Cherry blossom
in Japan

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Cherry Blossom in Japan

Japan's cherry blossom season is getting underway for 2016, with the main sakura bloom expected to start around March 25th in southern Kyushu before slowly gravitating north. Full bloom is expected to hit Kyoto and Tokyo around April 1st–11th. Plan the perfect trip around these sakura dates and experience the arrival of spring in spectacular style!

Best Viewing Periods

Location Opening Best timing
Tokyo March 25 April 1–9
Kyoto March 28 April 3–11
Osaka March 28 April 3–11
Nara March 28 April 3–11
Nagoya March 25 April 1–9
Hiroshima March 28 April 3–April 11
Location Opening Best timing
Kagoshima March 31 April 7–15
Yokohama March 27 April 3–11
Kanazawa April 3 April 7–15
Kumamoto March 26 April 2–April 10
Fukuoka March 25 April 2–April 10
Nagano April 9 April 13–21
Location Opening Best timing
Matsuyama March 24 April 4–April 12
Takamatsu March 29 April 5–13
Fukushima April 7 April 10–18
Sendai April 8 April 13–21
Aomori April 23 April 27–May 5
Hokkaido May 3 May 5–12

What is hanami?

Hanami, literally "flower viewing", is the tradition of visiting and admiring the cherry and plum blossom between March and May each year.

In reality, that means picnics and parties under the trees, as people flock to the cherry blossom, or sakura, hotspots to take advantage of the warmer weather that marks the coming of Spring.

 How to hanami?

  • Bring friends: Once you've checked the weather forecast, set a date, choose a park or riverside area and invite everyone you know!
  • Location, location, location: Identify the exact spot and get there early to reserve it – all you need is a tarp or picnic sheet.
  • Food & Drink: Stock up on everything you'll need: bento, snacks, beer and sake etc. Don't necessarily rely on the conbini – they'll be busier and pricier – but knowing your nearest (for waste disposal and toilet facilities) is good planning none the less.
  • Be seasonal: They don't necessarily make the best beer otsumami snacks, but get into the spirit and make sure you try some of the limited edition seasonal snacks that you can buy as soon as the first cherry blossom starts blooming! More...

Varieties of cherry blossom