Best Cherry Blossom spots in Japan
From Tokyo to Kyoto.
One of the most popular bucket list-trips is the one that goes to Japan for the most beautiful phenomena Mother Nature has to offer: The cherry blossom (桜, sakura). The best way to keep track of exact dates for when the cherry trees are in full bloom in different locations throughout Japan is with the detailed forecast on livejapan.com. There are dozens of different varieties of cherry blossoms, some bloom earlier than others. Whether you’ve already booked your tickets for 2023 or if you’re filling that bucket for future trips, we have the best locations for the ultimate hanami experience.
You can enjoy the cherry blossoms in various parks and gardens in the city, such as Ueno Park, Shinjuku Gyoen, or Yoyogi Park. Ueno Park is one of the most popular spots with over 1000 trees along a central pathway. Shinjuku Gyoen has a beautiful English Garden with more than 400 trees of different varieties. Yoyogi Park is known for its lively parties under the blossoms with food stalls and music.
But maybe the most iconic place to experience cherry blossom is alongside the Meguro River (Meguro-gawa). It can be crowded at times but it is definitely worth the trip. Furthermore, in 2023 the Meguro River Cherry Blossom Festival is coming back after a four-year break due to the pandemic. The closest station is Nakameguro where the circular Yoyogi Line runs.
Probably Japan’s most famous cherry-bloom destination, with over 30,000 sakura trees carpeting the Kii Mountains. The trees are planted along four slopes at different altitudes, creating a stunning gradient effect as they bloom at different times. You can also visit temples and shrines along the way and enjoy the views from observation decks.
A five-storied pagoda on a hilltop overlooking Mount Fuji and a sea of pink blossoms. It is one of the most photogenic spots in Japan, especially at sunrise or sunset when the light creates a magical atmosphere. It’s a climb of about 400 steps from the Arakura Sengen Shrine at the base of the hill – but trust us, it is worth the effort.
One of the five lakes around Mount Fuji and a popular spot for viewing cherry blossoms with the majestic mountain as a backdrop. There are several locations around the lake where you can admire the scenery, such as Oishi Park, Nagasaki Park, or Ubuyagasaki Peninsula.
A district in Kyoto that offers a variety of attractions and activities besides cherry blossoms. You can stroll along the Togetsukyo Bridge over the Katsura River, explore the bamboo grove and monkey park, or visit temples and gardens such as Tenryuji and Daikakuji. The cherry trees along the riverbank create a stunning contrast with the green bamboo forest behind them.