JNTO Spring - Daisen (Spring)

Spring

Related: Cherry blossom and spring tours 2014

The cherry blossoms, known in Japan as sakura, are usually only in full bloom for around one week. After the period of full bloom the small, round shaped flowers start to flutter gracefully from their trees and the blossoms are said to be the most beautiful in this final stage as the white and pink petals gently float to the ground.

For many Japanese, the blooming of the cherry blossom trees symbolizes human life, transience and nobleness. The Japanese love to celebrate and cherish the cherry blossoms trees during the limited flowering period and many people hold ‘flower watching’ parties known as hanami. You cannot travel to Japan in spring without appreciating the beauty of the sakura and experiencing a hanami party for yourself!!

Below are some famous spots across Japan for viewing the beautiful cherry blossom trees.

Please note: Suggested viewing dates for cherry blossoms represent averages of actual peak blooming dates over the past several years. Viewing dates are subject to change due to changes in weather conditions.

Hokkaido

Matsumae Park

The Matsumae Park proudly boasts of being the site of some 10,000 cherry trees of 250 different varieties.

  • Bloom Period: Late April to early May
  • Access: From Tokyo, 1hr 20 min flight to Hakodate and 2hr 50 min from Hakodate Station to Matsumae by bus.

For further details please click here.

Tohoku

Hirosaki Park, Aomori

The park is surrounded by a triple moat and earthworks and is famous in Japan for its spectacular cherry blossoms in spring. The Hirosaki Sakura-Matsuri (cherry blossom festival) is held in late April and is one of the two most spectacular festivals in Hirosaki.

  • Bloom Period: Late April to early May
  • Access: 5hr from Tokyo via Hachinohe (JR Tohoku Shinkansen Line) to Hirosaki Station by JR Tohoku Line.

For further details please click here.

Ka-jo Castle Park, Yamagata

Ka-jo Castle Park is noted for its cherry blossoms and the 1500 cherry trees in the park are lit up at night to attract visitors.

  • Bloom Period: Mid to Late April
  • Access: 10min walk from Yamagata Station (2hr 30min From Tokyo to Yamagata Station by JR Yamagata Shinkansen Line).

For further details please click here.

Kakunodate, Akita

Kakunodate is a quiet town in the east of Akita. It is enclosed on three sides by mountains, and the Hinokinai-gawa River runs southwards through it. The Hinokinai-gawa River is lined with cherry trees for two kilometers. The tunnel of cherry blossoms that forms along the riverbanks in spring is beautiful, and has been designated as a national beauty spot.

  • Bloom Period: Mid April to early May
  • Access: 3hr 25 min from Tokyo to Kakunodate Station by JR Akita Shinkansen Line.

For further details please click here.

Takada Park, Niigata

The park includes over 4000 cherry blossom trees which are illuminated at night to fascinate passers by. The park is well regarded as one of the three most beautiful night view points to enjoy cherry blossoms.

  • Bloom Period: Early to Mid April
  • Access: A 20 min walk from JR Takada Station which is 2hr 30min away from Tokyo by train.

For further details please click here.

Tokyo and Surroundings

Ueno-onshi-koen Park, Tokyo

The park is particularly crowded in early April when people gather to enjoy the view of the wonderful cherry blossoms.

  • Bloom Period: Late March to April
  • Access: 5 min from Tokyo Station to Ueno Station by JR Yamanote Line.

For further details please click here.

Chidori-ga-fuchi, Tokyo

Close to the Imperial Palace, this park is a classic spot for viewing the glorious cherry blossoms. This area boasts of having the largest number of people coming to view the cherry blossoms in Tokyo during the beginning of April.

  • Bloom Period: Late March to Early April
  • Access: A 20-minute walk from Tokyo Station or a 5-minute walk from Tokyo Metro Kudanshita/Hanzomon Station.

For further details please click here.

Hitsuji-yama Park, Chichibu, Tokyo

More than 400,000 bulbs have been used to create a field of pink moss designed to make a pattern on the hill of Hitsuji-yama. This flower patchwork of pink, white and purple is spread over 16500 square metres and is truly an amazing sight.

