Spring in Japan is a wondrous time, thanks to the fleeting sakura season that locals and tourists alike come in droves to see. This also makes it one of the busiest times of the year across the entire country! Japanese love coming together with friends and family to relax and enjoy the spectacular scenery, armed with a picnic blanket and yummy food in tow – an age-old tradition called Hanami.
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Imagine your entire line of sight filled with the loveliest pink and white clouds of delicate sakura flowers. From the first bud that blooms til the last petal falls, it really is a sight to behold, before they disappear again for another year! It’s also a great reminder that this life is passing, so we need to make the most of it while we can. For a more accurate cherry blossoms forecast, check out this website. One of the ways to start planning your trip is to head over to Klook which offers seasonal tours at great savings (we all love some discounts, don’t we 😉)
You need a place to stay of course!
Since the spring season is an incredibly popular time to be in Japan for both foreign and domestic travellers, you definitely need to book your stay wayyy in advance if you want to get a good place that’s within your budget (We suggest doing it NOW!!). Hotels can have reasonable prices if you book early, while hostels or guesthouses can be cheaper, depending on your tastes. We recommend booking your hotel on Klook for a speedy booking and you can have all the info on the app!
#HHWTTip: Look at the accommodation on the outskirts of the city or a little bit away to get cheaper prices – e.g. If you’re going to Kyoto, you might want to check out accommodation in Osaka which is only a short train ride away (between 15 minutes to 50 minutes away by train, depending on which line you choose to take – and on your budget of course!). Also, think about booking mid-week periods as there are usually fewer domestic tourists during the week.
Getting around can be confusing, but we’re here to help!
There are a few ways to travel around Japan and the train is the most popular. If you’re planning to visit a few cities, your best bet to save on transportation is by purchasing the JR pass, which can only be purchased from outside of Japan by those who have foreign passports or hold short-term visas (Yay for us!). You can find out more about the JR Pass here! Get your JR Pass from Klook for a stress-free trip as you can easily pick it up at the airport once you arrived in Japan. For a short-term stay, get the train tickets from Klook as it’s more convenient for your trip!
If you happen to be visiting Tokyo for the season, here's where you should be headed to enjoy the sakura and picnic with the locals!
Psst… Make your Tokyo trip a breeze and get the Tokyo Subway Ticket. You can travel conveniently and have unlimited access around Tokyo through Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway lines for one to three days.
When to see cherry blossoms in Tokyo: late March
Check out our Tokyo guide before planning your trip:
- The Ultimate Guide To Tokyo For Muslim Travellers
- The Ultimate Guide to Shopping in Tokyo, Japan
- 5 Halal Japanese Restaurants in Tokyo You Absolutely Have To Try
- 8 Spots To Get Delicious Halal Bento In Tokyo
1. Ueno Park
Ueno Park is located just next to Ueno Station (all local trains on the JR Yamanote and Keihin-Tohoku lines stop here) so stopping here during spring is a must! This park is famous among locals and outsiders for the outdoor hanami parties, and is one of the most crowded places to park yourselves at! Attractions around the area include the Ueno Zoo (Japan's first zoological garden), art galleries, museums and Ameyoko Shopping Street.
2. Miura and Yokohama
If you can’t get enough of cherry blossoms in the city, why not head out of Tokyo for a day trip? Pose for photos in Miura where there are around 1,000 Kawazu cherry trees lining the railway tracks for 1km from Keikyu Miura Kaigan Station to Komatsugaike Park 😍 Book your day trip tour on Klook for an easy breezy trip! You don’t have to worry about transportation as it’s included in the tour.
Kawazu, Joren Falls and Nanohana
Another scenic day tour that you can take is the Kawazu, Joren Falls and Nanohana day tour. Welcome the cherry blossom season on this scenic tour to Kawazu, Joren Falls, and Nanohana where you can bask in the dreamy atmosphere while walking under a tunnel of pale pink blossoms at Kawazu-zakura. This is also your chance to visit one of Japan’s top 100 waterfalls and Shizuoka Prefectural Natural Monument: the Joren Falls 😍 Satiate your sweet tooth when you head to Izu Fruits Park to pick and eat all the strawberries you can! Get your ticket to see these breathtaking attractions for a worry-free trip as admissions to the attractions are included and you’ll be chauffeured in a comfortable van!
If, at this point, you are already whipping out your gadgets to book the next flight, hold on to your horses! Arm yourselves with our ultimate all-you-need-to-know guide on cherry blossoms! Then, be enthralled with spring by skipping along Kyoto’s cobbled stone walkways with sakura petals raining down on you! 🌸
When to see cherry blossoms in Kyoto: Early April
Check out our Kyoto guide before planning your trip:
- 7 Most Instagram-Worthy Cherry Blossom Spots In Kyoto
- Truly Take In The Sights Of Kyoto With These 12 Top-Rated Attractions
- Explore Osaka-Kyoto-Tokyo (& More) In 10D9N With This Muslim-Friendly Itinerary
Wondering where to head in Kyoto to catch these blooming wonders? Here are the best spots!
