Cherry Blossom: Im Frühling lockt Japan mit seiner berühmten Kirschblüte. Wo und wann Reisende das beeindruckende Naturschauspiel des Inselstaates bewundern können, PLUS: die schönsten Hotels am blütenbedeckten Wegrand.
© Yu Kato

Why a trip to Japan is worthwhile now

Something is blooming here - in the truest and most beautiful sense of the word: In spring, Japan beckons with its famous cherry blossoms. In these 10 places, from south to north, travelers can experience the natural spectacle in all its glory.

February 18, 2022

It is a unique spectacle: Scattered all over Japan, the Yoshino cherry tree flowers Parks, streetscapes or romantic city canals into a spectacular pink color play. The invitation of the sea of blossoms to simply let oneself drift is gladly accepted here. (Pssst: If you can't make it to Japan this year, just visit the Almond blossom in Mallorca.)


For 10 to 14 days the trees are in bloom. During this time one celebrates the traditional Japanese Hanami, the cherry blossom festival, outdoors - with Bentō, sake and good friends.

Left: Under the canopy of flowers: friends on their way to a hanami in Asakusa, Tokyo. © Susann Schuster. Right: Traditional sake vessels. © Eva Elijas

Chasing the cherry blossom front

When do the Cherry Blossoms start?

What many people don't know is that sakura doesn't start everywhere in Japan at the same time. Middle till end of March the first Yoshino trees in the southwest, in Kyūshū, begin to show off their pink splendor. A little more than a month later, Beginning of May, it has finally arrived in the northeast, at Hokkaidō. This process is called the cherry blossom front.

Japan in bloom: where to experience the most beautiful cherry blossoms

Mid-March to early April:

Kumamoto Castle, Kyūshū
The journey begins on Japan's southernmost island of Kyūshū: In Kumamoto, the area around Kumamoto Castle awaits with the first blossoms. Around 800 Yoshino trees line the path to the gates of the fortress.

Maruyama Park & Yamashina-ku, Kyōto
Quaint Japanese teahouses, women in geisha costume, old wooden houses with pagoda roofs - a whiff of the past is in the air. The former imperial city of Kyōto is the epicenter of Japanese cherry blossoms; the streets are correspondingly crowded from mid-March.

Kiyomizu-dera Temple Kirschblüte

Cherry blossom bathes Kiyomizu-dera Temple in a sea of white and pink flowers. © Shutterstock

At Sakura, people take long walks along the Philosophers' Path or visit the venerable cherry tree in Maruyama Park. Things are a little less lively in Kyōto's Yamashina-ku district, where the trees line the canal - a real insider tip! Overnight stays in an authentic ryokan complete the Kyōtō trip - especially luxurious: the Nanzenji Sando Kikusui.

Traditional teahouses, chic geishas and ancient temples - Kyōtō invites you to Japan of the past during the cherry blossom season. © Redd

End of March to mid-April:

Himeji Castle, Hyōgo
The Himeji Castle is one of Japan's national cultural treasures and dates back to the 17th century. Around the white walls, travelers will find a sea of 1,000 white and pink trees.

Castle Himeji Kirschblüte

A UNESCO World Heritage Site surrounded by flowers: Himeji Castle. © Nien Tran Dinh

Ueno Park & Yoyogi Park, Tokyo
Urban flair meets natural oasis: In Japan's capital Tokyo, the Ueno Park with over 1,000 cherry trees, numerous museums, ponds and places of worship to stay. During the flowering period from March 23 - April 10 one walks from 17:00 to 21:00 o'clock whole 4 kilometers by brightly illuminated flower avenues. For a Hanami picnic it is best to go to the Yoyogi Park, which boasts extensive parking areas. At night you can lie down in the Boutique Hotel Gajoen between luxury and tradition.

Tokyo in a wild rush of blossoms - the metropolis of millions offers a unique mix of nature and urbanity in spring. © Sora Sagano (top, right); Yu Kato (left)

Beginning to middle of April:

Yoshino-yama, Nara
Named after the cherry tree itself, the Yoshino-yama mountain region of over 30,000 of the flowering specimens covered. According to legend, in the 7th century the first Yoshino was planted. A walk through the pink avenues is worth your while in any case - the highlight is a huge cherry tree, which is illuminated at night. 

Hier blüht uns was – im wahrsten und schönsten Sinne des Wortes: Im Frühling lockt Japan mit seiner berühmten Kirschblüte. An diesen 10 Orten, vom Süden bis hinauf in den Norden des Inselstaats, können Reisende das Naturschauspiel in seiner vollen Pracht erleben.

"In Yoshino: cherry blossoms under a canopy of cedars." A haiku by Matsuo Bashō. © Shutterstock

Fujiyama & Fujigoko, Yamanashi
Sakura season with volcano views and tranquility by the lake: At the northern foot of the impressive, 3,700 meter high Fujiyama are the five famous Fuji lakes, called Fujigoko. The combination of flower dance, crystal clear water, cities steeped in history and snow-capped Mount Fuji is a must-see. Travelers find themselves in the Fufu Kawaguchiko Japan where a view of the volcano and all the comforts of a luxury home await them.

It is part of the World Heritage Site and is also home to many hot springs, for example in Hakone, which invite you to relax: Fujiyama. © Stephen Alicia (top), Akira Deng (left), Kumiko Shimizu (right)

Mid to late April: 

Miharu, Fukushima
She is the City of the three springs: In the off-the-beaten-path town of Miharu, the path leads to the over 1,000 years old Miharu Takizakura - one of the most beautiful trees in Japan. 

Shizumine Park, Ibaraki
Immerse yourself in an ocean of flowers: In the city Nakashi in the Kantō region hides the Shizumine Park, in which 2.300 double flowered cherry trees stand. An insider tip among Sakura aficionados!

End of April to beginning of May:

Hinokinai River & the Samurai District, Kakunodate
In Akita Prefecture, yoshinas do not bloom until late April, popular here is the town of Kakunodate with its authentic Samurai District as well as the blossoms on the Banks of the Hinokinai. Hotel highlight: The past is brought back to life in the renovated, historic luxury warehouses (such as: The Nishinomiyake Bushigura).

Sea of cherry blossoms during sakura. © Evgeny Tchebotarev

Early May:

Ōdōri Park, Hokkaidō
Sakura reaches last Hokkaidō in the north, Japan's second largest island. Despite its size, the prefectural city of Sapporo surprises with its relaxed atmosphere and hospitality. In search of blossoms, one stumbles upon the Ōdōri Park, where you can cozy up with a sticky rice ball under canopies of flowers.

Tip for Early Birds 2023:

Mid-January to early February:

This year the blossom on the idyllic archipelago is already over - but you should still keep the island in mind for future trips. Because in addition to great beaches and lush nature, the very rare Kanhi Zakura cherry blossom blooms here.

Okinawa: Island paradise with authentic cultural heritage. © Skaterlunatik (l.), Sho K (r.)

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