  • Bloom Period: Mid April to Mid May
  • Access: 1hr 23 min from Ikebukuro (Tokyo) to Seibu Chichibu Station by Seibu Ikebukuro Line.

For further details please click here.

Shinshu

Takato Castle Ruins Park, Nagano

There are over 1,500 ‘kohigan-zakura’ cherry trees in the park. Their blossoms are smaller and more reddish than typical cherry blossoms, and they have been designated a precious natural property of the Nagano prefecture. During blooming periods the blossoms are illuminated at night, and the park becomes crowded with people who visit to enjoy the beautiful cherry blossoms.

  • Bloom Period: Early to late April
  • Access: 2hr 20 min from Shinjuku (Tokyo) to Okaya Station by JR Chuo Line (limited express).

For further details please click here.

Garyuu Kouen Park, Takayama, Gifu

The symbol of the park is the natural heritage listed cherry tree that is more than 1,100 years old. “Garyuu-zakura” means crouching dragon cherry tree, and the tree is so named for the remarkable shape of its trunk, which resembles a dragon crouching on the earth.

  • Bloom Period: Late April
  • Access: 2hr to Nagoya Station from Tokyo by JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line, and 2hr 10 min from Nagoya to Takayama Station.

For further details please click here.

Tonami Tulip Park, Toyama

Toyama is the proud home of the highest production volume of tulip bulbs in Japan. Tonami City is known as the “Tulip Town.” From 23rd April, the town holds a ‘Tulip Fair’ with a total of one million brilliant flowers in 450 different varieties on display. You can enjoy yourself all day long viewing Japan’s largest five linked water wheels, the tulip museum, art museum, etc.

  • Flower Fair Period: 23 April, 2009 to 6 May, 2009
  • Access: 3h 20 min from Tokyo via Echigo-Yuzawa Station (JR Joetsu Shinkansen Line) to Toyama Station by JR Hokuriku Line

For further details please click here.

Kyoto, Osaka & Surroundings

Maruyama Park, Kyoto

Located close to the Gion district, Kyoto, Maruyama Park is famous for a large overhanging cherry tree. During the bloom time, the tree is illuminated at night and creates a fantastic atmosphere.

  • Bloom Period: Late March to Mid April
  • Access: A 5-min walk from Gion district, Kyoto

For further details please click here.

Mt. Daigo-san, Kyoto

Daigo area lies to the southeast of Kyoto City. Daigo-ji Temple is the head temple of the Shingon-Daigo sect. The grounds of Daigo-ji temple cover the whole of Mt. Daigo-san, and are famous for their beautiful cherry blossoms in spring.

  • Bloom Period: Late March to Mid April
  • Access: 5 min from Kyoto to Yamashina Station by JR Biwako Line (rapid service). 8 min from Yamashina to Daigo Station.

For further details please click here.

Mt. Yoshino-yama, Nara

The most famous site in the area with over 30,000 cherry trees. It is considered to be the best cherry blossom viewing spot in Japan.

  • Bloom Period: Early to late April
  • Access: 1hr 45 min from Kyoto to Yoshino Station on the Kintetsu Line.

For further details please click here.

Osaka castle park, Osaka

The premises of the castle contain a lawn-covered park with an area of about 60,000 square metres, which is full of cherry blossom viewers in the spring time. The castle grounds boast 4300 cherry tress where you can enjoy the charming cherry blossoms with castle tower in the background.

  • Bloom Period: Early April
  • Access: 18 min from Tennoji to Osaka-jo-koen Station by JR Loop Line. About 2 hours and 30 minutes from Tokyo.

For further details please click here.

Himeji Castle, Hyogo

The Castle hosts the Himeji Castle Cherry Blossom Viewing Fair, drum music performances and Princess Sen-hime Peony Festival in spring.

  • Bloom Period: Early to Late April
  • Access: 1hr 9 min from Osaka to Himeji Station by JR Sanyo Line (new rapid service).

For further details please click here.

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