The iconic sight of cherry trees in bloom can be enjoyed every spring across Japan. As with any natural event it is hard to be specific with exact dates, however, normally this spectacle occurs between the months of March and April. The blossom is incredibly fragile so there is generally a two-week window when the trees are in full bloom. Once the blossom begins to fall it can be equally beautiful as the petals cover the ground creating a magical floral carpet that wouldn’t look out of place in a Disney film.
Where is the best place to see the cherry blossom?
There are a number of places you can see the blossom and you need not go any further than Tokyo and Kyoto. Both of these cities offer a wealth of neighbourhoods to enjoy the blossom, from parks to temple gardens, canal sides and river banks. All explode in a blanket of pink and white. Local families gather for picnics to enjoy Hanami (Flower viewing) and there is generally an air of excitement as spring arrives.
Alternatively, head to one of Japan’s feudal lord castles to combine history with nature. The perfect sloping rooftops of Hirosaki or World Heritage listed Himeji Castle provide an impressive backdrop to the blossom and the moat surrounding the former even turns bubble gum pink when the petals fall.
To view the blossom in a more rural setting on a grand scale, Mount Yoshino has around 30,000 cherry trees, some reportedly dating back over 1000 years, or combine the iconic site of Mount Fuji with the blossom laden trees on the shores of Lake Kawaguchiko.
Do I need a guide to see the cherry blossom?
With many of the trees being in public places it is very easy to see the blossom independently, however, if you prefer, we can arrange an organised tour with a private guide who will know the prime spots to visit at the quietest times and ensure you don’t miss out on the best views.
How far in advance should I book to travel during blossom season?
If seeing the cherry blossom is an integral reason for your holiday to Japan, ensure you book early as availability can be tricky during this period. We would suggest booking at least a year in advance.