Where To See Cherry Blossoms In Japan & Where To Stay

Where To See Cherry Blossoms In Japan & Where To Stay
Nicole
Nicole 
Updated
| 8 min read

Many people across the globe dream of seeing cherry blossoms at least once in their lifetime, and it’s understandable! And it’s no surprise that travelers flock all the way to Japan every spring just to witness the flowering season of cherry blossoms or sakura. Because of the symbolic flower’s prominence in the country, there’s a word coined specifically for witnessing its beauty - Hanami - which translates to “flower viewing” but it is more often used to refer to the custom of doting on the sakura in their anthesis. Meanwhile, yozakura is the term used for the night viewing of the cherry blossoms. This poetic spectacle swathes many cities in dreamy sceneries, including Kyoto, Tokyo, and Nara, among others. If this inspires you, read this article to know more about where to see cherry blossoms in Japan and where to stay during your trip.

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Arakurayama Sengen Park, Yamanashi: Blooming - Early to Mid-April

Arakura Sengen Shrine in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan.
Source: Photo by Flickr user Reginald Pentinio used under CC BY 2.0

Set against the backdrop of the magnificent Mt. Fuji is Arakurayama Sengen Park. This expansive park covers an area of around 10.63 acres (4.30 hectares). The five-story Chureito Pagoda is the park’s crown jewel, commemorating the fallen during the war.

You can see a line of budding pink flowers adorning the area as you climb the 398-stair-hike towards the park’s observation deck. Once you reach the top, you will be graced by the beauty of Fujiyoshida and the iconic cone-figure Mt. Fuji, matched with around 650 Yoshino cherry trees in the park. Note that the park admission is free and it’s open 24 hours, daily.

If you want to stay close to this park, here are some great rental options for you to consider.

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1. Stylish villa in a forest, Yamanashi (from USD 179)

Tucked away in a lush forest, this stylish villa perfectly blends contemporary elegance and natural tranquility. Arakurayama Sengen Park is only 3.79 miles (6.10 kilometers) from this property, and a complimentary parking spot is available if you plan to drive here.

After climbing the long flight of stairs in the park, relieve your hiking fatigue in the sauna or hot springs once you come back to your rental. This accommodation also features vast windows and a high atrium ceiling, bathing the interior with natural sunshine.

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Japan
279.56 km (173.8 mi) from Kyoto Railway Museum
5 Beds 10 Guests 2 Bedrooms 2 Bathrooms

2. Pet-friendly condo unit with a rooftop terrace, Yamanashi (from USD 239)

Fur parents will appreciate this pet-friendly condo unit. Head to the sunny rooftop terrace overlooking the majestic Mt. Fuji if you want to play fetch with your four-legged friends. The deck also features barbecue facilities for cookouts and alfresco dining while admiring the landscape.

For added convenience, pet cages, food bowls, and toilet seats are aptly provided for your furry companions. You can immediately reach Arakurayama Sengen Park in just 3.1 miles (4.99 kilometers).

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Minamitsuru-gun, Japan
280.69 km (174.5 mi) from Kyoto Railway Museum
5 Beds 10 Guests 2 Bedrooms 2 Bathrooms

Maizuru Park, Fukuoka: Blooming - Late March to Early April

Sakura at Maizuru Park 02
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user STA3816 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Have fun exploring Maizuru Park that houses the iconic Fukuoka Castle. This castle was the largest of its kind in Kyushu until it was razed to the ground after the Meiji Restoration due to its unfavorable feudal history.

Now, Maizuru Park serves as a vantage point for watching the cherry blossoms add colors to the stone walls. Visit here in late March or early April to partake in the annual Fukuoka Castle Cherry Blossom Festival. Besides a viewing spot, this park contains other facilities such as a track and field stadium, shops, and a lovely pond. Admission to the park is usually free (charges apply during events) but visit their website to check the opening hours, which vary seasonally.

Here are a few lovely rentals near the park that you can book for a convenient stay.

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3. Chic apartment with a projector, Fukuoka (from USD 70)

Invite your friend group for a restful stay in this chic apartment. Binge your favorite movies using the ceiling light with a projector to spend your downtime. You can also use the sleek kitchen with up-to-date appliances such as a microwave, mini fridge, and stovetop to whip up a simple meal.

