[UPDATED 16 Jan 2019]
Spring is coming soon! Japan ranks especially high on dream destinations during this season where pretty flowers bloom and everyone comes out to picnic, also known as hanami! 🌸
You also probably already know that cherry blossoms are pretty much synonymous with Japan, having been the most poignant emblem of their culture and history for centuries.
But before you treat yourself to these breath-taking views, a lot of planning must be done to ensure you get to enjoy the best of what this beautiful country and phenomenon has to offer. The good news is, Japanese authorities have released the official forecast dates for cherry blossoms in 2019😉 This year, it’s forecasted to happen earlier than usual so do plan your trips early!
Here are all the dates during which it’d be best for you to soak in the atmosphere and of course, the sakura in bloom 🌸
Note: Do note that the actual flowering and full bloom dates listed below might differ by 1 to 5 days.
P.S. Get your trip essentials in advance from Klook to stretch your dollar 😎 For Singaporean travellers, enjoy $36* off with the promo code <CHERRY18>! For Malaysian travellers, you’ll get RM116* off your purchases with the promo code <CHERRY58> and not forgetting our Indonesian friends, use the code <CHERRY188> for RP376RB* off your purchases!
P.S. We’re sorry, the promotion has ended 🙁
Flowering starts: 22 March
Full bloom: 29 March
There’s nothing quite like admiring the pale, gentle hues of the sakura amidst the hustle and bustle of Tokyo’s streets. Crowds mill everywhere to take pictures with the natural beauty and to bond with their loved ones over the picturesque sights.
P.S. Going to Tokyo? Travel from the airport to the city with ease on board the Tokyo Skyliner!
Despite the crowds, you’ll find yourself feeling a sense of tranquillity especially at famous spots such as Ueno Onshi Park, Shinjuku Gyoen, Chidorigafuchi and Yoyogi Park. Why not fully immerse yourself in the experience and don a rented kimono to acquaint yourself with the Japanese culture?
A first-timer’s visit to Tokyo is also never complete without a day in Tokyo Disneyland, even during cherry blossom season. So, make sure you drop by for that extra dose of happiness!
Flowering starts: 23 March
Full bloom: 1 April
If you have time to spare, a day trip or a 2D1N trip to Hiroshima and the nearby Miyajima Island will be worth it! History buffs will especially love to explore the city, around which memorials and details of the Atomic Bombing remain on display. Let the tranquillity of the scenery of cherry blossoms awe you as you find out more about the history behind the sole dome which survived the Atomic Bombing of 1945.
Credit: Gregg Tavares on Flickr
Use your JR Pass and hop on board the JR Miyajima ferry to be whisked away on a 5-minute ride to Miyajima Island, home to the majestic Floating Gate and Itsukushima Shrine. Climb Mount Misen to reward yourself with a bird’s-eye view of Japan in spring, or simply roam the grounds for picture opportunities not to be missed! With the sakura in bloom, you’ll truly feel transported to a different land.
Credit: Jordan Emery on Flickr
Flowering starts: 27 March
Full bloom: 3 April
Home to the majestic Osaka Castle and iconic Dotonbori Street, Osaka is another city in Japan to catch the sakura in full bloom while experiencing the Japanese city life.
With so much to see and do here, it’s best to have the Osaka Amazing Pass, which allows unlimited use of the subway, tramway, and bus system as well as entry into 30 spectacular sites. Hop on to the HEP Five Ferris Wheel and make your way up the Umeda Sky Building Floating Garden Observatory for aerial views of Osaka surrounded by pinks trees and blossoming flowers.
However, if you would like to be away from all the concrete buildings, Osaka Castle Park is ideal for a picnic under the canopy of flowers. (Psst… The Osaka Amazing Pass provides entry to the Osaka Castle Museum too!) Another spot for a hanami party would be Kema Sakuranomiya Park where you’ll find almost 5000 cherry trees stretching for several kilometres along the Okawa River!
Credit:m-louis on Flickr
Had your fill of sightseeing and exploration? Don’t exclude Universal Studios Japan from your itinerary! Spring provides the best weather for a day of exhilaration and fun while pretending to be a student in Hogwarts.
