When it comes down to ‘bucket-list experiences’, witnessing Japan’s magical cherry blossom season is definitely one to top the list. This spectacular phenomenon happens every year, at a certain time and in certain places. Read on for a full guide on when and where to see cherry blossoms in Japan.
When is cherry blossom season in Japan?
Cherry blossoms bloom during the springtime, between late March to mid-April, or even early May. Typically, blossoming starts earlier in warmer regions of Japan. Each spring, the cherry blossoms (known locally as sakura) burst into bloom across the country, and there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy their beauty.
Tokyo and Sakura
Last year, in 2022, Tokyo’s cherry blossom season began on March 20th, when sakura flowers opened on a cherry tree at the Yasukuni Shrine. The most common cherry trees are Somei-Yoshino, which hold masses of pale pink blossoms. As soon as the flowers open on the trees, family and friends gather beneath them for picnics and sake, turning parks and gardens into sites of outdoor celebrations.
How long do cherry blossoms bloom?
Cherry blossoms bloom for about a week, but even after the ‘peak bloom’, you still have a two-week window to enjoy the flowers, as the trees do not shed their blossoms immediately.
Where can you see cherry blossoms in Japan?
Luckily, there are many options! Cherry blossom hotspots can be found in over 1,000 locations across Japan.
In general, cherry blossom season starts in Kyushu in southwestern Japan in March, and then, it advances northward. So, as a rule of thumb, you can head to warmer climes in Kyushu and Shikoku for early spring blossoms, or north to Tohoku and Hokkaido in late spring for the later blossoms. The last cherry blossoms in Japan to open are expected to be in Hokkaido toward the end of April.
The symbol of cherry blossoms in Japan
Japan’s cherry blossoms represent so much beauty and they inspire the entire country. Sakura has long been the subject of nationwide adoration, providing a meditation on life, death, renewal and the ephemeral nature of being. You’ll find it celebrated in Japanese literature, poetry and art; scrolled into the swords of samurai; and used as the symbol of fallen soldiers, new beginnings and friendship.
How to get to Japan…
Whether you are on a budget or not, you can join us in Japan during cherry blossom season. We have all types of group tours and there is something for everyone – whether you’re a fan of anime, looking to make new friends, or want something fun for you and your family. See our Japan tours here.
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