Japan’s Cherry Blossom Festival! A must see this Springtime
Cherry Blossom Festival or Hanami (in Japanese) is Japan’s most-awaited springtime festival that attracts millions across the globe.
Hanami (literally means ‘viewing flowers’) is the centuries-old practice of watching and praising the transient beauty of Sakura or Cherry Blossoms in Japan.
At the onset of spring, the Japanese await ardently to see the first flushes of pink! And it’s between March and April when the country bursts into rosy hues and full-bloomed Cherry trees are seen across Japan.
People enthusiastically meet under flowering Cherry trees with food and drinks and have a picnic with friends and family, sometimes up to late at night.
So this springtime, when the weather is playing nice, Japan is the perfect place for you to take some time off and just simply be lost in the calmness and beauty of nature. And if you love clicking pretty pictures for your Instagram feed, this festival has a lot to offer you.
So, let’s quickly see 5 top places in Japan where you can enjoy your Cherry Blossom Festival this year!
Hirosaki Castle Park
Home to more than 2500 flowering cherry trees, this classic 400 years old Hirosaki castle is located in the Northern Prefecture of Aomori, in Tohoku, Japan.
It’s one of the most beautiful locations in Japan to see full-bloomed Cherry blossoms. Every year, more than a million visitors reach here to rejoice in the beauty of nature!
It has everything you’ll be looking for to celebrate your Cherry Blossom Festival.
There are beautiful cherry blossom tunnels, petal-filled moats, eye-catching picnic spots, and a wide variety of cherry trees surrounding the old castle which when illuminated at night turn into a magical world.
The country’s oldest Yoshino cherry trees are also found here in large numbers.
People usually bring home-cooked foods to go on a picnic. However, if cooking scares you, not to worry! There are many food stalls nearby from where you can easily buy food.
You can also rent a boat to float amidst the fallen blossoms in the castle’s moat. And that’s a wonderful experience you’ll surely enjoy.
This place is huge and you feel like multiple festive sites have merged into a single one. An ongoing showering of rosy petals in the castle’s moat leaves the moat perfectly pink till the season’s end.
This garden is usually at its peak between April and May.
Ueno Park, Tokyo
This is one of Japan’s liveliest and most popular sites to enjoy the Cherry Blossom Festival.
Ueno Park in Tokyo expands over a large area with thousands of cherry trees which when bloom in spring makes the place extraordinarily beautiful. People across the world reach Tokyo to behold the beauty of full-bloomed cherry blossoms which is awe-inspiring!
You might also see tea ceremonies taking place beneath the trees (Japan’s renowned culture).
This park is at its peak from late March to early April.
So, if your destination is Ueno Park this time, try to stay back till late in the evening when lights are put on to enjoy the evening glow of cherry blossoms and see how the place turns into a fantasy land after it’s dark.
There are also many beautiful temples, museums, and ponds inside which you can add to your must-see list.
Philosopher’s Path, Kyoto
Philosopher’s Path is a paved walkway going along a water canal that flows between Kyoto’s Ginkakuji and Nanzenji districts.
You can stroll through this 2 km long scenic pathway lined by hundreds of cherry blossom trees along the sides.
While showcasing the vibrant shades of pink, red, and white blossoms, this place welcomes you with soft flower petals that when dropped to the ground float away, down the canal.
It’s a picturesque picnic spot for cherry blossom lovers and Japan’s one of the most loved places for celebrating the Cherry Blossom Festival.
Japan’s famous Philosopher Nishida Kitaro once would walk through this pave and practice meditation. Today, this place is named after him.
Here, cherry blossoms are in bloom usually in early April.
Chidorigafuchi is a beautiful moat with hundreds of cherry blossom trees lined alongside the waterways; their extended branches shadowing over the moat creating scenic views.
This moat once was the part of Tokyo’s old Edo Castle and now a part of Tokyo’s Imperial Palace.
Every year, more than 1 million people travel here to see the beauty of full-bloomed cherry trees. This place is popular for its stunning views. Especially, when the sun goes down and the cherry blossom trees are lit up with bright colors, the views become angelic.
The best way you can enjoy here is to rent a boat and paddle through this iconic moat enclosed by overloaded pink cherry trees. Also, you can easily buy a variety of food and drinks from the nearby Cafes and Restaurants.
After the peak season when the petals start falling on the surface of the water, more charm is added to the beauty of the moat.
In Chidorigafuchi, cherry blossoms usually are at a peak from late March to early April.
Leaving big cities behind, here you find yourself in the middle of a floral paradise!
Yes! Mount Yoshino in Nara Prefecture is in no way less than heaven with over 30,000 cherry blossom trees growing 200 different kinds of cherry blossoms every Springtime.
The mountain is a perfect landscape with a magical ambiance. It’s easy to hike and has several holy temples to wander through.
Not all the cherry trees grow flowers at the same time. It starts from the lower level and gradually reaches the top. Hence, the cherry blossom season is long here and great for those coming late during the season.
The best time to visit is between late March and early May when the cherry blossom trees make Yoshino amazingly beautiful!
Disclaimer: this festival is highly influenced by when cherry blossoms appear and reach their maturity. So, the dates for every year may vary. You can keep checking on this handy forecast to know when in 2020 are full blooms expected. Featured Image: pxhere