Best Cherry Blossoms Spots
Japan always steals the spotlight from March till May for their annual Cherry Blossoms, and while the country has thousands of sakura spots, these are some of the best spots to see them in all their glory.
Kawazu, Early March
The town of Kawazu on the Izu Peninsula is one of the first places near Tokyo to view cherry blossoms. The town's cherry tree variety is usually in full bloom as early as late February, but usually early March, drawing many spring-hungry tourists down the peninsula.
Kumamoto Castle, Late March
By far the city's most popular cherry blossom spot. Nearly a thousand cherry trees are planted across the castle grounds and in the adjacent public parks.
Kamakura, Late March
Also known as Dankazura, the final and long approach to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrinee is lined by almost 500 meters with hundreds of cherry trees. However, after undergoing renovation and planting of new trees recently, the approach has lost a lot of its former visual appeal. More cherry trees can be found planted around the ponds on the shrine grounds.
Shinjuku Gyoen, Early April
Featuring more than one thousand cherry trees of over a dozen varieties, including numerous early and late blooming trees. With several spacious lawn areas, the atmosphere is calm and peaceful. Thanks to the early and late blooming trees, Shinjuku Gyoen is a good Hanami destination for those who miss the main season by a week or two. Alcoholic drinks are prohibited.
The Sumida River, Early April
The park stretches for a few hundred meters along both sides of Sumida River with views of the Tokyo Sky Tree. Some food stands are available. Cherry blossom viewing can also be enjoyed from boats that cruise the river. Trees are lit up in the evenings.
Mitsuike Park, Early April
One of Japan's "100 best cherry blossom spots", the only found in the city of Yokohama. Like its name suggests, Mitsuike Park features three ponds around which over a thousand cherry trees are planted.
Takato Castle, Late April
The Takato Castle Ruins Park is reputedly one of the three best locations to see cherry blossoms in Japan, along with Hirosaki Castle and Yoshinoyama. The former castle grounds are covered by 1500 cherry trees.
Kakunodate, Late April
The city of Kakunodate is famous for its weeping cherry trees, which decorate the city's well preserved, former samurai district. Another few hundred cherry trees stand along the nearby river.
Kitakami's Tenshochi Park with a scrolling path lined by thousands of cherry trees is considered one of the Tohoku Region's three best cherry blossom spots alongside Kakunodate and Hirosaki Castle.
Speaking of which, with its abundance of over 2500 trees, cherry blossom tunnels, petal filled moats, numerous pleasant picnic areas, rental rowing boats, many varieties of cherry trees and illuminations in the evenings, the park around Hirosaki Castle feels like multiple great cherry blossom spots combined into a single one.