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Top Cherry Blossom Viewing Destinations in Japan 2019

Japan is renowned for its cherry blossoms, with destinations throughout the country igniting in soft pinks and whites when spring rolls around. But have you ever wondered which are the top-visited ohanami sites? In this article, we’ll share with you the destinations that ranked highest in terms of official visitor numbers, as well as a few popular spots whose numbers are not disclosed.

Index

  • 1. Ueno Imperial Gift Park (Tokyo)

  • 2. Hirosaki Park (Aomori)

  • 3. Kakunodate (Akita)

  • 4. Chidorigafuchi (Tokyo)

  • 5. Shinjuku Gyoen (Tokyo)

  • 6. Takada Castle Park (Niigata)

  • 7. Mitsuike Park (Kanagawa)

  • 8. Osaka Mint Bureau (Osaka)

  • 9. Inokashira Park (Tokyo)

  • 10. Okazaki Park (Aichi)

  • Other Popular Cherry Blossom Viewing Destinations

  • Goryokaku (Hokkaido)

  • Morioka Castle Site Park (Iwate)

  • Tsurugajo Park (Fukushima)

  • Meguro River (Tokyo)

  • Yoyogi Park (Tokyo)

  • Shores of Lake Kawaguchi (Yamanashi)

  • Matsumoto Castle (Nagano)

  • Kenrokuen (Kanazawa)

  • Osaka Castle Park (Osaka)

  • Yoshinoyama (Nara)

  • Hikone Castle (Shiga)

  • Maizuru Park (Fukuoka)

  • In addition, please see the following sites for details of cherry blossom viewing spots in Kyoto and Tokyo.

    -Cherry blossom viewing in Kyoto
    -Cherry blossom viewing in Tokyo

  • 1. Ueno Imperial Gift Park (Tokyo)

    1. Ueno Imperial Gift Park (Tokyo)

    1. Ueno Imperial Gift Park (Tokyo)

    One of Japan’s oldest public parks, Ueno Park is home to around 1,200 cherry blossom trees and is the top cherry blossom viewing spot in the country. People come to lay out mats beneath the trees, enjoy a picnic and drink sake while admiring the stunning blooms. It’s easily accessed from Ueno Station and situated just across the street from the Park Exit.

    Best time to visit: around late March

    Annual turnout: approximately 4 million people

    Ueno Park
    Address
    Tokyo Taitou-ku Uenokouen / Ikenodome 3-chome
    Phone
    0338285644
  • 2. Hirosaki Park (Aomori)

    2. Hirosaki Park (Aomori)

    2. Hirosaki Park (Aomori)

    While Hirosaki Park is famed for its Edo-built Castle Tower, it’s also home to around 2,600 cherry blossom trees in 50 different varieties. Understandably, it’s an incredibly popular ohanami destination, with highlights including the Sakura Tunnel on the west moat and seeing the trees illuminated at night. Hirosaki Park is a 15-minute bus ride from Hirosaki Station along the Dotemachi Loop Bus.

    Best time to visit: around April 19
    Annual turnout: approximately 2 million people

    Hirosaki Park
    Address
    Aomori Pref. Hirosakishi Shimoshiroganechou 1
    Phone
    0172338739
  • 3. Kakunodate (Akita)

    3. Kakunodate (Akita)

    3. Kakunodate (Akita)

    During the Edo Period, numerous weeping cherry trees were transplanted from Kyoto to Kakunodate and today it’s one of the most famous cherry blossom viewing spots in the Tohoku region. Kakunodate’s Cherry Blossom Festival takes place around the Golden Week holidays and sees more than a million people flock to the historic samurai district and the Hinokinai River where they picnic beneath the blossoms. It all takes place a 20-minute walk from Kakunodate Station

    Best time to visit: late April - early May
    Annual turnout: approximately 1.3 million people

    角館武家屋敷通り
    Address
    秋田県仙北市角館町表町下丁
    Phone
    0187-43-3352
  • 4. Chidorigafuchi (Tokyo)

