The top six places to see in Japan during cherry blossom season accentuate the beauty of different cities and towns that can make all the difference during your custom-tailored trip.
Attention turns to the spectacular flowers that blossom in the trees with each new blossom creating a lavish display of nature against the backdrop of the cities and town. As cities erupt with festivals that highlight local cuisine and friendly thrills, you can experience the colors that come into view across the cities and countryside.
Whether visiting specifically for the blossoms or on a trip coinciding with the season, find the six best destinations for viewing the blooms during your Japan tour.
The foothills of Mount Yoshino in Nara possess over 30,000 cherry trees, which flicker with a variety of colors depending on the species of tree.
When visiting Mount Yoshino during cherry blossom season, you can find the illustrious flowers blooming above idyllic shrines, peaceful temples, and in gorgeous parks in one of Japan’s most iconic destinations.
Due to the change in elevation along the base and foothills of the mountain, the cherry trees do not all blossom at the same time, which allows visitors a broader range of opportunities for viewing the vibrant spring. The best time to visit Mount Yoshino for the cherry blossoms is between late March and early May.
The luster of Takata Castle Park in Nagano originates from the 1,500 pink Kohigan cherry trees that have become a quintessential element of the popular destination, earning the renowned title as one of the top three places in Japan to view the cherry blossoms each year.
Lively festivals provide a fantastic ambiance beneath the petals, with stalls offering local cuisine and fun activities. Lights are even strung throughout the trees for night viewings that are set beneath the looming Takata Castle ruins. The best time to visit Takata Castle Park for cherry blossoms is in April.
The natural grandeur of Chureito Pagoda boasts exquisite views of Mount Fuji and is graced with the colorful petals of the cherry blossom trees during the season.
The pagoda rises into the sky between the far-reaching branches of different cherry trees, and the early mornings often attract serious photographers who are eager to capture the blossoms, pagoda, and Mount Fuji in the early light.
The month of April offers the best time to visit Chureito Pagoda during the cherry blossom season.
No matter the month of spring, Shinjuku Gyoen in Tokyo is a fantastic place for experiencing the cherry blossom season in Japan. The park is known for its more than 1,000 cherry trees that bloom early and late during the celebrated season, making it a fabulous destination for viewers who are visiting the heart of Tokyo.
Amid the high-rise buildings and bustling streets, Shinjuku Gyoen offers a peaceful respite from the futuristic ambiance, with fantastic opportunities to participate in Hanami throughout March and April, in addition to the main viewing festival that takes place from late-February to early May.
The charming Kawazu River runs through the city of Shizuoka, with approximately 8,000 Kawazu-sakura cherry trees decorating its banks for up to two and a half miles. Locals help to celebrate the annual spring with a large festival that acts as one of the earliest cherry blossom festivals in eastern Japan.
Due to the festival and the nature of the specific trees, Kawazu attracts up to 1 million visitors each year during the season, all of them eager to view the vivid pink petals that dangle from the trees. The colorful blossoms occur between mid-February to mid-March.
The Philosopher’s Path in Kyoto remains a quiet and charming stone walkway throughout the year, but brims with life during the cherry blossom season, as the white and pink hues of the flower petals bloom above the tranquil canals.
The path runs for half a mile along the route where the famous Japanese philosopher Nishida Kitaro walked while practicing meditation. The best time to wander along the Philosopher’s Path in Kyoto, during the cherry blossom season, is in early April, when the trees erupt in spectacular colors.
When visiting Japan for a cherry blossom tour, you can experience an exceptional season that celebrates bountiful colors and friendly festivities.
Find the best place for a traditional picnic among the trees or wander beside the drifting blossoms at your pace to enjoy the quintessential splendor of Japan in spring. Find more inspiration for your trip with our Japan Cherry Blossom Tours.