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Top Five Best Japanese Cherry Blossom Spots!

Anna AyvazyanAnna Ayvazyan
Published Time
Posted on 
March 24, 2023
Modified Time
Updated last 
March 29, 2023
People walking among the Japanese cherry blossoms in a large crowd, looking for a place to have a picnic party.

Japanese cherry blossom trees transform the country into a flowery pink paradise from late March to early April! If you visit during the spring, you can find yourself in a pink sea of lovely flower petals!

People frequently have modest picnics with their friends or family from sunrise until sunset under the trees. Here are the top five spots to view the Japanese cherry blossom trees!

#1 Meguro River, Tokyo

The Meguro River is one of Tokyo’s most popular hanami spots. It is in the Nakameguro district, near Shibuya, and there are almost 800 within a 2.2-kilometer radius. Various food and drink stalls are near the river during the day, including takoyaki, fries, yakisoba, and slushies stands! With so many food and beverage options nearby, having a picnic with friends is a breeze!

Pink sakura trees lining the Meguro River during the daytime.
Meguro River is one of the most popular hanami spots in the city. Image via Shutterstock

In addition, there are also cherry blossoms illuminations until 9 pm. The lighting uses many lanterns positioned along the river’s edge. Sparkling alcoholic drinks by the glass are sometimes available from food and beverage sellers. 

Meguro River at night during sakura season.
Nakameguro has breathtaking cherry blossom illuminations. Image via Shutterstock

As a result, you can enjoy hanami at night and during the day. Furthermore, as the cherry blossoms fall, their petals fill the river. The river, with all its pink and white petals, is also a sight! The closest station to the Meguro River is Nakameguro, and the illumination begins at 5 pm and continues until 8:30 pm.

#2 Ueno Park, Tokyo

Ueno Park is enjoyable to visit year-round in Tokyo, but it takes on a new look in the spring! The park has over 1200 sakura trees, approximately half Yoshino cherry blossoms.

Japanese cherry blossoms at Ueno Park. They are pink.
Ueno Park has some of the prettiest sakura trees in the city! Image via Shutterstock

Yoshino cherry blossom trees are famous for their brilliant white-pink flowers and subtle smell. The park may become quite crowded despite its size, especially on weekends and public holidays.

Many food and drink kiosks make it easy to picnic under the trees during the day. Ueno Park also has the Ueno Zoo, various temples and shrines, and a museum. With so many attractions, it’s an excellent opportunity to combine hanami with animal fun! 

People in swan boats at Ueno Park among the Japanese cherry blossom trees.
Swan boat rides are a must at Ueno Park during the spring! Image via Shutterstock

The sakura trees are illuminated at night, creating the illusion that the park is on another planet. JR Ueno Station is the nearest station to Ueno Park, and it’s open from 5 am to 11 pm, with the illumination from 5 pm to 8 pm.

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#3 Himeji Castle, Himeji, Hyogo

Himeji Castle was one of Japan’s first declared world heritage sites. It is also one of Japan’s most beautiful castles, notable for its white color and well-preserved construction.

The castle grounds are changed in the spring thanks to the thousands of cherry blossom trees planted around the castle. Kokoen Garden, located adjacent to the castle, is especially well-known for its cherry blossom and spring flower displays.

Himeiji Castle near the sakura trees with a mountain in the background.
This castle has plenty of tours year-round! Image via Shutterstock

Many food and drink kiosks are inside and outside the castle grounds during the day. You can go inside the castle for 1000 yen in addition to witnessing the cherry blossoms on the grounds. You can climb to the top of the castle to get a birds-eye perspective of Himeji.

Interactive guides within and outside the castle provide information about the city’s history. Himeji Zoo is located on the grounds of Himeji Castle and provides excellent photo opportunities of the castle! The admission charge is only 210 yen for adults and 30 yen for children, making it a great family activity!

From April 2nd through April 9th, Himeji Castle also has an illumination event! In addition, for 1500 yen in the spring, you can ride a boat around the castle moat.

Another picture of the traditional Japanese Himeiji Castle during sakura season.
Himeji Castle is in Hyogo. Image via Shutterstock

JR Himeji Station is the nearest station to Himeji Castle. The castle is roughly a 15-minute walk from the station. However, there is a bus that takes around 7 minutes. While the castle grounds are open around the clock, the castle proper is only open from 9 am to 5 pm. The castle will be illuminated from 6:30 to 9:00 pm (last entry 8:30 pm). 

#4 Mount Yoshino, Nara 

Mount Yoshino has been a popular hanami destination for generations, for a good reason! The mountain is home to 30000 cherry blossom trees of various sorts, which have inspired numerous Japanese poets and painters. It is a favorite hiking destination among locals, and a ropeway takes you to the summit!

Numerous Japanese cherry blossom trees near Mount Yoshino.
The Mount Yoshino area has hills upon hills of sakura trees. Image via Shutterstock

The cherry blossoms at Mt Yoshino are hitome-senbon, which means “view of a thousand cherry trees.” As you stroll through the hills and forest, you will notice this. Because there are so many different types of sakura here, there is an extended viewing season.

Shimo Senbon (lower 1000 trees) is at the mountain’s foot, Naka Senbon (middle 1000 trees), Kami Senbon (higher 1000 trees), and Oku Senbon (inner 1000 trees) are at the mountain’s peak. Shimo Senbon to Oku Senbon is accessible by ropeway. Takagiyama Observation Deck, roughly a 90-minute walk from the ropeway station, is the most excellent site to see the sakura trees.

Because there are few food and drink stalls on the mountain, it’s best to carry your own. You can also get food at adjacent restaurants or convenience stores near the mountain’s base.

Two people relaxing near cherry blossoms at Mount Yoshino.
One of the most prevalent species of cherry blossoms is named after this legendary mountain. Image via Shutterstock

Yoshino Station is the nearest station to Mount Yoshino. You can walk from the station to the mountain’s base to catch the ropeway. Alternatively, you can ride buses that stop at various locations on the mountain.

#5 Arakurayama Sengen Park, Yamanashi

Mount Fuji is one of Japan’s national emblems and stands out when visiting Tokyo on a sunny day. Arakurayama Sengen Park is well-known for its stunning vistas of Mount Fuji in the spring and its crimson pagoda. If you want a postcard photo of Japan during hanami, this park is the spot to go!

A pagoda near Mt Fuji, during sakura season, in Arakuyama Sengen Park
This park has fantastic views of Mount Fuji. Image via Shutterstock

There are approximately 650 Yoshino cherry trees in this park. It may not have as many trees as other areas, but it is a pleasant place to visit! It is also a famous hiking destination with stunning views of Fujiyoshida City. Churei-to, a five-story pagoda created as a peace memorial, is in the park garden. It offers a stunning view of Mt Fuji, the pagoda, and cherry blossom trees.

Sakura trees near a pagoda at Arakurayama Sengen Park
This is one of the most famous pagodas in the area. Image via Shutterstock

Various food and drink stalls and live music at the park’s festival (generally in early April) are also available! Combined with the vista, it is an ideal location for a hanami picnic with friends or family. Shimoyoshida-eki Station is the nearest station to the park.

Spring is one of the best times to visit Japan, especially during the Japanese cherry blossom season. What places do you want to visit and why? Let us know in the comments below! 

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