To fully enjoy the sakura experience, be sure to check out the cherry blossom forecast for each region and plan a trip to the following top-rated cherry blossom viewing spots in different parts of the country. You can use your Japan Rail Pass to travel to many of the following locations:
- Matsumae Park – With many thousands of sakura trees growing around Matsumae Castle, the Matsumae Park becomes a sight to behold once the cherry trees bloom in spring.
- Goryokaku Fort – A Western-style fortress built during the Edo Period, the Goryokaku Fort occupies a large area that is home to many hundreds of cherry trees.
- Tsutsujigaoka Park – Centrally located in the city of Sendai, Tsutsujigaoka Park is home to a number of sakura tree varieties, including the weeping forms and Somei Yoshino.
- Mikamine Park – With several hundred cherry trees, Mikamine Park is a large, spacious public park that is a popular hangout and venue for hanami parties.
- Matsumoto Castle – Located in the city of Matsumoto in Nagano Prefecture, the Matsumoto Castle grounds contain approximately 300 thriving sakura trees that look magical once the spring season kicks in.
- Takato Castle Ruins – Found in Ina City in Nagano Prefecture, the Takato Castle Ruins area has a garden that grows an array of cherry tree varieties, making it a highly recommended cherry blossom spot not only in the region but in the entire country.
- Ueno Park – A very popular spot for cherry blossom viewing, Ueno Park is located in Tokyo and gets extremely crowded during the peak dates of the sakura blossoming.
- Yoyogi Park – Ideal for picnics with family and friends, the vast area of Yoyogi Park is home to more than 600 cherry trees.
- Shinjuku Gyoen – With over a thousand cherry trees of different varieties, Shinjuku Gyoen is a large park that offers fantastic cherry blossom viewing opportunities.
- Day Trip: Kawaguchiko – You can make your way to Kawaguchiko from Tokyo to catch a sight of the Cherry Blossoms on the Northern and eastern shores of Lake Kawaguchiko.
- Mitsuike Koen – Declared as one of the top 100 cherry blossom spots in Japan, Mitsuike Park consists of three ponds that are surrounded by more than a thousand sakura trees.
- Sankeien Garden – A Japanese landscape garden that features a pond at the centre, numerous historical structures, and plenty of cherry trees, the Sankeien Garden is a famous hanami spot in Yokohama.
- Osaka Castle – The Osaka Castle grounds contain more than 4,000 cherry trees that look magnificent when in full bloom.
- Kema Sakuranomiya Park – Located along the Okawa River, the Kema Sakuranomiya Park provides a long line of gorgeous sakura trees in full bloom in spring.
- Philosopher’s Path – About two kilometres long, the Philosopher’s Path is a good spot to enjoy a stroll under the canopy of cherry trees in peak blossom.
- Arashiyama – Situated in the western outskirts of Kyoto, Arashiyama features plenty of sakura trees at the foot of its mountain ranges, close to the Togetsukyo Bridge.
- Fukuoka Castle – With a thousand sakura trees growing in Maizuru Park in the Fukuoka Castle ruins area, the Fukuoka Castle offers a splendid view of the event, as well as plenty of space for picnics and get-togethers.
- Nishi Park – Regarded as one of the top 100 cherry blossom viewing spots in Japan, Nishi Park sits on a hillside, with more than one thousand beautiful, full-grown cherry trees.