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Where To See The Best Cherry Blossoms in Japan

Where To See The Best Cherry Blossoms in Japan

If you are ever lucky enough to visit Japan during the spring season, you'll experience the country's iconic "sakura" cherry blossoms. From early February to early May, the Japanese landscape is draped in beautiful pink blossoms. These spectacular cherry blossoms bloom all over the country, giving visitors several opportunities to gaze at their splendour and magic. In Japan, many locals see the blooming of the cherry blossom trees as a symbol of human life, ephemerality and graciousness. With cherry blossoms usually being in full bloom for around one week, many Japanese people love to celebrate and cherish the limited flowering period by holding a flower watching party, known as 'hanami' in Japanese. Read on to see where the best and most famous spots to view cherry blossoms are across Japan.

 

Tokyo and surroundings

Ueno-onshi-koen Park, Tokyo

Ueno Park can become pretty crowded in early April when people gather to enjoy the view of the cherry blossoms. There are over 1,000 trees along the street that lead toward the National Museum and around Shinobazu Pond. In the evening the trees are lit up to create a spectacular display of colour. The main blooming period is from late March to late April.

Chidorigafuchi, Tokyo

Hundreds of cherry blossoms line the Chidorigafuchi Moat of the Imperial Palace. During spring you can find the water of the moat covered in pink petals. It's also possible to rent a boat in the moat, so grab a paddle and enjoy the incredibly picturesque scenes of the cherry blossoms on the water's edge.

 

Kyoto

Maruyama Park, Arashiyama and The Philosopher's Path, Kyoto

Maruyama Park is the oldest park in Kyoto and is home to huge weeping cherry blossoms that are best viewed at night. Late March to late April is the peak blossom season as the trees on the mountainside begin to blossom while the rest of the park's trees fade to green.

Cherry blossoms flower profusely all over the Arashiyama area from Togetsu-kyo Bridge to Arashiyama-Nakanoshima Park, the bank of the O-i-gawa River, and Kameyama Park behind Tenryu-ji Temple. The road along the Katsura-gawa River is lined with fifty-year-old trees that form an arch of cherry blossoms, making it a simply magical place to take a stroll.  

Explore the Philosopher's Path that is a walking track from Ginkaku-ji Temple to Wakaoji-jinja Shrine to see a backdrop of cherry blossoms on both sides of the river path from Lake Biwa-ko. The cherry blossom petals floating on the water add to the picturesque setting of the historic monuments such as Ginkaku-ji Temple, Honen-in Shrine, and Eikan-do Temple.

Mt. Daigo-san, Kyoto

The Daigo precinct is located southeast of Kyoto City. Daigo-ji Temple is the head temple of the Shingon-Daigo sect and is a Registered World Cultural Heritage Site. The grounds of Daio-ji Temple rest on Mt. Daigo-san, where there are over 700 weeping cherry blossom trees, as well as a waterfall and an island.

 

Osaka

Osaka Castle Park, Osaka

Enjoy the proudly standing Osaka castle, which contains a lawn-covered park with an area of about 60,000 square metres. The castle's grounds boasts 4,300 cherry blossom trees with the best time to visit being early April.


Nara

Nara Park, Nara

Nara Park is a historical park surrounding many temples and other historical buildings. The park has over 1,700 cherry blossom trees of various kinds, as well as herds of deer that can be fed and petted. Other scenic spots within the park include Sagi Pond, Todai-ji Temple and the remains of To-do Tower. Make sure you allow yourself enough time to stroll around and soak up the beauty and history.

Mt. Yoshino-yama, Nara

Yoshino is said to be the most famous and the best location in Japan to view the cherry blossoms. In spring, the mountains are dusted in pink with over 30,000 trees blooming. The flowering season takes place from early to late April and can last as long as a month. The cherry blossoms start to bloom from the foot of the mountain and slowly creep their way to the peak. 

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