Station! And there are other natural wonders that will capture your heart. Visit Japan in early spring (mid-late February) for the blooms of the outstanding super … s.src = u + '?v=' + (+new Date()); We all know and love Tokyo for the numerous spots that you can view the infamous Cherry Blossoms. It’s an amazing sight and one of the most popular spots for cherry blossom viewing in Tokyo. 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. Kyoto. Its garden houses a central pond, surrounded by manicured bushes, impressive rock formations, pine trees and the lush Arashiyama Mountains. Everywhere I went, the scenic spots were filled with blooming sakura – and the best part was, many of the lesser-known destinations were less crowded than places like Kyoto or Tokyo! Our top five places to see the Cherry Blossom in Japan. Japan's cherry blossom season is the best time to visit as there are over 260 cherry trees throughout the park. But trying to get a photo is almost impossible due to the abundance of people in and around these areas. Unfortunately, we were a bit late – at the end of April, so half of the trees had passed the blossom. 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! For the main tourist areas (Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima) cherry blossom season is usually from the end of March to the beginning of April. 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. I arrived a few days before 1 April and got to experience the city in full bloom. Japan’s massive capital city is a huge draw card for visitors with many different places to experience the sakura. We started at Takenaka Inari Shrine where a row of red torii gates are framed with white cherry blossoms—such a classic Japanese image. If you want to make the most of your next travel experience, learn how you can 'be invisible' here! Come spring, the 54ha park in Tokyo becomes the epicentre of a crowded, noisy and wild hanami party. There are cherry trees throughout the city but one of the best places to see them is along the river. 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. We use cookies to ensure the best user experience and to help our website run effectively. Be sure to stop for moment and take in the atmosphere surrounding you! 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! })(document, 'script', '//aff.bstatic.com/static/affiliate_base/js/flexiproduct.js'); Featured image credit: Pixabay Copyright © 2017-2021 The Invisible Tourist. Places to See Cherry Blossoms in Japan. Visiting Japan in March. Also, I clicked over to your post on how to be an invisible tourist and I LOVED it–all SO true . Best Cherry Blossom Spots In Japan How do these rankings work? 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 cherry blossoms were just starting to bloom in other places such as Arashiyama and Kiyomizu-Dera Temple. In Hokkaido, you want to get there in May for the full array. Contributed by: Wendy, Pint Size Gourmets Himeji castle is a short walk from Himeji station, which is served by the Japan Rail bullet trains. When it comes to sakura season in Japan, it’s never too early to book your accommodation to avoid disappointment! The centrally located and impressive castle is a key landmark and attraction in Kumamoto. Even though it can be very busy, it has an incredible atmosphere. It’s free to enter the castle park, and the only admission fee is if you want to go up into the Osaka castle. Contributed by: Sylvia, Wapiti Travel Kawazu is one of the first places in Japan to see the cherry blossoms. I will not deny these areas of Tokyo are just amazing (I lived 1 street away from Meguro River). January in Japan is one of the best times to beat the tourist crowds. When is the best time to see cherry blossom in Japan? Japan is well known for so many things: the food, beautiful temples, Sumo Wrestling to name just a few. Kyoto is also another … The rules that govern the best time to visit Japan as a whole — early spring when the cherry blossoms are blooming, before late April — apply to Tokyo as well. Starting in January in Okinawa, but at their best in late March to April in the Honshu region. You can also follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, TikTok or join me on Instagram for more travel tips and inspiration! You can read my review of Dormy Inn and 3 other hotels I have personally enjoyed my stay in my detailed 6 Days in Tokyo Itinerary. At Gotemba Premium Outlets or enjoy an onsen experience popular island of Miyajima just off the coast Hiroshima... 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