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5 Things to Enjoy During Cherry Blossom Season in Japan

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From having a picnic under the cherry blossoms to tasting sakura-flavored sweets, there are many ways to enjoy spring in Japan. We introduce five things you shouldn't miss out on during the cherry blossom season in Japan.

2023.03.17

Pale pink blossoms ride on the crisp spring air as streets, avenues, and parks in Japan become carpets of pink and white. Viewing cherry blossoms is a high priority on many visitors' lists when it comes to traveling to Japan in spring.

From cherry blossom viewing to limited-time treats and goods, the following five activities will ensure great memories of the cherry blossom season!

Book the JR Pass to save on transportation expenses in Japan

5 Things to Do During Cherry Blossom Season

1. Take Photos and Enjoy a Cherry Blossom Picnic at Daytime
2. Don't Miss Out on Nighttime Cherry Blossom Illuminations!
3. Taste Cherry Blossom Flavored Treats
4. Get Cherry Blossom Themed Goods
5. River Cruising in Cherry Blossom Areas

Take Photos and Enjoy a Cherry Blossom Picnic at Daytime

5 Ways to Get the Most out of Cherry Blossom Season in Japan
Picture from Visit Secluded Cherry Blossom Spots in Kyoto: A Two-Day Itinerary. Photo by Pixta
If taking beautiful photos of Japan's cherry blossoms is a priority for you, we suggest doing your location research in advance and going early in the morning for your photoshoot. Popular cherry blossom spots all around Japan tend to get crowded so don't miss the chance of taking your dream photo!

Whether it's blossom close-ups or wide scenery photos, the sunlight before noon is your friend. If you're lucky to have good weather, the crisp springtime air and endless blue sky framing the soft pink cherry blossoms will give you an idyllic picture.

Cherry blossom picnics, or hanami, are a popular way of enjoying the season in Japan. If you're traveling with friends or family, gather under the blossoms for a seasonal picnic. It's a great chance to make memories, take photos, and enjoy the blooms at their absolute best.

Enjoy the Nighttime Cherry Blossom Illuminations

5 Ways to Get the Most out of Cherry Blossom Season in Japan

Photo by Pixta
While cherry blossoms are beautiful under the bright blue skies of a spring day, they can also look magnificent during the evenings as well. Many parks, temples, and shrines around Japan offer nighttime illuminations during the cherry blossom season.

This is a great way to experience a different view of the usual pink blossoms. With the growing twilight, many of the trees take on purple hues that are just beautiful to witness. At Hirano Shrine in Kyoto, the illumination is a modern iteration of an old habit of the imperial family going to view the cherry blossoms at this shrine for centuries.

Our recommended nighttime cherry blossom locations in Tokyo include Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Sumida Park (where you can enjoy the blooms with Tokyo Skytree in the background), Edogawa Park with cherry trees by Kanda River, and others.

Taste Cherry Blossom Flavored Treats, Including Traditional Sakura Sweets

5 Ways to Get the Most out of Cherry Blossom Season in Japan

Cherry blossom season also brings out cherry blossom flavored sweets. From green tea and cherry blossom cookies or cakes to delicious sakura-inspired beverages - the petals are not the only temporary sight that you need to enjoy quickly.

At Japanese supermarkets and confectionery shops, you'll find sakuramochi (cherry blossom glutinous rice cakes). Many cafes offer cherry blossom flavored lattes or Mont Blank sweets, seasonal parfaits, and other seasonal desserts. Keep in mind, though, that these menus tend to be available only until early April!

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Get Cherry Blossom Themed Goods

5 Ways to Get the Most out of Cherry Blossom Season in Japan

Picture from Starbucks Releases New Sakura Beverages and Goods
The cherry blossom theme is not only limited to foodstuff but is also a big part of limited seasonal product lines in everything from stationery to drinkware. Visit any souvenir or stationery shop, and you'll be able to find beautiful items to remember this spring season by!

A perennial favorite is the sakura-themed drinkware that often comes from Starbucks. Pastel pink tumblers, cute little towels, and even sakura-themed notebooks featuring the Starbucks logo are a common sight in cherry blossom season. Be sure to pick up your favorite while they're in stock, however.

River Cruising in Cherry Blossom Areas

5 Ways to Get the Most out of Cherry Blossom Season in Japan

Photo by Pixta
What better way to spend an afternoon or evening than cruising down a clear expanse of water as hundreds of sakura trees cast their pale pink crowns overhead? This is a truly unique way to enjoy the cherry blossom season.

In the major centers of Tokyo and Osaka, visitors can grab tickets to go cruising down one of the waterways lined by cherry blossoms in full bloom. In these sleek ultramodern vessels, you get a wonderful unobstructed view of the blooms as well as unique angles for those photos.

Also fun to experience is a trip back in time to see the cherry blossoms in an old-style gondola. Places like Hirosaki castle and Little Edo, Kawagoe offer these experiences of what it would've been like to view the blossoms in bygone eras!

Book the JR Pass to save on transportation expenses in Japan

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Enjoy the Cherry Blossoms!

Now it's time to head out and enjoy the sights of sakura season in Japan. Grab some friends and put down a tarp in a picturesque park, line up at a cafe for a sakura-inspired drink or sweet, and enjoy the beauty of cherry blossoms by night!

We hope you'll find these tips useful and make the most out of the sakura season in Japan!

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.