Sakura Season 2020: The Best Places To See Cherry Blossoms In Japan
During springtime of each year, thousands of cherry blossom fanatics from all over the world would flock to Japan to witness the blossoming trees. Beautiful and fleeting—as they often last no more than two weeks—sakura is a significant symbol in Japanese culture that represents new beginnings and reminds us to live in the moment.
If you are dreaming of a magical hanami (aka cherry blossom viewing) experience, it’s the perfect time to plan your trip as the Japan Weather Association has just unveiled the sakura forecast for 2020. Scroll down to discover the best places and viewing times to catch these gorgeous blossoms in Japan:
When: March 24 - April 1
Where: Featuring a stunning spread of over 600 cherry trees, Sumida Park is one of the most popular sakura viewing spots in Tokyo. During the daytime, you can set up a picnic beneath the trees, and take a few artsy shots as you take a romantic stroll with your loved ones along the Sumida River.
At night, when the trees are gently lit up, they create a magical sight to behold against Tokyo Skytree. While you’re enjoying the scenery, don’t forget to check out the food stalls nearby for sakura-themed delicacies and drinks, too!
When: March 24 - April 1
Where: In spring, Nishi Park will be transformed into a cherry blossom paradise, booming with visitors hungry to catch those pink petals and enjoy picnics on the spacious green lawns.
In addition to its 1,300 cherry trees that make the hillside park a gorgeous destination for sakura viewing, Nishi Park also boasts a spacious observatory with panoramic views overlooking Fukuoka City and the Terumo Shrine. When the sun sets, all the trees will be illuminated for a livelier atmosphere, meaning you can stay a little longer and revel in all the pink festivities at the park.
When: March 25 - April 2
Where: Perched on top of a small hill next to the Kiso River, Inuyama Castle is known as one of Japan’s oldest surviving castles that has been beautifully preserved through the tide of time.
With a stunning contrast of the blush-tinted blossoms against the castle’s ancient wooden structure, it’s no wonder this place has been one of the most famous spots in Nagoya to celebrate the arrival of spring. The annual Inuyama Festival in early April is a particular highlight; the castle town will be bustling with street food stands, music performances and even a night parade featuring traditional Karakuri puppets.
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When: March 26 - April 3
Where: While Arashiyama is known for its colourful sweep of maple leaves in autumn, its cherry blossom scene during springtime is equally beautiful. Laying on the western outskirts of Kyoto, Arashiyama is a hidden gem which has over 1,500 cherry blossoms trees flanking a long stretch of the Katsura River. The area is also dotted with old imperial villas, temples and famous landmarks—such as Togetsukyo Bridge and Arashiyama Bamboo Groove—where you can admire cherry blossoms amongst an ancient Japanese town setting.
If you’re yearning for a romantic hanami experience with your S.O., ride a pleasure boat on the Katsura River. Not only will you be able to catch a glimpse of the booming sakura from a different angle, but you’ll also get to soak up the tranquillity of nature.
When: March 27 - April 4
Where: Winning the crown of Osaka’s most beautiful park is none other than the Expo 70 Commemorative Park located along the Yodo River. Once being the former site of the 1980 World Exhibition, this expansive park has become a top sakura-viewing spot nowadays—thanks to its majestic collection of over 5,000 cherry trees, lush gardens, and a wide array of sporting and leisure facilities.
Whether you’re in the mood for watching the falling petals whilst enjoying a hanami picnic, shopping for souvenirs or strolling through the peaceful gardens, this park will not disappoint.
When: March 27 - April 4
Where: Animal lovers, this one’s for you. Spanning an immense area of 660 hectares, Nara Park is an urban oasis of abundant natural beauty where teeming with cherry blossoms and free-roaming deers you can feed and play with.
In spring, over 1,700 cherry tree in different varieties will reach full boom and turn Nara Park into a pink-petal wonderland. Aside from being a lovely hanami spot, the park also offers plenty of backdrops for your cherry blossom snaps, including the Great Buddha, Himuro Jinja Shrine, Sarusawa Pond and more.
When: April 27 - May 4
Where: In the southern reaches of Japan’s second-largest main island Hokkaido, lies the beautiful city—Hakodate—where prides itself on its urban charm and magnificent scenic spots.
During the blossoming season, the best site to view the cherry blossoms in Hakodate is Fort Goryokaku—a spectacular star-shaped, Western-style citadel that built almost 150 years ago. With over 1,600 cherry trees lining the moats, you’d be hard-pressed to find a spot as unique as this to capture the delicate flowers. Fancy a bird’s-eye view of the pink star? Head up to the 107-meter-high Goryokaku Tower, so you can enjoy sweeping views across the park.
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