The property is just a 10-minute walk from the Chikushi Exit of JR Hakata Station so you can conveniently commute to your destinations, including Maizuru Park, which is 3.1 miles (4.99 kilometers) away.

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3-15-4 Katakasu Hakata-ku, Fukuoka, Japan
512.42 km (318.5 mi) from Kyoto Railway Museum
3 Beds 5 Guests 1 Bedroom 1 Bathroom

4. Family room near city services, Fukuoka (from USD 67)

If you’re looking for a place close to city services, check out this family room. It’s near cute cafés and bakeries and makes a perfect base for visiting Maizuru Park. The distance between this property and the park is only around 2 miles (3.22 kilometers). It’s also within walking distance from Nishitetsu Hirao Station and Tenjin.

This family room utilizes its space well with an open-concept layout so you can move freely without any unnecessary walls. The rental is also fitted with two double bunk beds and a home theater.

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2-6-3 Shirogane Chuo-ku, Fukuoka, Japan
514.48 km (319.7 mi) from Kyoto Railway Museum
4 Beds 8 Guests 1 Bedroom 1 Bathroom

Ueno Park, Tokyo: Blooming - Late March to Early April

Ueno Park - Tokyo, Japan
Source: Photo by Flickr user Alexandre Brevegl... used under CC BY 2.0

Ueno Park is a public urban park with about 1,200 cherry blossoms on its nest. The park sits adjacent to Ueno Station in Tokyo, so rest assured that it’s easily accessible. The park was once part of Kaneiji Temple until it faced a disaster during the Boshin War. It was later transformed into a Western-style park which is one of the pioneers in the country.

Today, Ueno Park is home to several museums, a zoo, and Japan’s first zoological garden. You can observe the beautiful line of sakura along the central pathway from late March to early April. Its opening hours are 5am - 11pm (daily) and entry is free though fees may apply to park attractions. You cal always visit their website to check out the updated details.

Here’s our recommended rental that’s a quick drive from Ueno Park.

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5. Charming lodging for a romantic getaway, Tokyo (from USD 102)

Vibrant panda-inspired designs characterize this charming lodging. It can comfortably accommodate up to two guests so you can either have a romantic getaway with your significant other or have the room all to yourself.

This property is conveniently located near transportation stations and airports. The fastest route to Ueno Park takes about a 1.9-mile (3.06-kilometer) drive, perfect for your cherry blossoms pursuits. Feel free to take advantage of the bicycle rental on the first floor to explore the neighborhood. However, do note that registration for this is required.

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2-16-6 Azumabashi, Sumida-ku, Japan
376.97 km (234.3 mi) from Kyoto Railway Museum
2 Beds 2 Guests 1 Bedroom 1 Bathroom

Yodogawa River Park, Kyoto: Blooming - Late March to Early April

Yodogawa river park (Sewaritei district) Kyoto,JAPAN
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Si-take. used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Kyoto is one of the havens of cherry blossoms, and Yodogawa River Park is one of the most famous spots here. Its magical 0.87-mile (1.4-kilometer) long tunnel of cherry blossoms will transport you into a world of enchantment. A row of over 250 cherry trees wonderfully skirts the open-air walk path.

The park is Japan’s first national river park and is situated along the confluence of three rivers. It’s open 9am - 5pm daily and entry is free. Sauntering through the aisle of pale pink blossoms on a quaint riverside location is an experience that is surely one for the books!

Book your stay at one of these rentals for easy and quick access to the park.

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6. Trendy accommodation with a fully equipped kitchen, Kyoto (from USD 18000)

This trendy accommodation exudes contemporary panache from every nook and corner. One of its primary assets is the fully equipped kitchen where you can prepare your daily meals. Laundry facilities are also available to rewash your dirty clothes without any hassle.

From here, you can access Yodogawa River Park within a quick drive. After strolling around the park for the whole day, ease your tired feet with a hot shower in the ensuite bathroom.

