More affordable airline tickets make us more hopeful to realize our desire to see the world. Traveling is now a scheduled activity. Of all the countries and locations in the world, Japan is one of the most preferred destinations for travelers. One of the things about Japan that attracts the most attention from tourists is the cherry blossoms, which bloom in early spring. Although this type of flower is not only found in Japan, it has become a specialty plant there.
But even though we’ve arrived in the land of Sakura in spring in March to early April, it’s rare that we actually know where we can enjoy Sakura freely, of course with the best spots for taking photos. For those of you who are interested in visiting Japan in spring next year, and for those of you who love all things Japanese with their Sakura, here are the 7 best spots to enjoy the beauty of Sakura flowers in Japan.
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Ueno Park in Tokyo
This giant park in Taito, Tokyo was once Kan’ei-ji, a temple closely associated with Shogun Tokugawa, the builder of the guardian temple for Edo Castle. In this park, there are 10,000 cherry blossom trees that will bloom every spring. When the cherry blossoms bloom, Japanese people come to this park to do an activity called : hanami, which is a communal meal or picnic while enjoying the atmosphere under the shade of the Sakura trees. We, as tourists, can also join in the hanami with the locals.
The Osaka Mint Bureau in Osaka
This location is indeed one of the most beautiful locations to enjoy the beauty of cherry blossoms and of course, very instagramable. Here we can see approximately 348 Sakura trees of 126 varieties with their blossoms lining the banks of the Okawa River. At this location, in addition to enjoying the spring cherry blossoms, you can also enjoy Japanese snacks sold by the hawkers. The Osaka Mint Bureau is only open once a year or exactly one week in April in spring, and is free to visit.
Yoshinoyama or Mount Yoshino in Nara Prefecture
Mount Yoshino or Yoshinoyama has been designated as one of UNESCO’s world heritage sites under the name of Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes on the Kii mountain range. This location is undoubtedly one of the best places to enjoy the beauty of cherry blossoms. Here, you can witness beautiful clusters of Sakura trees with their flowers blooming in spring or to be precise you will find approximately 30,000 Sakura flower trees. These trees are planted at different heights and lead to a shrine at the top of this mountain located in Yoshino town, Yoshino District, Nara prefecture.
The Philosopher’s Path in Kyoto
This location is called The Philosopher’s Path because it is said that an influential Japanese philosopher in the 20th century who was also a professor from Kyoto University named Nishida Kitaro once used this location as a place to meditate. The route passes by a number of temples and shrines such as Honen-in, Otoyo Shrine, and Eikan-do Zenrin-ji. It takes about 30 minutes to walk this route. On this route, hundreds of cherry blossom trees line the banks of the canal, making the view of the shrines on this route even more beautiful.
Handayama Botanical Garden in Okayama
Handayama Botanical Garden is a botanical garden located in Kitagata, Okayama. The park is open every day except on Tuesdays. During the hanami period, it is also open to the public on Tuesdays. The park was established in 1953 on a hillside overlooking the city. The garden is home to 3,000 species of plants, including Sakura. At this spot, you can watch the view of the city from the top of the hill with sakura all around you.
Matsumae Park in Hokkaido
Matsumae Park is a large park that includes Matsumae Castle (Fukuyama Castle) and Teramachi, the residence of the Matsumae clan in Matsumaegun, Hokkaido. This is where you can find approximately 10,000 Sakura trees of 250 different varieties flowering in spring at different times. Sakura of various types are known to flower not at the same time. Hokkaido is the northernmost prefecture in Japan, so enjoying spring and cherry blossoms is even more special and exciting here.
Miyajima, Itsukushima island
This location can be reached by ferry from Horoshima city. This location is also known as Miyajima which in Japanese means Shrine Island because there are several beautiful shrines or temples. It is also well known for its beautiful floating gates, accompanied by deer that appear to roam freely. Itsukushima Shrine is recognized as one of UNESCO’s world heritage sites. It is at the top of the hill on the walking path at this location that you can find a cluster of Sakura trees. Approximately 1300 cherry blossom trees grow along the walkways and around the shrine.
These are some recommended places for you to enjoy Sakura in spring. So you can choose the right location according to the location you plan to visit in Japan. Hopefully it can be a reference for you, and of course, happy vacation!