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Nagoya, Hakodate, and More! 7 Cherry Blossom Tours to Less Crowded Spots

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Nagoya and cities in northern Japan such as Hirosaki, Akita, and Hakodate, boast splendid cherry blossom locations where you can enjoy the views without the crowds. We introduce seven spring tours to less crowded cherry blossom spots in Japan.

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The areas around Tokyo and Osaka can frequently become excessively crowded during the cherry blossom season. Although these locations can be magnificent, travelers can greatly enhance their experience by exploring destinations farther away like Nagoya, Tohoku, and Hokkaido.

From historic castles surrounded by sakura to enchanting gardens that epitomize tradition, there are numerous breathtaking sights to behold!

7 Spring Tour to Less Crowded Cherry Blossom Spots

1. Takato Sakura Festival: One-Day Bus Tour from Nagoya
2. Mount Yoshino Cherry Blossom Tour from Nagoya
3. Cherry Blossom Tour at Tokugawaen Garden and Nagoya Castle
4. Hirosaki Castle Cherry Blossom One-Day Tour
5. Cherry Blossom Season Akita City One-Day Tour
6. Sapporo Cherry Blossoms: One-Day Chartered Car Tour
7. Goryokaku Tower in Hakodate: Cherry Blossom Viewing

1. Takato Sakura Festival and Sakura Cruise: One-Day Bus Tour from Nagoya

7 Cherry Blossom Tours to Less Crowded Spots

Photo courtesy of Klook
Nagoya has several hidden gem cherry blossom spots, and its proximity to major centers makes it an ideal starting point for exploring beautiful locations.

Embark on a one-day bus tour from Nagoya to visit Takato Castle—an underrated gem showcasing magnificent cherry blossom scenery.

Regarded as one of the top three castle spots for viewing cherry blossoms, the initial part of the tour allows visitors to explore the ruins independently and savor the beauty of the meandering cherry trees that form a dazzling canopy over the park grounds.

Subsequently, you will be able to enjoy a leisurely cruise around Ena Gorge, where cherry blossoms adorn the riverbanks. This 30-minute journey offers truly unique cherry blossom vistas best appreciated from the water.

Moreover, this tour includes lunch, adding a delightful bonus to the experience!

2. World Heritage Mt. Yoshino and Cherry Blossom Day Tour from Nagoya

7 Cherry Blossom Tours to Less Crowded Spots

Photo by Pixta
Given its proximity to the areas around Osaka, Nagoya serves as an excellent starting point to visit one of Japan's most breathtaking sakura spots.

If you've ever questioned why Japan's most prevalent cherry blossom tree is named after Mount Yoshino, it's because the region surrounding this mountain bursts with cherry blossoms annually.

During spring in the Yoshino area, you'll find a haven for those seeking cherry blossoms in an array of hues and shades draping a verdant mountainside.

The hillsides offer panoramic views of the cherry blossoms and are ideal for a delightful picnic in the fresh early spring atmosphere. Additionally, you can savor a diverse array of sakura-inspired culinary delights and beverages that perfectly complement the stunning scenery!

3. SAKURA VIEW Walking Day Tour at Tokugawaen Garden and Nagoya Castle

7 Cherry Blossom Tours to Less Crowded Spots

Photo courtesy of Klook
A significant highlight of visiting Nagoya is strolling through the grounds of Nagoya Castle, especially during the height of spring when the views become even more enchanting.

This tour encompasses visits to gardens cherished by Japan's rulers and an iconic castle surrounded by rows of stunning cherry blossom trees.

Your journey begins with a visit to a garden that epitomizes traditional Japanese garden design on a global scale. Spanning 44 hectares, the Tokugawaen Garden showcases not only cherry blossoms but also ume plum blossoms and irises.

Subsequently, you'll have the opportunity to explore the grounds and interiors of Nagoya Castle, immersing yourself in the sights and flavors of its cherry blossom festival.

The castle grounds boast over one thousand cherry trees encircling the impeccably preserved castle keep. Many visitors liken it to a tribute to the castle keep in Osaka, yet this version shines with its own merits, notably due to the preservation of much of its traditional interior as well!

4. Hirosaki Castle Cherry Blossom One-Day Tour

7 Cherry Blossom Tours to Less Crowded Spots

Photo by Pixta
What could be more captivating than beholding a castle keep in full spring bloom? Perhaps witnessing the entire moat enveloped in a carpet of pink blossoms.

