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Visit Japan’s Gorgeous Cherry Blossoms in 2024


Springtime in Japan is renowned for its stunning floral displays. The blooming cherry blossom trees create a picturesque scene, with pink and white sakura petals drifting amongst ancient castles and providing a romantic backdrop. According to the Japan Meteorological Corporation’s most recent cherry blossom forecast, the iconic cherry blossoms in 2024 will begin to open from late March through early May, with early April being the peak time in many cities. To ensure you can fully experience the cherry blossoms, it is recommended that you stay in the city for at least a week to observe their development.  Although it is impossible to predict the exact date of peak bloom, we have selected some ideal locations for cherry blossom viewing and provided approximate opening dates to help you prepare.


Tokyo (From early March to late April)


Nakameguro Sakura-matsuri Festival

The trendy yet relaxed neighbourhood of Nakameguro boasts numerous coffee shops and cafes. However, in spring, its tranquil canal transforms into a lively carnival with lanterns adorning the streets and food stalls selling drinks and snacks to the bustling crowds. The main attraction is the 800 trees lining a 3.8-kilometer-long stretch, forming a pale pink arch over the river. The reflections shimmer like magic and create stunning pictures that are almost unbelievable. They can be viewed from bridges over the water.



Rikugien Gardens

In Japanese, there is a word called ‘yozakura’ that is definitely worth experiencing. It refers to the blossoms that are lit up at night, creating an otherworldly and ethereal scene that is hauntingly beautiful. One of the best examples of this is the weeping cherry at Rikugien. The gardens were built in 1702 by Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu, a feudal lord and vassal to the shogun. He was inspired by the picturesque scenes in waka poetry. Upon passing the front gate, visitors are greeted by an impressive 70-year-old shidarezakura (weeping cherry blossom) tree. During cherry blossom season, its branches are covered in pale pink flowers, cascading downwards like a waterfall.



Sakura Fes Nihonbashi

Nihonbashi, a former commercial centre during the Edo period (1603-1868), is now renowned for its high-end retail stores and large financial institutions. Although located in the city centre, Nihonbashi knows how to celebrate cherry blossoms in creative and innovative ways. During the Sakura Fes Nihonbashi 2023, restaurants and shops throughout the area will offer a special ‘Sakura Menu’ featuring spring and cherry blossom-themed items, including sweets, snacks, bento lunch boxes, and other products. Additionally, visitors should not miss the pink-coloured illuminated buildings along Edo Sakura Dori and Chuo Dori.



Bokutei Sakura-matsuri Festival

Cherry blossoms frequently adorn the moats of castles and canals, with their reflections enhancing the spectacle. The Sumida River in eastern Tokyo is no exception. In the Edo period, Yoshimune, the eighth Tokugawa shogun, ordered the planting of sakura trees along both banks, creating a kilometer-long sakura boulevard that runs from Azumabashi Bridge to Sakurabashi Bridge. This has been a popular attraction for centuries. During the festival, local councils, businesses, and tourism associations will set up stalls to create a festive atmosphere in the area. At night, the cherry blossoms are beautifully illuminated, with Tokyo Skytree in the background.



Sakura Festival in Chiyoda

Just north of the Imperial Palace, the Chidorigafuchi Green Way offers a peaceful path away from the city’s bustle. In spring, it transforms into a 700-meter-long cherry tree tunnel, featuring around 260 trees of the Somei-yoshino and Oshima varieties, which are illuminated at dusk. The Chidorigafuchi boating area remains open late during the festival, allowing visitors to enjoy the magical sight of cherry blossoms from the water. Additionally, many nearby shops and local organizations hold sakura-themed events, further enhancing the festive atmosphere of spring.



Ueno Sakura Matsuri

Ueno Park is one of Tokyo’s most popular recreational areas, featuring a variety of museums, the charming Shinobazu Pond, and even a zoo. The cherry blossom trees lining the main path are famous throughout Japan, and were even featured in a haiku by the renowned poet Matsuo Basho.



Koganei Cherry Blossom Festival

The Koganei Cherry Blossom Festival offers a unique experience that combines history and entertainment. The festival takes place in the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum and boasts over 1,700 cherry trees of around 50 different varieties. In addition to the beautiful scenery, visitors can enjoy traditional Japanese performances such as music, dancing, hayashi, and taiko drums. The festival also offers opportunities to experience the tea ceremony and flower arrangement. Experience local and regional cuisine at food stands while enjoying the special sakura light-up at night in Arashiyama.



Kyoto (From late March to early April)



Located in the far western area of Kyoto, near the Katsura River, Arashiyama is surrounded by mountains and teeming with cultural sites, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations. Over 700 years ago, Emperor Go-Saga built a villa in the area and transplanted cherry blossom trees from Yoshino Mountain. Arashiyama’s cherry blossoms have been a major attraction for visitors to the area. Nowadays, you can find these blooms in places like Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama, where over 120 Japanese macaque monkeys reside. The park is located along the banks of Ōi River (also known as the Hozu or Katsura River), where you can also see the historic Togetsukyo Bridge.



Shinbashi-dori, Gion

Shinbashi-dori is a quaint cobbled street located in the Gion district of Kyoto. To fully appreciate the beauty of cherry blossoms, it is recommended to visit at night. The illuminated lanterns along the sidewalk and river enhance the charm of the cherry blossom trees and traditional Japanese houses. Gion, one of the five geisha districts in Kyoto, offers a variety of shops, restaurants, and teahouses where guests can enjoy traditional dancing performances by geisha and geiko apprentices while being entertained in the Kyoto dialect.



Osaka (From late March to early April)


Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle is a top tourist destination in Osaka, attracting visitors year-round. It is also renowned for its cherry blossoms, with the 100-hectare park surrounding the castle boasting nearly 3,000 cherry trees that bloom each spring. While cherry blossoms can be found throughout the garden, the area near the moat on the south side of the castle tower offers exceptional views. The delicate pink hue of the Somei Yoshino cherry blossoms creates a striking contrast against the castle’s stunning stone walls and the green of the dry moat.



Japan Mint

The Japan Mint is a renowned cherry blossom viewing site and is often ranked as the top spot for cherry blossoms in Osaka. While the Osaka Mint premises are not open to the public on a daily basis, they are accessible for a limited time during the cherry blossom viewing season. While strolling along the 560m promenade of the Mint, visitors can admire 338 cherry trees from 134 different varieties, predominantly Yaezakura. To help visitors distinguish between the various blossoms, one variety is chosen each year as the “Flower of the Year.”



Expo ’70 Commemorative Park

The Expo ’70 Commemorative Park is renowned for its “Tower of the Sun,” a creation of the artist Taro Okamoto, and is also considered one of Japan’s top 100 sakura (cherry blossom) sites. Every year in March, Higanzakura and Kanhizakura cherry trees begin to bloom. Higashioji Street, which leads to the Tower of the Sun, is lined with approximately 5,500 cherry trees of nine different types.



Want to plan your perfect petal-filled trip? Many of the spots on the list get super busy during the Sakura season, so we advise you to book early.