5 Must Visit Cherry Blossom Spots in Japan This Season

Cherry Blossom Spots in Japan

Cherry Blossoms, commonly known as ‘Sakura’, is a spectacular sight that you can witness in Japan. Sakura is a beautiful cherry tree flower which has a very subtle smell and can be seen in white and shades of pink. The months of March till May mark the spring season, during which the entire country gets filled with beautiful cherry blossoms. The locals as well as the tourists enjoy picnics under the cherry trees while admiring the picturesque landscape. There is even a local Japanese term for spending a peaceful time observing the cherry blossom flowers, that is, ‘Hanami’. 

A fascinating fact is that these flowers bloom at different times in different corners of the country. You can witness the first cherry blossom of the season in Okinawa, in February. 

To celebrate this merry season and the serene environment, Japan hosts a cherry blossom festival in every corner of the country. Hanami, the century-old cultural tradition, is celebrated with parties, picnics, Sake (Japanese rice wine), food stalls, and live music. The first cherry blossom festival takes place in Okinawa, whereas the last one takes place in Hokkaido. For those interested in experiencing this breathtaking event firsthand, Japan tour packages offer an excellent opportunity to immerse oneself in the beauty and culture of the cherry blossom season.
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Kenrokuen Garden, Kanazawa

Kenrokuen Garden is one of the most beautiful gardens and popular sites to witness cherry blossoms in Japan. This is a lush garden which has more than a thousand cherry blossom trees of different varieties. You will also get to see other huge trees, enhancing the overall beauty of the garden. 

There is a beautiful pond inside the garden, the Hisago-like Pond, where you can enjoy the reflection of the pink cherry blossoms. The Hanami Bashi bridge, meaning ‘Flower Viewing Bridge’ in Japanese, offers mesmerising views of the entire garden. This bridge is also a picture-perfect spot, where you can get aesthetically pleasing pictures of yourself. At night, the entire garden turns into a magical place when these flowers are illuminated with LED lights. A fascinating fact is that the entry fee for the Kenrokuen Garden is waived during peak time, allowing everyone to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

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Himeji Castle

If you plan your trip between March and April which is the peak cherry blossom time in Japan, then make sure to visit the Himeji Castle. The castle is surrounded by cherry blossom trees, making it one of the most popular Hanami spots in the city. On the same ground, you can see over a thousand trees that produce a mix of pink and white cherry blossoms. This popular attraction not only attracts locals but a large number of tourists visiting this place to witness its blissful surroundings. 
If you wish you can admire the beautiful scenery from outside for free or purchase an entry ticket to the castle. For a wholesome experience, you can explore the castle as well as get a panoramic view of a field that is full of white and pink cherry blossoms.

Philosopher’s Path, Kyoto

Another must-visit site to enjoy cherry blossoms in Japan is the Philosopher’s Path in Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan. The blooming season in Kyoto starts from the end of March till early April. It is a scenic path, next to a canal, which is lined up with a hundred cherry trees. These cherry blossom trees provide shade as well as a scenic view to pedestrians. 

The beauty of the path is enhanced by the Shishigatani canal which connects Ginkakuji and Nanzenji, two eminent temples of Kyoto. While walking on the path, you will also get to spot some shops and cafes. You can also take a break and enjoy a cup of coffee at a cafe while admiring the gorgeous views. It is a truly memorable experience to wander along this romantic path with your loved ones, under the shade of the beautiful pink cherry blossoms.

Ueno Park, Tokyo

Ueno Park is one of the most popular attractions of Tokyo and the most lively spot for celebrating cherry blossom festivals. It has more than a thousand cherry trees, along with a National Museum, Ueno Zoo and the National Museum of Western Art. Here, the cherry blossom season starts in late March and goes on till early April. This park hosts the Ueno Cherry Blossom Festival which is the biggest as well as the most crowded festival in all of Japan. Nearly two million people, including the locals and the tourists, gather on the streets to be a part of this occasion. 

The real celebration of the festival starts at night when everyone comes together to dance, eat, drink and party. At night, the locals hang golden lanterns on the trees, right below the pink flower bushes which gives a stunning illusion of glowing flowers.

Shinjuku Gyoen, Tokyo

One of the best Hanami spots in Japan is Shinjuku Gyoen, a national garden in Tokyo which has over a thousand cherry blossom trees. You can also admire the 68 different varieties of cherry trees, some of which have a different blooming time. Some of the most beautiful varieties that you can see include Kanzakura, Somei, Ichiyo, Kanzan, and Baigoji Juzukakezakura. 

If you visit Tokyo in April, the peak month for cherry blossoms, you will be mesmerised to see the roads covered with a blanket of soft pink petals. You can casually take a stroll under the cherry blossom trees and soak in the magnificent views. This garden has a huge lawn, charming lake and lush garden, ideal for Hanami spotting and spending precious time with your loved ones. Moreover, there is a greenhouse with tropical temperatures and a cosy cafe inside the garden that you can explore.
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