Top 10 Cherry Blossom Spots in Japan

Here are the best places for cherry blossom viewing, also known as ‘hanami’, in Japan:

ueno_park_cherry_sakura_s

Ueno Park

A huge park with seemingly hundreds of cherry blossom trees.  Very, very busy, but great atmosphere.

Ueno travel guide

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himeji_cherry_blossomsHimeji Castle

Himeji Castle is breath-taking during the cherry blossom season.  It’s free if you just stay around the castle, but don’t go inside.  Be sure to book your hostel/hotel as early as possible.

Himeji travel guide

Philosophers_Walk_sakuraPhilosopher’s Walk (Kyoto)

The cherry blossom season is the best time to take this walking route.  There are cherry blossoms all along the way, plus a few attractions, such as small shrines surrounded by blossom trees, along the way.  Hostel/hotels get booked up very early.

Philosopher’s Walk travel guide

Hachiman_shrine_sakuraHachiman shrine (Kamakura)

The road up to this huge shrine is lined with loads of cherry blossom trees.  It’s well worth taking a side trip from Tokyo just to see this.

Kamakura travel guide

matsumoto_cherry_blossomMatsumoto Castle 

Matsumoto Castle is not just one of the best castles in Japan, it also becomes unbelievably beautiful during the cherry blossom season. Expect big crowds, but amazing photos to take home.

Matsumoto travel guide

miyajima_sakuraMiyajima

There are many cherry blossom trees all over the island, particularly in the main tourist spots.

Miyajima travel guide

nara_cherry_blossomNara Park

It’s not just the deer that make this park great, the cherry blossoms steal the show in spring!  There is lots of space as well, so bring some drinks and a picnic/bento.

Nara travel guide

yasaka_shrine_sakuraYasaka Shrine and Maruyama Park (Kyoto)

This shrine and the surrounding cherry blossoms trees make  for a nice, relaxing stroll.  Maruyama Park is right next to Yasaka Shrine.

Yasaka Shrine travel guide

sumida_cherry_blossomSumida Park (Asakusa)

Near Asakusa, this park has a nice selection of cherry blossoms going along the river.

Asakusa travel guide

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meguro_river_sakuraMeguro River (Tokyo)

A long river lined with perfect cherry blossoms, cheap stalls selling food and a great, casual atmosphere.

Access:  From Shibuya (Tokyo) station, take the Tokyu Toyoko line (private line) to Nakameguro station. The river is just north of the station. More in Tokyo

Map

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