Travel

Best spots to view cherry blossoms In Japan

What’s better than welcoming spring in the homeland of cherry blossoms? Japan Meteorological Agency has already released the cherry blossom forecast for this year. So, it is time to plan your hanami (flower-viewing) trip to Japan.

Here is kayak.sg’s round-up of some of the best spots to catch sakura in different Japanese cities from south to north.

Yoshino Park, Kagoshima
Forecast flowering date: 20 March, 2018
Forecast full bloom date: 30 March, 2018

Located in the north of Kagoshima, the 30-hectare Yoshina Park is home to over a dozen cherry cultivars, including the rare local species Kawazu-zakura.

Other sakura hot spots: Sengan-en Garden, Tadamoto Park, Mochio Park

Where to stay: Richmond Hotel Kagoshima Kinseicho, from S$60 per night*
Located in the heart of the city, the hotel is within a few minutes’ walk from Tenmonkan shopping area and station for airport bus. The park is just a tram stop away from JR Kagoshima Station, perfect if you want to continue your sakura-hunting journey in Fukuoka, which is only 1 hour and 5 minutes away by train.

Maizuru Park, Fukuoka
Forecast flowering date: 21 March, 2018
Forecast full bloom date: 30 March, 2018

Fukuoka is the largest city in Kyushu, Japan’s southwestern-most main island. In Maizuru Park, you can find more than a thousand cherry trees, with the Fukuoka Castle ruins providing a beautiful backdrop.

The flowering period is marked by the Fukuoka Cherry Blossom Festival, with various festive activities and food booths to keep you sated and entertained until dark, when the trees are illuminated, showing off another side of the sakuras’ breathtaking beauty.

Other sakura hot spots: Nishi Park, Katsuyama Park, Akizuki Sugi no Baba Street

Where to stay: Nishitetsu Grand Hotel, from S$97 per night*
From Tenjin station, just next to the hotel, it’s a 20-minute subway ride to the airport. You can take a nice stroll and reach Maizuru Park or Nishi Park within half an hour.

Senkoji Temple, Hiroshima
Forecast flowering date: 23 March, 2018
Forecast full bloom date: 2 April, 2018

The Zen environment of Senkoji Temple makes it the perfect place to surround yourself with weeping cherry trees, as well as Yaezakura and Yoshino cherry trees.

Walk up the hill to the observation deck for a panoramic view of the blossoms and Seto Inland Sea.

Other sakura hot spots: Itsukushima Shrine, Ondo-no-Seto Park, Japan Mint Hiroshima Branch

Where to stay: Rihga Royal Hotel Hiroshima, from S$95 per night*
The hotel is located near the centre of Hiroshima, with attractions like Peace Memorial Park and Hiroshima Castle within walking distance. Enjoy stunning views of Seto Inland Sea from the rooftop hotel restaurant and bar.

Japan Mint, Osaka
Forecast flowering date: 26 March, 2018
Forecast full open date: 3 April, 2018

The Japanese Mint is the head government office responsible for producing and circulating coins in the country. The cherry garden at its premises is opened to the public for just seven days a year, for sakura lovers to visit during the cherry blossom season.

With rare varieties of cherry blossoms in different shades like white, light green and light pink, the garden is an absolute must-visit for sakura-viewing in the city.

Where to stay: City Plaza Osaka, S$106 per night *
Conveniently located near Nakanoshima Park and Osaka Castle, which are only few minutes away from the hotel. Enjoy the large public bath, onsen and free massage machines on the top floor of the hotel.

Gojo River, Nagoya
Forecast flowering date: 20 March, 2018
Forecast full open date: 30 March, 2018

If you wish to experience the festive atmosphere of Sakura Matsuri, Iwakura city is the place to be, with its famous handmade Koinobori (carp flags) and traditional cherry blossom festival held near the scenic Gojo River.

Other sakura hot spots: Nagoya Castle, Yamazaki River, Togokusan Fruit Park

Where to stay: Mitsui Garden Hotel Nagoya Premier, from S$151 per night *

Chidorigafuchi, Tokyo
Forecast flowering date: 20 March, 2018
Forecast full open date: 28 March, 2018

There are many gorgeous sakura-viewing spots in Tokyo – you’re likely to find blossoms simply by wandering the streets or strolling through the parks. However, our favourite spot in the city is Chidorigafuchi. Just imagine the romance of a boat ride under a canopy of cherry trees. This picturesque garden is the ultimate date spot and certainly one of the most instagrammable sakura spots in town.

Other sakura hot spots: Shinjuku Gyoen, Yasukuni Shrine, Ueno Grace Park

Where to stay: Tokyo Dome Hotel, from S$162 per night *
20-Ken Roads of Shizunai, Hokkaido
Forecast flowering date: 3 May, 2018
Forecast full open date: 6 May, 2018

Voted one of the “100 Best Cherry Blossom Spots”, “100 Best Roads in Japan” and “Hokkaido Heritage”, 20-Ken Roads of Shizunai is undoubtedly the best sakura-viewing spot in Hokkaido. The 7km-long road in Shinhidaka is lined endlessly with over 3,000 cherry trees.

Other sakura hot spots: Goryokaku Park, Maruyama Park, Matsumae Park

Where to stay: Premier Hotel Nakajima Park Sapporo, from S$57 per night *

*Note: These rates are based on search queries made on kayak.sg on 12 February, 2018. The prices are quoted in SGD.

Flight prices are based on results for a return economy flight search. Hotel prices are for double occupancy and include taxes and fees. Prices are subject to change, may vary, or no longer be available.

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