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The Best Places to See Cherry Blossoms in Japan

Mt. Fuji and Pagoda in Spring

Discover the best places to see cherry blossoms in Japan, along with the best time to see them.

Cherry blossom festivals are one of Japan’s most beloved cultural traditions. Every year, during festival season, visitors come from all over the world to see the cherry blossoms in spring, and Instagram overflows with stunning pictures and videos of cherry trees blossoming.

Best time to see cherry blossoms in Japan

Because cherry blooms dependend on the weather, the exact time the cherry blossoms emerge varies year to year. Each year, travelers wait for the sakura (cherry) trees to burst into bloom, and descend on the blooms.

Most festivals take place between March and May, and they’re a wonderful place to take in more than just cherry blossoms. Most festivals feature live music, food, craft stalls and tea ceremonies beneath the blossoms.

sakura park Japan cherry blossoms in full bloom

To get a rough estimate of when the cherry blossoms start, take a look at the last five year’s festival dates, and find an average of that to estimate the time of the cherry trees blossoms.

Best Places to See Cherry Blossoms in Japan

Cherry blossoms are a symbol of renewal and hope, and the coming of spring. Once you have your visa for Japan in hand, follow our tips for the best cities to see cherry blossoms.

While you can see pretty blossoms at many parks and even along boulevards, several cities and small towns are especially well known for their cherry blossoms. For the most part, these cities have festivals that accompany when the cherry trees come into bloom.

Here are our picks for the top places to see cherry blossoms in Japan, along with the top cherry blossom festivals and viewing spots in Sakura season.

Yoshino, Kansai

Yoshino is known as the Cherry Blossom Capital of Japan. Small town Yoshino gets quite busy during cherry blossom season. Because it draws thousands of visitors, and there are a limited number of places to stay, accommodation is generally booked out well in advance.

Sunset over cherry trees forest in blossom at Yoshino Nara province

 Luckily it’s possible to visit the Yoshino blossoms on a day trip from Nara or even Osaka

The best time to visit Yoshino is usually from mid-April until early May each year. Check a cherry blossom forecast for more exact dates.

Hirosaki Castle, Tohoku

If you want to avoid the crowds, Hirosaki is a great choice. While it’s hugely popular, the park also covers a large area of over 50 hectares, which keeps it from feeling crowded.

The castle here, Hirosaki Castle, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Japan. All that’s left…

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