    4. Chidorigafuchi (Tokyo)

    4. Chidorigafuchi (Tokyo)

    Chidorigafuchi is a moat outside the Imperial Palace that’s ignited by a 700-meter-long tunnel of cherry blossom trees during the spring. Their pink hues beautifully reflect on the moat’s waters, making it a popular place for people to stroll during the Chiyoda Sakura Festival and magical when illuminated at night. Chidorigafuchi is a five-minute walk from either Kudanshita or Hanzomon stations

    Best time to visit: late March
    Annual turnout: approximately 1.28 million people

  • 5. Shinjuku Gyoen (Tokyo)

    5.  Shinjuku Gyoen (Tokyo)

    5. Shinjuku Gyoen (Tokyo)

    Sprawling across 58 hectares, Shinjuku Gyoen is a famous garden and green oasis in the heart of Shinjuku. It’s planted with around 1,000 cherry trees in numerous varieties, meaning you can see blossoms either early or late in the season. Aside from its traditional Japanese garden, Shinjuku Gyoen is also home to a former French garden and an English landscaped garden with lawns that are ideal for picnicking. Shinjuku Gyoen is just 10 minutes’ walk from Shinjuku Station’s South Exit or five minutes from Shinjuku-Sanchome Station.

    Best time to visit: late March to early April
    Annual turnout: approximately 1.2 million people

    新宿御苑
    Address
    東京都新宿区内藤町11
    Phone
    03-3350-0151
  • 6. Takada Castle Park (Niigata)

    6. Takada Castle Park (Niigata)

    6. Takada Castle Park (Niigata)

    Built in 1614 by Matsudaira Tadateru, Takada Castle is surrounded by more than 4,000 cherry trees and a 300-meter-long pedestrian walkway that’s known as “Sakura Road”. It’s renowned for its nighttime scene when the trees are magically illuminated by lanterns and hundreds of stalls selling food and drinks set up in the surrounds. The park is a 15-minute walk from Takada Station.

    Best time to visit: early to mid-April
    Annual turnout: approximately 880,000 people

    高田公園(高田城跡)
    Address
    新潟県上越市本城町44-1
    Phone
    025-543-2777
  • 7. Mitsuike Park (Kanagawa)

    7. Mitsuike Park (Kanagawa)

    7. Mitsuike Park (Kanagawa)

    Centered around three ponds and a Korean Garden, Mitsuike Park sprawls across 30 hectares in Yokohama. Its home to 1,600 cherry trees of 78 different species that break out in blossoms during the spring, with the first trees to bloom being the kanzakura. The park is a 20-minute taxi ride from Yokohama Station.

    Best time to visit: late March to early April
    Annual turnout: approximately 700,000 people

    San Ike Park
    Address
    Kanagawa Pref. Yokohamashi Tsurumi-ku Mitsuikekouen
    Phone
  • 8. Osaka Mint Bureau (Osaka)

    8. Osaka Mint Bureau (Osaka)

    8. Osaka Mint Bureau (Osaka)

    The Osaka Mint Bureau is famed for its yaezakura cherry trees, which blossom slightly later and with more petals than the classic somei yoshino variety. For one week each April, the bureau opens its grounds for people to enjoy Sakura Torinuke, with their cherry trees also illuminated at night. It’s just a 15-minute walk from Temmabashi Station.

    Best time to visit: mid-April
    Annual turnout: approximately 700,000 people

    Osaka Mint Bureau Cherry Blossom Viewing
    Address
    Osaka Osakashi Kita-ku Tenma 1-1-79
    Phone
  • 9. Inokashira Park (Tokyo)

    9. Inokashira Park (Tokyo)

    9. Inokashira Park (Tokyo)

    Situated in the Kichijoji area of western Tokyo, Inokashira Park is home to around 500 cherry trees, many of which are planted around its central pond. Some of the varieties are late blooming, with the fallen petals turning the waters a beautiful pink color. You can rent a boat and paddle across the pond or see the cherry blossoms illuminated at night. The park is a five-minute walk from Kichijoji Station.

