A Guide to Japan’s Cherry Blossom Festivals

05 Mar 2019

 
Japan is famous for its cherry blossom festivals, and we’re not surprised! Delicate pinks lace the country as this beautiful flower blooms in the thousands.

When is cherry blossom season?

Cherry blossom starts to bloom in slightly different times depending on the city. We’ve compiled a few dates to let you know when could be best to visit a few popular Japanese cities:


Dates of Japan's Cherry Blossom Festivals

How can you track the trees?


There are a few factors which affect the blooming of the Cherry Blossom. These include the weather, temperature patterns all the way back to the last autumn and throughout winter and overall cherry tree growth.


The entire process from blooming of the flowers to them falling from the trees typically lasts around two weeks, so it’s a very short festival but draws in HUGE crowds.


Where are the best places to see cherry blossom?

Tokyo


Take a trip to Shinjuku Gyoen, a park close to Shinjuku Station. There are over 1000 different species of cherry blossom (Sakura in Japanese) and is one of the greatest spots to see a LOT of cherry blossom.


Another place to travel to is Yoyogi, a park with much fewer cherry blossoms, but its layout with ponds, park and forests, makes it a favourite spot for picnickers.

The final top location to see cherry blossom has to be Nakameguro, which houses over 800 cherry trees that line the Meguro River.

 


Kyoto


If you visit Kyoto during cherry blossom season, you just have to walk the famous Nakaragi no Michi path, which is simply beautiful. Stroll alongside the lake under an arch of pink and white cherry blossom.


You can even take a boat ride on the Lake Biwa Canal and float underneath an expanse of cherry blossom. This only reopened in March 2018 after being closed for over 70 years, so we definitely recommend this!


This last one in Kyoto is really cool. Make your way to Maruyama Park, located next to Yasaka Shrine, to see a ‘weeping cherry tree’. The shrine is also lit up in the evenings during cherry blossom season, and it’s a sight that you really will never forget.


 

Not travelling to a major city?


If you’re going a little further out on your trip, we recommend visiting Himeji Castle in Hyogo, for a hilltop view, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Mount Yoshino in Nara and Lake Kawaguchiko for some of the best views of Mount Fuji.

 


If that doesn’t want to make you plan a trip to Japan, we don’t know what will! Take a look at some of the photos of cherry blossom around Japan below:


Shinjuku Gyoen National Park, Tokyo   

Shinjuku Gyoen National Park


Yoyogi Park, Tokyo

Yoyogi Park, Tokyo
Photo by Living + Nomads

Nakameguro

Nakameguro, Japan
Photo by JW Web Magazine

Nakaragi no Michi path

Nakaragi no Michi path, Japan
Photo by Nipponderful.com / Kansai Travel Guide

Lake Biwa Canal

Lake Biwa Canal, Japan
Photo by Triplisher

Maruyama Park

Maruyama Park, Japan
Photo by Japan Guide

We just have one word to describe all of these photos… WOW!


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