Mount Fuji
Blossom at Mount Fuji. Midori

Sakura is the Japanese word for cherry blossom. Every year between March and May the fruit trees blossom, creating a magical, colourful spectacle across the country. Blossom season has become more famous outside of Japan in the past years. Through social media, many colourful pictures are posted making the rest of the world aware of this phenomenon. However, many ask themselves: when is the best time to go and see the blossom?

The famous blossom is a combination of different fruit trees going in bloom during Spring. Which results in different colours of flowers; like white, red, but also apricot and prune.

Best video cherry blossom in Japan

When do the trees blossom?
Spring starts in March and ends in May. During this period the season of blossom takes place. The start of the blossom season depends on the behaviour of the Winter period. Temperature, wind, rainfall, snowfall, they have a strong influence on the process of the season.

As the Sakura is getting more famous across the globe, it also means more tourist travel to Japan to experience this colourful phenomenon. Therefore, it is wise to plan your trip in advance. If only to be sure you have a hotel room to sleep in.

10 best places to see the Sakura:
1. Goryokaku Fort Park in Hakodate, on the island of Hokkaido
Here the prune and cherry trees are almost at the same time in bloom. Goryokaku is famous for its fortress Hokkaido. One of the biggest fortresses in Japan. Around the fortress you will find many trees, each year fully in bloom.
Best period: end of April till beginning of May

2. Ueno-Park, Tokyo

One of the famous parks in Tokyo is Ueno-park, where many activities are organised around the Sakura. There are approximately 1,200 cherry trees in the park, resulting in great blossom. Ueno-park also has a zoo and the Tokyo National Museum to visit. Unfortunately, this is also the busiest place in Japan to see the cherry blossom. A good alternative to go to is Shinjuku Gyoen Park in Tokyo.
Best period: end of March till end of April.

3. Maruyama Park, Arashiyama and The Philosopher’s Path, Kyoto
Maruyama Park is the largest park in Kyoto. The rather big cherry trees in the park are enlightened during the night, giving it a whole different dimension. The famous Philospher’s Path is the route from the Ginkaku-ji Temple to the Wakaoji-jinja-shrine where you walk through the blossoming trees.
Best period: end of March till end of April.

4. Mount Yoshino, Nara
Mount Yoshino is famous for its hills with cherry blossom mixed with other trees. In total there are over 30,0000 cherry trees, reaching from the bottom of the hill (for instance at Shimo-senbon) up to the top of the hills (at oku-senbon). It is a great place to stroll through the hills and enjoy the Sakura. Be aware; you can run into deers…
Best period: the whole month of April.

5. Japan Mint, Osaka
Japan Mint is the land alongside the old Odo-river in Osaka. Many trees to blossom fill the land, resulting in a colourful explosion.
Best period: half till end of April.

6. Hirosaki Castle Park, Hirosaki
A great combination of Japanese architecture and the blossom; that is Hirosaki Castle Park in Hirosaki. Great park for strolling around and enjoying the blossom and the architecture of the castle. Over 2,600 trees of which some over 200 years old.
Best period: end of April till end of May.

7. Kakunodate, Akita
The old Samuari houses in Kakunodate are the perfecte guests in the blossom scenery. Only 150 trees around, nonetheless a picture perfect…
Best period: end of April till end of May.

8. Nagoya Castle, Aichi
The Nagoya Castle in Aichi is one of the most beautiful castles in Japan. Especially during Sakura, the castle is surrounded by colourful, blossoming trees.
Best period: end of March till beginning of April.

9. Inokashira Park, Tokyo
If you want to avoid the busy Ueno Park, the Inokashira Park is good alternative to see the cherry blossom. You can also rent a boat and peddle along the blossoming trees.
Best period: end of March till half of April.

10. Daigo-Ji Temple, Kyoto
Many travelers find the walk from the Daigo-Ji Temple in Kyoto to the top of the hill the most beautiful one during the cherry blossom. Besides an island full in bloom, there is nice waterfall.
Best period: end of March till end of April.

There are many locations where you can see the trees in full blossom. At the foot of Mount Fuji for example. But if you travel through the country will come across many.

Cherry blossom from above. Danilo Dungo