    Best time to visit: late March to early April
    Annual turnout: approximately 660,000 people

    井の頭恩賜公園
    Address
    東京都武蔵野市御殿山1、吉祥寺南町1、三鷹市井の頭3、下連雀1、牟礼4
    Phone
    0422-47-6900
  • 10. Okazaki Park (Aichi)

    10.  Okazaki Park (Aichi)

    10. Okazaki Park (Aichi)

    Home to the castle where Tokugawa Ieyasu was born, Okazaki Park features around 800 cherry blossom trees that line the Oto and Iga rivers. During the annual Sakura Festival, numerous food and drink vendors set up to create a bustling atmosphere. The cherry blossoms are illuminated by lanterns and, together with the white Okazaki Castle Tower, create a magnificent scene. The park is around 10 minutes’ walk from Higashi-Okazaki Station.

    Best time to visit: late March
    Annual turnout: approximately 600,000 people

    Okazaki Park
    Address
    Aichi Pref. Okazakishi Kouseichou 561
    Phone
    0564236216
  • Other Popular Cherry Blossom Viewing Destinations

    Aside from the parks whose turnout numbers are officially published, there are also a number of other popular cherry blossom viewing spots worth exploring:

  • Goryokaku (Hokkaido)

    Goryokaku (Hokkaido)

    Goryokaku (Hokkaido)

    One of the main tourist attractions in Hakodate, Fort Goryokaku is a star-shaped, Western-style fortress that was built during the late Edo Period. It’s also one of the most popular cherry blossom viewing spots on Hokkaido, with the season arriving a few weeks later than mainland Japan. Around 1,600 trees line the fort’s moats where you can rent boats, then soak up the views from the 100-meter-tall Goryokaku Tower. Catch the tram from Hakodate Station to Goryokaku Koen Mae Station and the fort is just 10 minutes’ walk away.

    Best time to visit: late April to early May

    Goryokaku Park
    Address
    Hokkaido Hakodateshi Goryoukakuchou 44
    Phone
    0138403605
  • Morioka Castle Site Park (Iwate)

    Morioka Castle Site Park (Iwate)

    Morioka Castle Site Park (Iwate)

    Although only its inner moat and stone walls remain, the Morioka Castle is considered one of Japan’s 100 Great Castles and was once home to the Nanbu Clan. It’s planted with numerous cherry trees that flower spectacularly during the spring, with locals coming to picnic under their blossoms. The Morioka Castle Site Park is just 20 minutes on foot from Morioka Station.

    Best time to visit: mid April to late April

    Morioka Castle Site Park
    Address
    Iwate Pref. Moriokashi Uchimaru 1-37
    Phone
    0196810722
  • Tsurugajo Park (Fukushima)

    Tsurugajo Park (Fukushima)

    Tsurugajo Park (Fukushima)

    Centered around Tsurugajo Castle, this popular park in Aizuwakamatsu is home to around 1,000 cherry trees in a variety of species, such as wild cherry trees and yoshino cherry trees. They’re illuminated at night and reflect magically in the moat waters, creating a fairytale-like scene. Tsurugajo Park can be accessed by the Hikarasan bus from Aizuwakamatsu Station

    Best time to visit: mid April to late April

    Tsurugajo Park
    Address
    Fukushima Pref. Aiduwakamatsushi Outemachi 1-1
    Phone
    0242274005
  • Meguro River (Tokyo)

    Meguro River (Tokyo)

    Meguro River (Tokyo)

    With cherry blossom trees lining its banks, the Meguro River is one of Tokyo’s most popular cherry blossom viewing destinations. Around 800 trees extend almost four kilometers along the river, making it the perfect place to stroll, shop or relax at one of the many cafes. A cherry blossom festival coincides with the full bloom, although the end of the season when the petals are falling into the river is also magical. The Meguro River is 10 minutes’ walk from the Meguro Station or five minutes from the Nakameguro subway station.

