Top 5 cherry blossom viewing places in Japan

Time is coming for cherry blossom season in Japan. In South Japan it is already open, but the main season starts in early April. There are hundreds site where you can go for cherry blossom viewing, but if you have limited time you probably want to see the best of the best. Here is the list with most popular hanami (“flower viewing”) places in Japan.


View Top places for cherry blossom viewing in Japan in a larger map

The list is in alphabetic order. You can just pick one which one is closer to your location by looking to above map. So, lets start.

  • Himeji Castle

    When: Early April
    Castle is in walking distance from Himeji station. There are hundreds of cherry trees at castle grounds. Free admission to the outer castle grounds.

    姫路城の桜 (Cherry Blossoms at Himeji Castle)

    Cherry Blossom at Himeji Castle

     

  • Hirosaki Castle

    When: Late April to early May
    Over 2500 cherry trees with picnic areas, boat rental, trees illuminations at night.

    Cherry blossom at Hirosaki Castle

    Cherry blossom at Hirosaki Castle

     

  • Kema Sakuranomiya Park, Osaka

    When: Early April
    Admission free entry. Almost 5000 cherry trees along Okawa River for several kilometers.

    Sakuranomiya Park, South Side From Kawasakibashi Bridge

    Cherry blossom, Sakuranomiya Park

     

  • Philosopher’s Path, Kyoto

    When: Early April
    Admission free entry. Path along canal between Ginkakuji and Nanzenji Temples lined by hundreds of cherry trees.

    Cherry blossom at Tetsugaku-No-Michi, Philosopher's Path, Kyoto

    Cherry blossom at Tetsugaku-No-Michi, Philosopher’s Path, Kyoto

     

  • Shinjuku Gyoen, Tokyo

    When: Early April
    Close to Shinjuku Station. Entry 200 yen. This park is very popular between locals and it can be very busy, but you will love it and atmosphere in the park.

    Cherry blossom at Shinjuku Gyoen Garden, Tokyo

    Cherry blossom at Shinjuku Gyoen Garden, Tokyo

     

  • Yoshinoyama

    When: Early to mid April
    Mount Yoshino is very famous for cherry blossom viewing. There are approximately 30,000 cherry trees on the mountain.

    Yoshinoyama Cherry Blossoms

    Cherry Blossom at Yoshinoyama

It is six but not five spot, but I think more choice is better :)
Check this list if it is still not enough for you.