Top 20 Cherry Blossom Spots in Japan

Exploring Japan's top cherry blossom locations

Par Tom Roseveare   

Read on to discover 20 cherry blossom spots around Japan that are worth checking out in the Spring, when the cherry blossom season starts.

1. Chidorigafuchi, Tokyo

Chidorigafuchi, the moat around the Imperial Palace is one of the prime spots for hanami (cherry blossom viewing) in the city and always worth a visit, especially during full bloom, or even towards the end of the cherry blossom season, as the fallen petals on the water are very beautiful to look at. More about Chidorigafuchi >

2. Hirosaki Moat, Aomori

Over at Aomori's Hirosaki Castle, tall somei-yoshino trees form tunnels of pink flowers above your head and fill the moats with petals, while breezes fill the air with delicate blizzards. Young couples row small boats through the soft pink channels, ducking under weeping shiidare-sakura trees that line the banks. More about Hirosaki >

3. Himeji Castle, Hyogo

Himeji is widely considered as Japan's most spectacular castle for its imposing size, beauty (it’s also known as the ‘white heron castle’ for its pristine exterior that mimics the elegance of a heron in flight) and immaculately preserved castle grounds – with the cherry blossom season a distinct highlight. More about Himeji >

4. Fuji Lakes, Yamanashi

The lakes around Mount Fuji provide unlimited views all year round – with the spring no exception. More about the lakes >

5. Kintaikyo Bridge, Yamaguchi

The Kintai Bridge in Iwakuni provides mesmerising views of the cherry blossom foliage along the bank of the Nishiki River. A worthwhile excursion for those visiting Yamaguchi or Hiroshima in West Japan. More about Kintaikyo >

6. Kawazu, Shizuoka

Nestled along the coast of Japan's Izu Peninsula, Kawazu is a town that would be easy to pass by. But looks can be deceiving, and that's definitely the case with Kawazu. Each year between February and March, this town hosts the Kawazu Sakura Festival, one of Japan's most unique cherry blossom festivals. More about Kawazu >

7. Nakameguro, Tokyo

Nakameguro's canals are famous for being lined with hundreds of cherry trees – visit in the evening for a light-up to remember. More about Nakameguro >

8. Chureito Pagoda, Yamanashi

Already one of the more famous views of Mount Fuji, the cherry blossom trees during Spring add a little extra magic to an already perfect scene. More about Chureito Pagoda >

9. Arashiyama, Kyoto

Although most well-known for its bamboo forest, Kyoto's Arashiyama offers spectacular hillside scenery when the cherry blossom is out in force. More about Arashiyama >

Arashiyama // Yunxuan Koh on Japan Travel (Photo: Yunxuan Koh)
Arashiyama // Yunxuan Koh on Japan Travel (Photo: Yunxuan Koh)

10. Philosopher's Path, Kyoto

Tetsugaku no michi, or the Philosopher's Path, is a 2 km stone path which lies between Nanzenji and Ginkaku-ji and is lined with hundreds of cherry blossoms trees. More about the Philosopher's Path >

11. Keage Incline, Kyoto

Near to the Nanzenji neighbourhood on one end of the Philosopher's Path. Behind the Nanzenji temple, there's a trail along the aqueduct that leads to the Keage Incline. The Keage Incline was used to transport canal boats from the Okazaki Canal to canals at a higher elevation. This gentle slope is now lined with sakura trees on both sides. More about Keage Incline >

Keage Incline // Cherry Tunnel by FIND47.JP (CC 4.0) (Photo: Find47)
Keage Incline // Cherry Tunnel by FIND47.JP (CC 4.0) (Photo: Find47)

12. Negishi Park, Kanagawa

Negishi Shinrin (Forest) Park which is a pleasant place to visit anytime of the year, but especially during the colorful spring season. More about Negishi >

13 Goryokaku Fort, Hokkaido

A highlight of any trip to Hakodate, climb the Goryokaku Tower for a memorable view of the surrounding cherry blossom. More about Goryokaku Fort >

14 Heijo Palace Site, Nara

At this historical site of the former Japan capital during the Nara Period, the Heijo Palace Site comes alive during the Spring with cherry blossom foliage to admire. More about the Heijo Palace Site >

15. Kakunodate, Akita

At the end of a long winter, the folk in Kakunodate welcome the first cherry blossoms of spring with a joy in their heart. People come out of hibernation and the streets are filled with rickshaws taking visitors to the best hanami spots along the Hinokinai River. More about Kakunodate >

Kakunodate (Photo: Akita Project)
Kakunodate (Photo: Akita Project)

16. Tsuyama Castle, Okayama

The Tsuyama Cherry Blossom Festival is held at Kakuzan Park each year early–mid April showcasing the park’s 1,000+ cherry trees, with the evening lightup a particular highlight.

17 Mt. Shiude, Kagawa

Admire the Seto Inland Sea views rise up above the cherry blossom above the 352 m high Mount Shiude, in north-west Kagawa.

18. Daigo Zakura, Okayama

This 1000-year old Daigozakura (edohigan) is located in north-west Okayama. As the most famous tree in the prefecture, it is revered by the locals.

Cherry Blossoms Daigo Zakura Okayama by FIND47.JP (Photo: Find47)
Cherry Blossoms Daigo Zakura Okayama by FIND47.JP (Photo: Find47)

19. Mount Yoshino, Nara

Mount Yoshino, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is regarded as the best hanami spot in Japan. The mountain has a whopping 30,000 cherry blossom trees so the explosion of colours is truly a sight to behold. More about Mount Yoshino >

20. Sankei-en Garden, Kanagawa

A top cherry blossom spot in Yokohama, Sankei-en Garden provides fabulous vantage points from which to enjoy the cherry blossom, with an evening lightup against the garden's pagoda worth waiting for.

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Tom Roseveare

Tom Roseveare @tom.roseveare

Creative Director at Japan Travel, based in Tokyo.