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13-31 Nishisuyacho Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan
534 meters (0.4 ft) from Kyoto Railway Museum
4 Beds 6 Guests 2 Bedrooms 1 Bathroom

7. Smart flat ideal for teleworking, Kyoto (from USD 48)

Remote working is made possible in this smart flat equipped with a desk and table, as well as internet services. Once you finish your work deliverables, you can rest your back on the comfy French bed mattress for a good night’s sleep. The rental also offers streaming services so you can watch movies before going to bed.

With its idyllic position near Yodogawa River Park, you can easily take romantic dates and picnics along the tunnel of pink flowers whenever possible. Soak your cares in the bathtub after you’re done for the day.

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15 Higashiiwamotocho Higashikujo Minami-ku, Kyoto, Japan
2.05 km (1.3 mi) from Kyoto Railway Museum
1 Bed 1 Guests 1 Bedroom 1 Bathroom

Matsue Castle, Matsue: Blooming - Late March to Early April

Donjon du château de Matsue
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Matsue used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Matsue Castle is one of Japan’s national treasures. Once a military defense base, this big fortress stood its ground to safeguard soldiers and the people from strife. This is now one of the 12 surviving castles in Japan.

Here, you’ll get an unobstructed look at the cherry blossom scenery. Soak up history as you walk along the area and admire around 200 sakura trees dotting the grounds. Access to the castle’s grounds is free of charge. However, an admission fee applies if you wish to enter the castle’s premises. The opening hours vary seasonally, so be sure to check their website before visiting.

Here’s our recommendation for a lovely stay close to the castle premises.

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8. Modern-rustic house with Western and Japanese-style rooms, Shimane (from USD 133)

Traditional meets modern in this accommodation. Wood accents match the contemporary fittings of this house, giving the interior a modern-rustic look. There is also a combination of Western and Japanese-style rooms so you can get the best of both worlds.

Take advantage of the kitchen amenities to cook up a feast for the family. Tatami mats and air conditioning are also laid out on the property to keep you comfortable. What’s more! Matsue Castle is only 1.6 miles (2.57 kilometers) away from this stay.

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240 Saika-cho, Matsue, Japan
249.18 km (154.9 mi) from Kyoto Railway Museum
6 Beds 6 Guests 2 Bedrooms 1 Bathroom

Nikko Kaido Cherry Blossom Trail, Nikko: Blooming - Mid-April

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Over 1,500 cherry blossom trees welcome sightseers in this 9.94-mile (16-kilometer) stretch of road. This scenic trail lies between Utsunomiya and Nikkō in Tochigi Prefecture. Thanks to its 22.99-mile (37-kilometer) long Cedar Avenue, it prides itself as the cradle to the title holder of the Guinness World Record title as the longest tree-lined avenue.

While here, you can also swing by Toshogu Shrine, Rinnoji Temple, and Futarasan-jinja Shrine to learn about the region’s culture. Mid-April is the best time to see the sakura display in this spot. The park is open 24 hours daily and admission is free.

These rentals make for a great stay close to this beautiful cherry blossom trail.

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9. Charming rental with a semi-open-air bath, Tochigi (from USD 256)

Nikko Kaido Cherry Blossom Trail is just a short drive from this light and airy stay, so you can easily drive down to admire the cherry blossoms. Parking is allocated, so bring your private vehicle or rent a car for an outdoor adventure.

Besides its great location, the rental is nicely appointed with everything you need for a stress-free stay, including a well-stocked kitchen, washing machine, and a working desk. Air-conditioning and heating facilities are present to keep you cool and warm, depending on the weather.

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31-12 Hoden, Nikko, Japan
400.74 km (249.1 mi) from Kyoto Railway Museum
2 Beds 4 Guests 1 Bedroom 1 Bathroom

Spring has come! Want to go see the cherry blossoms?

Spring has come and it’s finally time for the Japan cherry blossoms 2023. That only means one thing - unlimited cherry blossoms viewing! As soon as springtime arrives, Japan is always doused in light pink colors and a soft powdery scent as thousands of petals shower the grounds and create a romantic scenery. We hope this list helps you find the best spots where to see sakura in Japan and an accommodation to stay in afterward.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Hallyu phenomenon (K-pop and K-drama) and writing are the two things that are keeping her sane and grounded. Her other interests include drinking coffee, designing her journal, reading novels,...Read more

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