2019 Hanami (cherry blossom viewing) guide in Japan - The best 7 spots you must visit!
Planning a trip to Japan this spring? Here is the most complete “Hanami” (cherry blossom viewing) guide in Japan for you!
Photo: Weather Map
In Japan, “Hanami” is an ancient japanese tradition that people take time to enjoy the cherry blossoms. Nowadays, people mostly celebrate it by having an outdoor party or picnic underneath the pale-pink trees during daytime or nighttime.
Throughout most of Japan, blooming usually starts in the southern region and progresses northward. Blossom generally occurs in late March to early April, reaches full blooming after 5–7 days, and can be enjoyed viewing for merely about 1 week. It’s a special and precious period that Japanese, as well as visitors, highly value! Let’s check them out from south to north together.
1. Maizuru Park, Fukuoka
｜First Bloom : March 19
｜Best Viewing: March 24 to April 1
Maizuru Park, situated on the ruins of Fukuoka Castle is one of most pleasant and popular spots for cherry blossom viewing in Fukuoka city. Every spring, Maizuru Park hosts the Fukuoka Castle Sakura Festival, locals together with tourists celebrate the arrival of spring and enjoy various festive activities and food stalls with more than 1000 cherry trees blooming around.
In addition, the park lights up at night, providing different views of the cherry blossoms. The scene of illuminated cherry trees and walls of the castle makes an amazing sight!
Photo: Kyushu Tourism Promotion Organization
2. Chidorigafuchi Moat, Tokyo
｜First Bloom : March 21
｜Best Viewing: March 27 to April 4
If you plan to stay in Tokyo during spring time, then you shouldn’t miss out a visit to the tremendously popular Chidorigafuchi moat, northwest of Tokyo's Imperial Palace.
Chidorigafuchi features around 200 cherry trees that stretch along the moat and the Chidorigafuchi Pedestrian Path. One special way to enjoy the cherry blossom view is by boat. You can rent a boat and paddle on the moat while taking in the poetic scenery of soft pink cherry blossoms contrasting beautifully against the rich green waters and the greenery covered slopes.
Photo: Instagram @photobohemian
3. Kawaguchiko, Mt Fuji, Yamanashi
｜First Bloom : April 9
｜Best Viewing: April 15 –
The collaboration view of cherry blossoms and Mt.Fuji is one of the most scenic views can be captured in Japan.
Lake Kawaguchiko, famous for the view of Mt. Fuji from its shores is especially popular during cherry blossom season. The northern Shores of Kawaguchiko where over 300 cherry trees are planted for 1.2 km along the lake provide the magnificent sight of the lake and cherry blossoms in combination with the majestic backdrop of Fuji.
Besides, Fujikawaguchiko Cherry Blossom Festival is held annually from April 6th to 14nd. You don’t want to miss out!
Photo: Instagram @capkaieda
4. Himeji Castle, Hyogo
｜First Bloom : March 24 –
｜Best Viewing: April 5 –
The 400-year-old, six-story castle Himeji Castle, also known as the White Heron Castle is designed Japan’s national treasure as well as a UNESCO’s world heritage site.
With over 1000 cherry trees of different varieties in the castle's grounds blooming spectacularly each spring, Himeji Castle offers one of the best spring scenery in Japan with the stunning combination of the glorious white castle and pink cherry blossoms.
Himeji Castle also hosts a Cherry Blossom Viewing Festival this year from March 30 to April 7. The cherry trees are illuminated at night, so it is worth a visit at nighttime.
Photo: Instagram @ui_hii618love
5. Mount Yoshino (Yoshinoyama), Nara
｜First Bloom : March 30
｜Best Viewing : April 5 to 14
Mount Yoshino is located within Yoshino-Kumano National Park which is listed to UNESCO World Heritage Site. With around 30,000 trees of 200 varieties decorating the slopes of the mountain, visitors can take in the amazing scenery of cherry blossoms in various pink colours as they go up the mountain.
Besides walking, enjoying a good time in nature and photographing the beautiful sakuras, visitors can also have a picnic under the sakura trees.
Photo: Instagram @puraten10
6. Aizu-Wakamatsu castle, Fukushima
｜First Bloom : April 4
｜Best Viewing : April 7 to 15
Aizu-Wakamatsu castle, also known as the Tsuruga Castle is an incredibly beautiful Natural beauty spot and a famous historic site with a venerable history.
The castle is exclusive for being the only one in Japan still standing that has a red colored roof. With its unique red tiles contrasting deeply with the bright white walls, the scene is even more fairytale-like while over 1000 cherry trees beautifully blooming around castle towers, moat and castle walls. The combination of a Japanese castle and cherry blossom trees makes it one of Japan’s best 100 places famous for cherry blossoms.
Photo: Instagram @kazumma527
6. Hirosaki Castle, Aomori
｜First Bloom : April 21
｜Best Viewing : April 26
Hirosaki Park is home to around 2600 trees with over 50 different types of cherry blossom. As it’s in the north, the trees blossom late here, so if you’ve missed peak season, head up here and explore the gorgeous park around the castle.
Hirosaki Castle is a multiple great Hamani spots combined into a single one. Besides its numerous pleasant picnic areas, visitors can enjoy the views of cherry blossom tunnels, see the grounds carpeted in falling blossoms or even have a boat ride on the blossom covered moat!
After dark, come and check out the illuminations for a magical hanami experience during Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival.(This year dated from 23rd Apr–6th May)
Photo: Instagram @capkaieda
Photo: Instagram @capkaieda
- Anita C