3. Maruyama Park
Arguably the focal point of sakura viewing, its captivating masterpiece is a giant 70-year-old weeping sakura which illuminates from sundown to 1am. Complete with a pond, Maruyama Park is also the go-to place for hanami. The atmosphere picks up even more at night with visitors enjoying snacks from stalls around the park, under starry skies.
4. The Philosopher’s Walk (Tetsugaku-No-Michi)
Stroll along the canal lined with sakura trees at night or day and have a feel of typical Kyoto life with its residential areas and authentic shops/cafes around. Night stroll with a cuppa? Yes, please! Feeling a little adventurous? Look out for the signs pointing off the trail for quaint little shrines or temples!
5. Kyoto Sagano Romantic Train, Arashiyama, Kiyomizudera and Fushimi Inari-Taisha
Make the most of your cherry blossom chase trip and enjoy the seasonal scenery of Hozukyo Gorge from the train! Here’s your chance to go on a scenic day tour of the most beautiful sights in Kyoto, from the mountainside to the temples. The day trip tour includes a ride on an old engine train for a romantic view of the mountainside at Arashiyama, perfect for a nostalgic experience 😍 You’ll also discover the tranquil beauty of Kiyomizudera Temple, a listed UNESCO World Heritage site. Walk up along the world-famous path of Fushimi Inari-Taisha with its tunnel of torii and take in the Kyoto view — it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience! To make your trip unforgettable, book the day trip tour with Klook — a fun time is guaranteed!
Home to the majestic Osaka Castle, the iconic Dotonbori Street and Universal Studios Japan, Osaka is another city in Japan to catch the sakura in full bloom while experiencing Japanese city life. For the ultimate cherry blossom chase in Osaka, get the Kintetsu Rail Pass on Klook where you can head easily to the best spots in Osaka, Nara, and Kyoto and enjoy unlimited rides on the Kintetsu Railway and Nara Kotsu Bus Lines.
When to see cherry blossoms in Osaka: Early April
Check out our Osaka guide before planning your trip:
- Osaka Halal Food: 9 Awesome Eateries That’ll Make You Say 'Oishii'
- 13 Affordable Accommodations In Osaka Near Halal Food (From JPY2400!)
- The Only 5D4N Muslim-Friendly Itinerary You’ll Need For Your Osaka Trip
- A Foodie’s Guide To The Top 13 Halal Japanese Eateries In Osaka
6. Osaka Castle Park
Photo byKatharine Crompton onUnsplash
The Osaka Castle Park is ideal for a picnic under the canopy of cherry flowers. Home to around 3,000 cherry trees set against the backdrop of the iconic Osaka Castle, this is the place you can't miss in Osaka during sakura season! At night, the trees are illuminated, creating a magical sight.
Psst… interested to tour the Osaka Castle? Skip the queue and get your ticket on Klook!
7. Sakuranomiya Park
Another spot for a lovely hanami in Osaka would be Sakuranomiya Park. Here's where you’ll find almost 5,000 cherry trees stretching for several kilometres along the Okawa River. The neatly lined trees along the river promenade create a cherry blossom tunnel that's perfect for your photos!
Kanazawa’s cherry blossoms are particularly beautiful, owing to the city’s many historic neighbourhoods and architecture that make the perfect backdrop for nature’s beautiful blooms. Cherry blossom season is short-lived at about one week in duration and usually occurs in early April in Kanazawa, about a week later than in Tokyo and Osaka. To make your cherry blossom chase in Kanazawa a breeze, we recommend getting the JR Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass where you can enjoy unlimited rides aboard limited express, express, rapid, and ordinary trains on JR conventional lines including buses and Hokuriku Shinkansen!
When to see cherry blossoms in Kanazawa: Early to mid-April
8. Kenrokuen Garden
As one of Japan's most beautiful gardens, Kenrokuen is one of the hotspots for spring cherry blossoms. The garden contains several varieties of cherry trees, which gives different parts of the garden a varied appearance during cherry blossom season and prolongs the season, with some types blooming earlier in the season and others toward the end.
