At the start of each year the Japan Meteorological Corporation projects when cherry blossoms should bloom, and that data was disseminated on January 11th for the 2023 season. They estimate that peak bloom will be on schedule or later than previous years, with the Tokyo area anticipated to be at its best on March 30th. Here are some of the dates to pencil in on your calendars!
The next question is "what are some of the best locations to enjoy sakura season in Japan?", and hopefully we can help you out with some suggestions there, too!
This guide covers five of Tokyo's top sakura spots, which all feature on Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossom locations list – yes, that's a real thing! Another fantastic destination which isn't on the list but arguably should be is the Chidorigafuchi Moat, which looks absolutely ethereal during the peak blooming timeframe.
Osaka Castle Park and the Osaka Mint are two of the most popular spots to enjoy the best of the springtime blooms. The Expo '70 Commemorative Park is another lovely spot to add to your sightseeing list, with its Kanhizakura and Higanzakura cherry tree varieties blooming around the mid-March timeframe.
Kyoto has long been a top destination for Japan travelers, and one of the region's favored spots is Arashiyama. Known for its picturesque bamboo grove, the area also packs a punch when it comes to sakura season. Several different sakura varieties are prevalent in the area, including somei yoshino, yamazakura, and shidarezakura. Other local favorites include Daigo-ji and Ninna-ji Temple.
If enjoying cherry blossoms without having to leave your car sounds like your idea of a good time, head to Hokkaido's Shizunai Nijukken Road. Close to 3000 trees line the roadside for approximately 7 kilometers, making it a much-loved destination for springtime road trips. Further south in the port city of Hakodate, the star-shaped Goryokaku fort is also surrounded by sakura trees – it's no wonder that the area is a top pick for photographers during peak bloom.
Tsuruma Park in Nagoya was the city's first public park, and the venue is full of floral beauty to enjoy. Roses, irises, and cherry blossoms are the main drawcards throughout the year, with the sakura trees numbering around 700! Okazaki Castle Park is another spot with an impressive 800 or so somei yoshino trees.
We've got a quick guide on our site to five of Aomori's best springtime spots, and the list includes a couple of great sakura destinations in Hirosaki Castle Park and Ashino Park. The parks include 2000 and 2600 cherry blossom trees respectively, ensuring there is plenty of floral beauty to go around.
Offering panoramic views of Fukuoka City, Hakata Bay, and Shikanoshima Island, Nishi Park has around 1300 sakura trees to enjoy alongside its stunning vistas. The park is also known for its autumn color, so if you're in the area later in the year be sure to stop by.
Of course, this list is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cherry blossom locations across Japan – there are a myriad of them, from the well-known and well-frequented spots to lesser known gems. Some fun articles to check out for more inspiration include:
- Cemeteries for sakura viewing in Japan
- Sakura at Kintaikyo Bridge, Yamaguchi
- 5 of Kyushu's Top Cherry Blossom Spots
- 5 of Chugoku's Top Cherry Blossom Spots
- 5 of Tohoku's Top Cherry Blossom Spots
- 5 of Chubu's Top Cherry Blossom Spots
Be sure to simply search for cherry blossoms on our site to come up with even more results. Have a wonderful spring, and happy adventuring!