The Most Gorgeous and Best Spots to View Cherry Blossoms in Japan

By Noam Elsner

What could be better than ringing in the start of spring with a trip to the land of sakura? Japan’s Meteorological Agency has already released the cherry blossom forecast for this year, so it’s time to plan your hanami (flower-viewing) trip to Japan. Here’s our round-up of some of the most gorgeous spots to catch cherry blossoms in Japan, in cities all across the country starting from south to north.

Here Are The Best Places to See Cherry Blossoms in Japan

Yoshino Park, Kagoshima

Sakura in Kagoshima - cherry blossoms in Kagoshima, Kyushu
Looking over Sakurajima volcano from the Sengan-en Garden ©K.P.V.B

Forecast flowering date: 26 March 2019

Forecast full bloom date: 4 April 2019

Located in the north of Kagoshima, the 30-hectare Yoshina Park is home to over a dozen cherry cultivars, including the rare local species Kawazu-zakura. Definitely not to be missed!

Other sakura hot spots: Sengan-en Garden, Tadamoto Park, Mochio Park

Where to stay: Richmond Hotel Kagoshima Kinseicho, from S$114 per night*

Located in the heart of the city, the hotel is within a few minutes walk from Tenmonkan shopping area and airport shuttle station. The park is just a tram stop away from JR Kagoshima Station, perfect if you want to continue your sakura-hunting journey in Fukuoka, which is only 1 hour and 5 minutes away by train.

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Maizuru Park, Fukuoka

Cherry blossoms at Maizuru Park - cherry blossoms in Fukuoka
Twilight reflection of sakura at Maizuru Park

Forecast flowering date: 19 March 2019

Forecast full bloom date: 30 March 2019

Fukuoka is the largest city in Kyushu, Japan’s southwesternmost main island. In Maizuru Park, you can find more than a thousand cherry trees, with the Fukuoka Castle ruins providing a beautiful backdrop. The flowering period is marked by the Fukuoka Cherry Blossom Festival, with various festive activities and food booths to keep you sated and entertained until dark, when the trees are illuminated, showing off another side of the sakuras’ breathtaking beauty.

Other sakura hot spots: Nishi Park, Katsuyama Park, Akizuki Sugi no Baba Street

Where to stay: Nishitetsu Grand Hotel, from S$113 per night*

From Tenjin station, just next to the hotel, it’s a 20-minute subway ride to the airport. You can take a nice stroll and reach Maizuru Park or Nishi Park within half an hour.

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Senkoji Temple, Hiroshima

View of sakura from Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
Quiet serenity: Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

Forecast flowering date: 23 March 2019

Forecast full bloom date: 1 April 2019

The Zen environment of Senkoji Temple makes for the perfect place to surround yourself with weeping cherry trees, as well as Yaezakura and Yoshino cherry trees. Walk up the hill to the observation deck for a panoramic view of the blossoms and Seto Inland Sea.

Other sakura hot spots: Itsukushima Shrine, Ondo-no-Seto Park, Japan Mint Hiroshima Branch

Where to stay: Rihga Royal Hotel Hiroshima, from S$88 per night*

The hotel is located near the centre of Hiroshima, with attractions like Peace Memorial Park and Hiroshima Castle within walking distance. Enjoy stunning views of Seto Inland Sea from the rooftop hotel restaurant and bar.

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>>You may also like: The Best Places to See Cherry Blossoms in Taiwan

Japan Mint, Osaka

Cherry blossom road, Japan Mint in Osaka
Cherry blossom road in Japan Mint ©JNTO

Forecast flowering date: 26 March 2019

Forecast full open date: 2 April 2019

The Japanese Mint is the head government office responsible for producing and circulating coins in the country. The cherry garden at its premises is opened to the public for just seven days a year, for sakura lovers to visit during the cherry blossom season. With different rare varieties of cherry blossoms in different shades like white, light green and light pink, the garden is an absolute must-visit for sakura-viewing in the city.

Other sakura hot spots: Osaka Castle, Kema Sakuranomiya Park, Expo Commemoration Park

Where to stay: City Plaza Osaka, from S$92 per night *

Conveniently located near Nakanoshima Park and Osaka Castle, which are only few minutes away from the hotel. Enjoy the large public bath, onsen and free massage machines on the top floor of the hotel.

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Gojo River, Nagoya

Cherry blossoms line the riverside in Nagoya, Japan

Forecast flowering date: 23 March 2019

Forecast full open date: 1 April 2019

If you wish to experience the festive atmosphere of Sakura Matsuri, Iwakura city is the place to be, with its famous handmade Koinobori (carp flags) and traditional cherry blossom festival held near the scenic Gojo River.

Other sakura hot spots: Nagoya Castle, Yamazaki River, Togokusan Fruit Park

Where to stay: Mitsui Garden Hotel Nagoya Premier, from S$137 per night *

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Chidorigafuchi, Tokyo

Cherry blossoms in the twilight at Chdorigafuchi, Tokyo.
Cherry blossoms in the twilight at Chdorigafuchi, Tokyo.

Forecast flowering date: 18 March 2019

Forecast full open date: 25 March 2019

There are many gorgeous sakura-viewing spots in Tokyo – you’re likely to find blossoms simply by wandering the streets or strolling through the parks. However, our favourite spot in the city is Chidorigafuchi. Just imagine the romance of a boat ride under a canopy of cherry trees. This picturesque garden is the ultimate date spot and certainly one of the most instagrammable sakura spots in town.

Other sakura hot spots: Shinjuku Gyoen, Yasukuni Shrine, Ueno Grace Park

Where to stay: Tokyo Dome Hotel, from S$147 per night *

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>>Also Read: Cherry Blossoms around the world

20-Ken Roads of Shizunai, Hokkaido

Sakura at 20-ken roads, Hokkaido

Forecast flowering date: 29 April 2019- Hakodate 

Forecast full open date: 17 May 2018- Kushiro

Voted as one of the ‘100 Best Cherry Blossom Spots’, ‘100 Best Roads in Japan’ and ‘Hokkaido Heritage’, 20-Ken Roads of Shizunai is undoubtedly the best sakura-viewing spot in Hokkaido. The 7km-long road in Shinhidaka is lined endlessly with over 3,000 cherry trees.

Other sakura hot spots: Goryokaku Park, Maruyama Park, Matsumae Park

Where to stay: Premier Hotel Nakajima Park Sapporo, from S$108 per night *

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*Note: These rates are based on search queries made on on 08 February, 2019. The prices are quoted in SGD. Flight prices are based on results for a return economy flight search. Hotel prices are for double occupancy and include taxes and fees. Prices are subject to change, may vary, or no longer be available.