Best Time to Visit Japan for Cherry Blossoms
Usually, the window between the middle of March and early May is the best time to visit Japan for cherry blossoms. If you wish to witness a canopy of pink and white over the Land of the Rising Sun, aligning your travel dates around these months will be ideal.
The Japanese cherry blossoms are nothing short of magical. Viewing cherry blossoms in Japan – hanami has become a worldwide phenomenon. Not only the people of Japan but also spectators from all around the world flock down to the country during this cherry blossom season. So, be prepared; ticking this off your bucket list will be crowded!
Regardless of how crowded the country is, you can make the most of the cherry blossom season once you know the geographical timing of cherry blossoms. Thus, in this blog, I have broken down the best time to visit Japan for cherry blossoms according to places.
1. When is the Cherry Blossom Season in Japan?
Spring (March–May) in Japan is famous. Do you know why? Because the season of the famous cherry blossoms, a.k.a sakura, occurs during this season. However, the cherry blossom season in Japan is location-specific; it fluctuates every year.
This fluctuation is due to environmental factors. Generally, the cherry blossom season appears first in the south of Japan. Gradually, as the temperature changes, it moves upward, i.e., north of Japan. Hence, at Hokkaido, a northern island of Japan, you will find the blossoms blooming during early May.
That said, the cherry blossom season stays for a month and a half in Japan. But keep in mind, the blossoms once bloomed are short-lived. Despite that, even briefly, it graces every corner and elevates the picturesqueness of Japan. Therefore, a location-specific itinerary matched with the cherry blossom timing is necessary to get surreal sights of the season.
2. Where are the Best Places to See Cherry Blossoms in Japan?
Talking about a location-specific itinerary, let’s dive into some of the best places to see cherry blossoms in Japan and of course, the perfect time to view them.
Cherry Blossom in Tokyo
If you want some of the best views of cherry blossoms in Japan, Tokyo should be at the top of your list.
Tokyo becomes even more happening during the cherry blossom season. You will have an amazing time even amidst a swarm of locals and tourists! From Ueno Park with thousands of cherry blossom trees hosting one of the biggest festivals to massive varieties of cherry blossom at Shinjuku Gyoen National Park, all spots are perfect for an extraordinary hanami.
Best time to visit: Start of April
Cherry Blossoms in Yokohama
If you detest the crowd but still want the best glimpses of cherry blossoms in Japan, head to Yokohama. It is Japan’s second-largest city in the Kanto region. The city will surprise you with its beautiful amalgamation of tradition and modern elements.
You can visit Mitsuike Park, Sankeien Garden, Kamonyama Park, and the banks of the Ookagawa River to immerse yourself in the beauty of the cherry blossoms. The best part of all these places in Yokohama is you can spend as much time as you want admiring and capturing the blossoms without being mobbed!
Best time to visit: End of March
Cherry Blossoms in Kyoto
Want to observe the hanami with a backdrop of castles and shrines? Kyoto in the Kansai region is one such location. The views of cherry blossoms here scream stunning! For me, picture-perfect is what every frame of cherry blossoms in this location stands for.
Besides, the blossoms bloom a little late in Kyoto, allowing you to experience hanami’s last stage. It’s ethereal. If you’re in Kyoto during mid-April, take a walk down the Philosopher’s Path. This path’s tranquil and meditative essence is unmatched during the cherry blossom season. Kiyomizu-dera temple and Keage Incline are among other must-visit spots in Kyoto for cherry blossoms.
Best time to visit: Start of April to End of April
Cherry Blossoms in Osaka
Osaka is the best location for cherry blossoms if you are a foodie like me. Food and cherry blossoms provide you with the best of both worlds. You can treat your eyes to the beauty of the cherry blossoms and simultaneously relish some of the country’s finest street food delicacies. Could it be any better?
Of all the other popular spots, Osaka Castle is my favourite. It is undoubtedly one of the most highlighted places for cherry blossoms. And you will surely understand why once you visit the castle!
Best time to visit: End of March to the Start of April
Cherry Blossoms in Nara
Nara in Japan is where the wilderness meets shrines and palaces. The city hosts some of the best-known cherry blossom spots in Japan. If you love off-beaten locations, bookmark this city for the blossoms.
Make it a point to visit Nara Park and Yoshinoyama. From late March to late April, Nara Park gives you abundant views of cherry blossoms. And during mid-April, Yoshinoyama greets you with overwhelming cherry blossom views from the summit. It is quite a unique sight to behold.
Best time to visit: End of March to the Start of April
3. Is Cherry Blossom Season in Japan Worth it?
Yes, 100%! Although you might feel that observing the pretty hanami is not pretty owing to the insane crowd, it is worth every second of your time. Why? Because viewing the cherry blossoms is a transcendental experience. It is a once-in-a-lifetime thing! And for sure, it is one of the best times to visit Japan.
You can easily escape the crowd and treat your eyes to the white and pink – if you plan it right! All you need to do is pick a less touristy location in Japan and find the best time to view cherry blossoms there. Time it well with your solo travel itinerary!
Pro-Tip: Always check Japan’s cherry blossom forecast before planning your solo trip to Japan!
Are you ready to discover the magic of cherry blossoms? If you’re still unsure whether to visit Japan during the cherry blossom season, here are 15 things to do during cherry blossoms on your solo trip to Japan.
An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.