Hirosaki Castle in Aomori stands out as one of Japan's most iconic northern destinations for experiencing cherry blossoms, with its renowned feature being the castle moat.

As the cherry blossom season draws to a close, the moat encircling Hirosaki Castle gathers a delicate shower of petals that gracefully descend onto the water's surface. The moat becomes a blushing spectacle as the hues of the season harmonize in its waters.

Throughout the cherry blossom season, visitors to Hirosaki Castle can cruise along the western side of the castle moat, offering close proximity to the blossoms.

Another attraction of the castle that captivates visitors is the bridge leading into the main area. This bridge serves as a magnificent frame for the cherry trees, particularly enchanting at night. The reflective darkness of the polished moat impeccably mirrors the trees, crafting an unforgettable and mesmerizing landscape.

5. Cherry Blossom Season Akita City One-Day Tour

7 Cherry Blossom Tours to Less Crowded Spots

Photo by Pixta

Akita boasts several delightful areas perfect for cherry blossom viewing. With this one-day charter tour, it will feel as though you have your own personal chauffeur guiding you to the finest locations.

This tour is crafted to place you at the forefront, allowing you to fully customize your day trip by selecting the parts of Akita City and even segments of Odate City that you wish to explore.

One of the tour's highlights is the Akita Dog Visitor Center, renowned as a must-see attraction during the journey. This center pays homage to the beloved Akita breed of dogs, cherished not only in Japan but globally.

At this center, visitors can immerse themselves in quality time with these dogs, delve into the history of their breeding, and grasp their vital role in Akita's culture. Additionally, the center features a park adorned with cherry blossoms, where many owners can be seen relishing the refreshing spring air alongside their canine companions.

6. Cherry Blossom Sapporo City One Day Chartered Car Tour

7 Cherry Blossom Tours to Less Crowded Spots

Photo courtesy of Klook
One of the advantages of experiencing cherry blossoms in northern Japan is their later bloom, allowing visitors to circumvent peak season's high prices and massive crowds.

This excursion around Sapporo encompasses a variety of magnificent cherry blossom locales, from stunning parks ideal for picnicking to romantic settings where couples can relish the beauty of cherry blossoms.

As a highly customizable chartered car tour, visitors have the opportunity to tailor their itinerary, selecting their preferred cherry blossom spots and determining the time spent at each location. This flexibility ensures a relaxed and enjoyable pace for you and your companions throughout the journey.

Highlights of this tour include Hokkaido Jingu Shrine, a traditional shrine complex crafted in early Shinto style, seamlessly complementing the cherry trees' twisted branches with its bare wood design.

Moreover, the enchanting Shiroikoibito Park serves as an idyllic conclusion to a cherry blossom tour in Sapporo. Known for producing some of Japan's most delightful sweet treats, why not indulge in some while picnicking amidst the blossoms?

7. Cherry Blossom Viewing at Goryokaku Tower in Hakodate, Hokkaido

7 Cherry Blossom Tours to Less Crowded Spots

Photo courtesy of Klook
One of Japan's most remarkable architectural marvels, the Goryokaku fort in Hakodate, Hokkaido, boasts a distinctive star-shaped layout.

The grounds of the fortress are currently a park adorned with a vast grove of cherry blossom trees that border its edges, creating a breathtaking vista that entices viewers to appreciate it from a panoramic perspective.

The Goryoukaku Tower offers a bird's-eye view of Goryokaku and showcases how the pink-hued cherry trees beautifully complement the angular contours of the fort's unique design.

Upon descending, why not settle in a picturesque spot amid the parkland surrounding the site for a leisurely picnic, relishing the splendor of the scenery on a refreshing spring day? As arguably one of Japan's most distinctive castle designs, it is a must-see for history enthusiasts!

Enjoy Spring in Japan

Cherry blossom season is undeniably spectacular, yet its allure often leads to massive crowds at Japan's most renowned locations.

These seven tours take you to places that are slightly off the beaten path, offering visitors the chance to discover lesser-known spots and contribute to the economic growth of these regional areas. Make sure to include one of these tours in your upcoming cherry blossom viewing itinerary in Japan!

Main image by Pixta

Written by

Travel writer and assistant editor at MATCHA with extensive travel around the Osaka, Kyoto, and Wakayama areas. A Kansai insider who knows their Akashiyaki from their Takoyaki, Iain enjoys getting authentic stories from traditional craftspeople and interesting creators. Particularly fond of temples and shrines, Iain delves deep into the crossroads of tradition and modernity in his eight-plus years living and writing about Japan.

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