While the most popular spring flower blossom is sakura (late March–April), ume or plum blossoms (February–March) are also a beautiful sight to behold. Generally, you can get information on the best days of bloom from forecasts. However, hanami is not only about flowers, it is usually a time to get together with friends and family to enjoy a picnic and the changing weather.
Nothing can beat the view of the blooming trees with Mount Fuji on the backdrop. You can catch a glimpse of this quintessential postcard landscape at Lake Kawaguchiko or at Chureito Pagoda. The whole Fuji Five Lakes region looks amazing in the spring. Another scenic location is Mount Yoshinoyama(Nara Prefecture). Over 30,000 cherry trees make it a prime destination for the hanami season in the country. Divided into four areas with different trees and dozens of viewpoints, it takes days to explore. Historical Hirosaki Castle (Aomori Prefecture) features up to 3,000 cherry trees that you can enjoy from a boat or during a picnic. Another spot with a historical atmosphere is Takato Castle Park that is the premier spot in Nagano Prefecture.
Kyoto has quite a few scenic spots such as Imperial Palace Park, Philosopher's Path, Botanical Garden, and Maruyama Park. Most people gather in parks with food and drinks and enjoy the splendid beauty of spring.
When can cherry blossoms be seen in Tokyo and Kyoto?
Cherry blossoms in Tokyo and Kyoto can be seen from late March to early April, depending on the weather. Famous parks such as Ueno Park, Shinjuku Gyoen, or Kiyomizu-dera Temple in Kyoto are some great options to observe the cherry blossoms. Show more
Which Japanese cities are the best to visit during cherry blossom season?
Tokyo and Kyoto are the top-ranked cities to visit during the cherry blossom season in Japan. Check out Chureito Pagoda, Yoshinoyama, Hirosaki Castle, and Takato Castle Park for breathtaking sights. Explore the suburbs of Tokyo like Kawagoe and Kamakura for a more relaxed viewing experience. Show more
What is the difference between ume and sakura blossom season?
Ume or plum blossoms have a sweet fragrance and bloom a little earlier than cherry blossom season, from late February to early March. These blossoms come in pink, white, or red and usually last a shorter period. Sakura season starts from late March to early April and lasts for about two weeks. Cherry blossoms have a lighter pink color and a softer scent compared to ume blossoms. Show more
What types of food are typically eaten during hanami?
During hanami, people typically enjoy Japanese dishes like sakura mochi, obento, fried chicken or karaage, and yakisoba. Sakura mochi is a traditional Japanese sweet consisting of sweet pink rice cake with a red bean filling and wrapped in a cherry blossom leaf. Beer or sake is popular among adults to enjoy with the food. Show more
Are there any traditional events or rituals associated with hanami in Japan?
Hanami is a traditional Japanese event where people gather under cherry trees to eat and drink, and appreciate the beauty of the blossoms. Yozakura, meaning night-time cherry blossom viewing, is a popular Japanese custom. People enjoy playing games, singing, dancing, which makes for a lively and festive celebration. Hanami is an opportunity to socialize and enjoy the beauty of nature. Show more