#HHWT Tip: If you’re landing in Kansai International Airport, it’s always safe to secure a train or bus ticket to your next destination beforehand. The Nankai Line Airport Express ticket and a limousine bus transfer are both convenient (and affordable!) ways of reaching the city, with the bus stopping in both Osaka and Kyoto.
Flowering starts: 25 March
Full bloom: 2 April
What better way to fully appreciate cherry blossom than amongst nature and by calming streams of water? Kyoto is one of the best places to do this, and while donning a kimono from a rental shop at that! Don’t forget to use our code <TRAVELHHWT> to get $5 off your first Klook purchase! 😊 (promotion ends 31 Jan 2019)
Plan your itinerary well because you won’t want to miss the best spots for hanami – Philosopher’s Path, Arashiyama, Kiyomizudera, Maruyama Park, Heian Shrine and more! It’ll definitely be crowded but trust us when we say it’s worth it!
Credit:@mut_mut90 on Instagram
Take your immersion to the next level and board the Sagano Romantic Train, especially if you’re there with your loved one! Soak in the astounding views of the canopies of flowers as the old-fashioned steam train chugs past sweeping views of Hozugawa River. It’s a unique picture-perfect experience you would not want to miss.
#HHWT Tip: Your cherry blossom chase won’t be complete without savouring all the yummy halal food that Kyoto’s got to offer! Our list of halal eateries in Kyoto is the most essential guide you’ll need when visiting the city!
Flowering starts: 24 March
Full bloom: 30 Mar
Another unique way to experience cherry blossoms and spring in Japan is to do so while feeding deer! The deer in Nara are so good at pulling off the ‘puppy eyes’ look, it’ll be hard to resist feeding them while you’re roaming Nara Park.
Credit: Just Breathe on Facebook
(Psst… planning a day trip to Nara? You can choose to travel there from Osaka and Kyoto by using the ICOCA IC Card or otherwise, the JR Pass. The latter would be more useful for long-distance travel!)
When in Nara, visiting Todai-ji Temple is an undisputed agenda. Accentuated by the stunning sakura trees, this majestic temple is a sight to behold.
Flowering starts: 4 May
Full bloom: 8 May
Cherry Blossom Season arrives later in Hokkaido but fashionably so, as it’s worth the wait. Using your JR Pass, travel to Hokkaido and drink in the beauty of spring as you stroll through famous spots such as Odori Park and Matsumae Park!
Credit:Jiashang on Flickr
Stop by Hakodate Goryokaku and be captivated by the star-shaped citadel peppered with the pink hues of the sakura petals. It’s a picture for the books!
But before you hop on board your flight to Japan, don’t forget to consider your preferred mode of transportation while in Japan. If you’re intending to travel within a city, or venturing out to nearby cities for day trips, we highly recommend you get an ICOCA IC Card as a measure of convenience.
However, if you plan to travel across prefectures and into different cites, a JR Pass will be beneficial as it allows for unlimited and affordable travel by JR Shinkansen (bullet trains), JR Lines, buses and many more! All you need to do is show your pass to the train staff as you pass the gantry.
At such a beautiful time as this, it’ll be a waste to miss out on documenting the beauty on social media, where you can revisit and reminisce the awe-inspiring sights. Or you might just want to use maps online to prevent getting lost! As social media junkies ourselves, we suggest purchasing a Wi-fi device, so that you stay connected and worry-free wherever you go.
#HHWT tip: Save queueing time by purchasing your transportation and attraction passes in advance on Klook! With a minimum of $450 spent on Klook activities in Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China, you’ll get to enjoy $36* off with the promo code <CHERRY18>! Indonesian travellers, use the code <CHERRY188> for RP376RB off your purchases and for Malaysian travellers, you’ll get RM116* off your purchases with the promo code <CHERRY58>.
P.S. We’re sorry, the promotion has ended 🙁
Now that you know where and when to drink in the beauty of cherry blossoms, get your calendar ready to plan your Spring holiday to Japan! It will be a trip worth remembering for a long time.
This article was brought to you by Klook.