Cherry blossom season is a busy tourist season in Japan. However, taking the time to visit the country during the blooming of the sakura is worth it. When in full bloom, the blossoms are breathtaking. You’ll see the locals doing what they call ‘hanami’ which means ‘flower viewing. It can be done traditionally by enjoying a picnic in the park or even taking a stroll. It was refreshing to see the locals smiling and showing their carefree selves while the blossoms gently fell to the ground. Even vendors embrace the season at local markets by selling floral goods to celebrate the season, ranging from specialty honey to pickled sakura tea and pastries.
The best time to see the cherry blossoms are in late March to early April. When planning my trip, I made sure to give myself a couple weeks to ensure that I got to see the blossoms in full bloom. My friend E-Buns sent me the cherry blossom forecast just prior to the trip and we found many websites, such as Japan-Guide, which kept us informed of the bloom status. It was pretty warm and the blossoms started blooming a little earlier than normal according to the forecast, but we timed it just perfectly. The season is short-lived, even shorter if the weather proves to be harsh.
There are over a hundred types of cherry blossoms in Japan. This guide provides a brief breakdown of the different types based on the number of petals, the colors, and other characteristics.
Of the many places to see the cherry blossoms, my two favorites from my visit were in Kyoto and Nagoya. The blossoms were in full bloom when we hit these cities, and it was absolutely breathtaking.
When I think of cherry blossoms, I think of Kyoto. A beautiful city is even more beautiful when the blossoms are in full bloom. We made sure to take a trip to the Philosopher’s Path, a stone path which follows a canal for about a mile, lined with hundreds of cherry blossom trees.
Nagoya Castle is another popular and amazing place to see the blossoms. the castle, which was built during the Edo Period, is one of the largest in the country.