#HWWTTip: One of the lesser-known secrets about Kenrokuen is that the admission fee is waived for a period during peak cherry blossom viewing season 😉
9. Kanazawa day tour
If you’re staying in Nagoya and want to chase cherry blossoms in Kanazawa, there’s no better way to catch these beautiful blooms than by joining the Kanazawa day tour from Nagoya with Klook! You can discover Kanazawa’s culture, heritage, and traditions by joining this immersive day tour! On the tour, you’ll witness the city's abundance of cherry blossoms from the top of the Kanazawa Castle —- it’s one of the hottest spots for hanami! Other than the blossoms, you’ll take a trip down memory lane by strolling the streets of Higashichaya Old Town to see beautiful Edo-style buildings. Your trip will be completed with a feast on a variety of fresh seafood and other delicious specialities at Omicho Seafood Market! 😋
10. Saigawa River to Sakura Hill
One of Kanazawa's loveliest places for a morning stroll or jog, the Saigawa Riverbank explodes in puffs of pink each spring as dozens of cherry trees in several varieties come into bloom. One of the best views of cherry blossoms is around the Sakura Bashi Bridge, where you can climb the steep but beautiful Sakura Hill along the riverside. The slope is interspersed with several types of cherry trees, and there is a breathtaking view from the top of the riverside lined with sakura trees.
11. Saigawa Ryokuchi Park
Credit: Visit Kanazawa
Continue your walk along the river and you'll find the spacious Ryokuchi Park. It’s an excellent spot for a picnic or traditional Japanese hanami cherry blossom viewing. The park has many cherry trees and a lot of room to spread out, so bring your picnic mat, lunch, and loved ones to enjoy a day at the park under the blossoms!
What’s a trip to Japan without visiting the impressive Mount Fuji, right? The Fuji Five Lake area is especially beautiful during the cherry blossom season.
When to see cherry blossoms in Kawaguchiko: Mid-April
12. The northern shore of Kawaguchiko
Credit: Mountain Autumn on Flickr.
The northern shore of Kawaguchiko is one of the most beautiful cherry blossom viewing spots in Japan. Walk along the northern shores of Lake Kawaguchiko underneath cherry trees and view the iconic snow-capped Mount Fuji. Be sure to have the camera ready! This notable hanami spot is home to several hundred cherry trees that will surely take your breath away 🤩
13. The eastern shore of Kawaguchiko
Credit: Mountain Autumn on Flickr.
You have already got some ideas of the spring beauty that the northern shore of Kawaguchiko could offer you. Now it’s time for you to explore the breathtaking views of the eastern shores of the lake. You can admire weeping cherry blossoms here too. As you walk along the walkway on the eastern side of the lake you will find a great display of several rows of weeping cherry trees.
14. Kawaguchiko Ohashi Bridge
Credit: Mountain Autumn on Flickr.
Ubuyagashi Peninsula, located next to the Kawaguchiko Ohashi Bridge, is definitely one of the famous places to enjoy the view of the mountain with cherry blossoms. However, compared to the other two spots in Kawaguchiko, this spot has fewer cherry blossoms. Although you’ll see a small group of cherry trees, the views of Mount Fuji in combination with Lake Kawaguchiko and the sakura blossoms are just majestic! It’s definitely a postcard-perfect picture 😍
Most people think of cherry blossoms in full bloom when talking about spring in Japan. The blooming season gradually starts from the south, so, Hokkaido cherry blossom season comes just as Japan's main island is approaching early summer. If you’re planning to chase cherry blossoms in Japan but don’t want to travel during Ramadan, Hokkaido is the best spot for you! Get the Hokkaido JR Pass from Klook to explore all of Hokkaido’s major cities with ease 😍
When to see cherry blossoms in Hokkaido: late April to early May
Check out our Hokkaido guide before planning your trip:
- This Muslim-Friendly Guide Is All You Need For Your First Trip To Hokkaido
- 5 Breathtaking Spots In Hokkaido You Won’t Want To Miss
- A Foodie’s Guide To The Top 13 Halal Japanese Eateries In Osaka
15. Matsumae Park
Located in the south of Hokkaido, Matsumae Park features the earliest cherry blooming in the region. The park is not only home to many historic buildings and ruins, but one of the top 100 sakura viewing spots in Japan. Thanks to over 200 varieties of 10,000 cherry blossom trees, the viewing period lasts from late April to late May. Don’t miss three 300-year-old cherry blossom trees here whose types are quite rare!
16. Goryokaku Park
Hakodate is also an area in Hokkaido where you can enjoy cherry blossoms in late April. Goryokaku was designated as a national special historic site and is now open as a park known for its famous cherry blossoms. The 107m-high Goryokaku Tower adjacent to the park is a spot where you can marvel at a unique view of the gorgeous Hokkaido cherry blossoms from above.
17. Morimachi Oniushi Park
Oniushi Park, a famous spot for cherry blossoms, is located in Morimachi, about an hour by car from Hakodate City to the north. It’s perfect for a road trip and you can rent a car with Klook for a stress-free trip! There are 19 types and about 500 cherry blossom trees in the park, which bloom one after another from late April to mid-May. Aside from the Yoshino cherry tree and Ōyamazakura, this park also features rare cherry blossom trees endemic to Morimachi such as the Komamizakura and Horiizakura.
With the knowledge of the best spots to view cherry blossoms in Japan, you're now all set for the best hanami experience ever! Time to gather your travel buddies and start planning your trip with Klook to save up. Let’s go!
This article is brought to you by Klook.