Coming to Tokyo or Kyoto a little bit too late for the cherry blossoms? Maybe coming to Hokkaido is your solution. The season starts here from around mid-April to the end of the month. There are a host of cheap and free places to check out the sakura trees, but here are our highlights!
The only real, traditional Japanese castle in Hokkaido is a great place for cherry blossom viewing. Loads of different sakura trees.
Access: Take a bus from Kikonai station (95 mins, 1370 yen) south of Hakodate. A direct bus from Hakodate is 2150 yen (3 hours).
Odori Park (Sapporo)
Sapporo’s famous park stretches across the city and is a good place to see cherry blossoms for free. Lots of stalls along the way provide cheap food and drinks as well.
Moerenuma Park (Sapporo)
This fabulous art park creates a truly unique cherry blossom experience, with dense forests of sakura trees surrounded by striking, modern architecture and art.
Hakodate Park (Hakodate)
A great free park for a few beers under the cherry blossom trees. There are also some local deer to play with!