Written by MATCHA_En
Celebrate Cherry Blossom Season! 7 Picture-Perfect Sakura Spots In Japan
Cherry blossom season in Japan is from mid-March to early April, enveloping Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and the rest of the country in pink. This is the time to shoot great photos of flowers, temples, and even Mt. Fuji. Learn how to spend spring and take pictures you'll want to share with friends.
Capture the Perfect Photo at 7 Famous Cherry Blossom Spots in Japan
Photo by Pixta
Spring brings cherry blossoms to every corner in Japan, filling the scenery with soft pinks and the air with sweet scents. From the sakura in Ueno Park, Tokyo, to cherry blossoms in Osaka Castle, and mountainside flowers near Mt. Fuji, Japan is a photographer's paradise during March and April every year.
Below are seven recommended locations throughout the country where you can take in the beautiful cherry blossoms and shoot stunning photos you'll want to share with friends and family. All are easy to access from Tokyo, Kyoto, and other major travel destinations. Bring your camera and get ready to enjoy spring in Japan!
1. Tokyo Skyscrapers and Sakura at Chidorigafuchi and Ueno Parks
Photo by Pixta
One of the largest cities in the world, Tokyo brims with photography opportunities during the cherry blossom season. Some of the most famous places for sakura are Chidorigafuchi Park near the Imperial Palace and Ueno Park. The cherry blossoms in these areas usually come into bloom between late March and early April. In 2020, the blossoms are expected to begin starting March 21.
At Chidorigafuchi Park, you can stroll down the moat by the Imperial Palace and Tokyo's British Embassy. Ueno Park holds an annual cherry blossom festival with food stalls and special sakura-themed decorations. In 2020, the festival is scheduled to start March 20 and end on April 12.
Visit with your friends wearing kimono for an unforgettable afternoon of fun. If you plan on visiting multiple spots, the Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway are very convenient and cost-efficient ways to travel, especially with a discount transportation pass.
Both parks are in major neighborhoods of Tokyo: the combination of delicate cherry blossoms and tall skyscrapers is a unique, must-try experience. You can find cherry trees in most areas of the city, in fact, but we especially recommend the above locations.
2. Riverside Cherry Blossoms in Asakusa
Another iconic Tokyo spot to appreciate the flowers is in Asakusa by the Sumida River. The cherry blossoms and towering Tokyo Skytree make for gorgeous photos. Like the above-mentioned places in Tokyo, the cherry blossoms are expected to bloom around late March, and be in full bloom around early April. Be sure to visit during this time. Avoid crowds by visiting in the morning or in the evening on a weekday.
Asakusa is convenient to get to using either the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line or the Toei Subway Asakusa Line. A pre-paid pass is highly recommended for easy, quick transportation. This pass makes it easy to visit multiple spots (like those mentioned above) to get pictures of the other sakura.
3. Mt. Fuji and Sakura at Chureito Pagoda
Photo by Pixta
One of the most famous cherry blossom views in Japan is by Mt. Fuji, at the gorgeous Chureito Pagoda. Visit between late March and early April for a chance to shoot a stunning photo that will impress your friends and family. Located in Arakurayama Sengen Park in Yamanashi Prefecture, this nature-filled destination is around two hours away from Tokyo, near the resort areas of Lake Kawaguchiko and Lake Yamanakako.
There is an observation deck right in front of the pagoda that allows you to include the vivid five-story pagoda, flowers, and Mt. Fuji at the same time. Taking a tour around the Fuji area is one way to make sure you visit all the best spots, learn about their history, and get the photos you want to take.
4. Cherry Blossoms and Tradition at Osaka Castle
Photo by Pixta
Osaka Castle stands in central Osaka and is one of the most popular spots for cherry blossoms. Nishinomaru Garden on the iconic castle grounds is one of the best places to view and take pictures of the delicate pink sakura. In 2020, cherry blossoms are expected to bloom around March 25, and blossom into their peak in early April.
A tour around popular areas of Osaka is a fun and convenient way to spend a spring day with sakura, castles, and delicious local food. The background knowledge you'll learn from a tour guide will make the cherry blossoms all the more beautiful.
5. Elegant Sakura and Nature in Arashiyama, Kyoto
Photo by Pixta
Kyoto is internationally known for its lovely cherry blossoms in the spring. One of the best places to enjoy the sakura is in Arashiyama, a picturesque part of Kyoto with a bamboo forest, temples, and traditional streets. Other famous areas like Kiyomiduzera Temple and Fushimi Inari Grand Shrine also provide nice views of the flowers.
A ride on the Sagano Scenic Railway, which runs through sakura tree-lined routes, and a tour around Kyoto during this time is a great way to enjoy the season while taking photos. Please note that Kyoto will likely be very crowded during the cherry blossom season.
6. See Early-Blooming Sakura in Shizuoka and Near Tokyo
Picture from Kawazu Sakura Festival - View The Cherry Blossoms Early!
Kawazu sakura bloom around mid-February and remain for about a month. Slightly pinker and more bright than the common Somei yoshino sakura, seeing these flowers is a great option for those in Japan earlier than the typical sakura season.
There are several places where you can enjoy the Kawazu sakura in Japan. Kawazu, Shizuoka, holds a large, famous festival with food enjoyable by visitors. In 2020, the festival runs from February 10 to March 10. Taking a bus from Tokyo for a tour is a simple and fun way to spend a day of flowers and nature. The castle town of Odawara in Kanagawa Prefecture also has beautiful early-blooming sakura. There are also spots in Tokyo where will you will spot these early-blossoming flowers!
7. Cherry Blossom Stroll in Hiroshima
Hiroshima is another beautiful destination in western Japan where one can delight in the cherry blossoms. The serene, history-filled landscape combined with the sakura will make for a very special day. Cherry blossom season is predicted to begin around March 23, 2020.
Some must-see spots in Hiroshima for sakura are the Peace Memorial Park and the famous Miyajima area. For those heading to Miyajima, please note that the grand red "floating" torii of Itsukushima Shrine is currently under construction (as of February 2020), so be sure to enter the other parts of the shrine for photos.
Take Your Camera to Cherry Blossom Season in Japan!
Photo by Pixta
Late March and early April are the typical sakura season in most regions of Japan––please note that the actual length to enjoy the blossoms is short, and popular spots will be crowded. We recommend planning ahead and booking tours and accommodations early to make the most out of the season and capture the best shots on camera.