A season of Hope, Life & Beauty
Cherry blossom festival is also known as Sakura festival. It’s a beloved tradition in Japan that is celebrated every year at the blooming of cherry blossom trees (also known as Sakura). The festival takes place every year from late March to early May, depending on the blooming patterns of the cherry blossom trees in each region of Japan and it is considered favorite time of the year. (For instance, in Tokyo the peak time of blooming trees are from late March to Early May, while in Kyoto the season begins after two or more weeks).
Every year people from all over the world gather with family and friends to celebrate the beginning of the Spring season. Japanese people consider this time a season of hope, new beginnings, life and beauty. The festival is celebrated in many different ways throughout the country by making it a unique and memorable experience for all.
Therefore, if you’re planning to visit Japan specifically for the festival then here’s the tentative dates for blooming season of the cherry blossoms.
2023 Forecast of flowering and full bloom dates for each area:
Tokyo – Flowering: March 23 / Full bloom: March 30
Sapporo – Flowering: May 2 / Full bloom: May 5
Sendai – Flowering: April 4 / Full bloom: April 10
Kanazawa – Flowering: April 4 / Full bloom: April 10
Nagoya – Flowering: March 24 / Full bloom: April 4
Kyoto – Flowering: March 27 / Full bloom: April 5
Osaka – Flowering: March 28 / Full bloom: April 5
Hiroshima – Flowering: March 24 / Full bloom: April 4
Fukuoka – Flowering: March 23 / Full bloom: April 1
These are tentative dates of the blooming season, however, it can vary according to the weather conditions of the respective area. At the same time, you can track all the details of blooming season through their official website.
Amazing Facts about cherry blossom season
- Cherries don’t belong to cherry blossom trees
- 27th March is marked as Cherry Blossom Day
- The time period of the season may have 2 months but the blooming life span of each tree is only 2 weeks
- Cherry blossom trees have more than 600 species all over the Japan
- You can eat and drink the petals of Sakura flowers.
Best Places to see Cherry Blossoms in Japan
Here are a few spots for tourists to enjoy the cherry blossom festival in Japan:
Sakura in Tokyo
Plan a trip to japan to enjoy the most famous cherry blossom spots and take a part in local festivals and events. During the festival, many local communities hold celebrations and events that showcase the beauty of the cherry blossom trees. Visitors can take part in these festivities, which often include food stalls, traditional music, dance performances, and light displays.
Here are some of the well-known and hyped spots of Tokyo:
Ueno Park is the most popular yet busiest park of Tokyo. People from all over the world come and enjoy the season between 600 Sakura trees. It’s a best place for Picnic and boat riding with friends and family. You can spend the whole day here, especially in evening the hanging lanterns on trees give an amazing view of the park. Park usually opens at 5:00 am till 11:00 pm.
Sumida Park is another popular spot of sakura season. The park is near to Tokyo sky-tree and just a 5 minutes away from Asakusa Station. Locals and people from all over the world
Come and gather at this spot for picnic and adore the amazing view of blossom trees with hanging lanterns. The park remains open for 24 Hours.
Shinjuku Gyoen is considered the most peaceful and perfect picnic spot to take an amazing view of 1300 sakura trees. This place is full of traditional gardens i.e. English-style garden, French garden and Japanese garden and also a picturesque traditional tea house. If you want to take a break from crowded public spots, then it’s a best place to enjoy the season in full bloom. Shinjuku Gyoen opens every day except Monday from 9:00 am till 4:00 pm.
Koishikawa Botanical Gardens
Koishikawa Botanical gardens are the oldest traditional gardens of Tokyo, Earlier the gardens were known as the home of Koishikawa Medicinal herbal garden. Now, it’s a peaceful and must go place to enjoy the Sakura season. It is almost 10-15 minutes away from Hakusan station.
The garden remains open every day expect Monday from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm.
Sakura in Kyoto
It’s a famous Unesco World Heritage site of Kyoto. The Nijo castle grounds are ideal from late March to mid-April for enjoying a picnic under the cherry trees while the sakura blossoms gently fall around you which gives the tourists an amazing feeling. It is one of the recommended and peaceful location for people who come this far to enjoy the season. The castle is open from 8:45 am to 5:00 pm. However, 4:00 pm is a last entry time for visitors.
Kyoto Botanical Garden:
Kyoto Botanical garden is a most epic garden for sakura viewing. It is one of the largest conservatory in Japan and a home to 4500 different plant species. It has some of the most beautiful cherry blossom trees in it. Every evening trees are lit up with lanterns that gives an eye catchy view to its visitors.
The garden remains open all week from 9:00 on to 5:00 pm. However, during the season the timings are extended till 9:00 pm.
It’s an ancient Buddhist temple and a designated Unesco’s World Heritage site. It is just a 15 minutes away from Daigoji station and famous for Somei Yoshino, the weeping cherry blossom, as well as the beautiful cherry blossom tunnel at the approach to the temple. The best time to see sakura here is from late March till early April.
The gardens remain open all week from 9:00 am till 4:00 pm.
The blossoming cherry trees at Hirano are measured as the beginning of sakura in Kyoto. Every year Okasai festival also takes place by the end of cherry blossom viewing season, where locals wear traditional Japanese outfits and gather around the shrine. It remains open from 6:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Other places to see Sakura in Japan
- Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
- Hirosaki Castle
- Himeji Castle
- Kenrokuen Garden in Kanazawa
- Mount Fuji
- Osaka Castle Park
- Setssukyo Park
- Osaka Mint
- Seiryu-Ji Temple
What to wear for seeing Cherry Blossom?
Always check weather forecast before visiting any place. During this season weather remains little chilly with the chance of rain, so be careful while wearing outfits.
- Whatever outfit you wear, don’t forget to take waterproof jacket or waterproof clothing
- Boots must be waterproof to avoid any inconvenience
- Always keep umbrellas and waterproof covers with you to tackle with rain issues.
In conclusion, no doubt Japan is a gorgeous country& the cherry blossom festival is a must-visit for tourists visiting Japan during late March to early May. From picnicking under the cherry blossom trees to participating in traditional tea ceremonies and festivals, there is something for everyone to enjoy.