    Best time to visit: late March to early April

    Meguro River Cherry Trees
    Address
    Tokyo Meguro-ku Meguro Kawazoe road
    Phone
  • Yoyogi Park (Tokyo)

    Yoyogi Park (Tokyo)

    Yoyogi Park (Tokyo)

    An oasis in the city, Yoyogi Park is one of the largest urban parks in Tokyo and a popular hanami destination. Around 700 cherry trees are planted in the park, with people arriving early in the morning during the cherry blossom season to reserve a picnic spot beneath the trees and relax with family and friends. It’s just five minutes’ walk from Harajuku Station.

    Best time to visit: late March to early April

    Yoyogi Park
    Address
    Tokyo Shibuya-ku Yoyogikamizonochou , Jinnan 2
    Phone
    0334696081
  • Shores of Lake Kawaguchi (Yamanashi)

    Shores of Lake Kawaguchi (Yamanashi)

    Shores of Lake Kawaguchi (Yamanashi)

    For spectacular views of cherry blossoms with Mount Fuji, head to the shores of Lake Kawaguchi where around 300 cherry trees are planted. It’s a popular place to capture photographs of Mount Fuji reflected in the waters, particularly during the Sakura Matsuri, Fuji Kawaguchiko Cherry Blossom Festival. The lake is around 25 minutes by bus from Kawaguchiko Station.

    Best time to visit: early April to mid-April

    Lake Kawaguchi
    Address
    Yamanashi Prefecture Minamitsuru-gun Fuji Kawaguchiko Town
    Phone
    0555723168
  • Matsumoto Castle (Nagano)

    Matsumoto Castle (Nagano)

    Matsumoto Castle (Nagano)

    Designated as a National Treasure of Japan, Matsumoto Castle is a deservedly popular tourist attraction in its own right. But during the cherry blossom season, it attracts visitors for another reason as its 300 cherry trees come into flower. It’s a stunning sight to see the castle’s black-and-white architecture with the soft pinks of the cherry blossoms, all just a 15-minute walk from Matsumoto Station.

    Best time to visit: early April to mid-April

    National Treasure Matsumoto Castle
    rating 3121 Reviews
    Address
    Nagano Pref. Matsumotoshi Marunouchi 4-1
    Phone
    0263322902
  • Kenrokuen (Kanazawa)

    Kenrokuen (Kanazawa)

    Kenrokuen (Kanazawa)

    As one of Japan’s top three gardens, Kenrokuen is a popular destination throughout the year but particularly beautiful during the cherry blossom season. It’s planted with around 420 cherry trees in 20 different varieties, including the rare Sphaerantha cherry blossoms that have a unique shape and color that transforms throughout the season. The garden is a 20-minute ride on the Kenrokuen shuttle bus from Kanazawa Station.

    Best time to visit: late March to early April

    Special Place of Scenic Beauty Kenrokuen
    Address
    Ishikawa Pref. Kanazawashi Kenrokumachi 1
    Phone
    0762343800
  • Osaka Castle Park (Osaka)

    Osaka Castle Park (Osaka)

    Osaka Castle Park (Osaka)

    Sprawling across more than 100 hectares, the Osaka Castle Park is home to huge stone walls and moats, as well as around 600 cherry trees in the beautiful Nishinomaru Garden. There are 95 different varieties of Japanese apricot flowers in the park, making it one of the most popular cherry blossom viewing spots in Osaka Prefecture. It can be accessed directly from Osaka Castle Park Station.

    Best time to visit: late March to early April

    大阪城公園
    Address
    大阪府大阪市中央区大阪城
    Phone
    06-6755-4146
  • Yoshinoyama (Nara)

    Yoshinoyama (Nara)

    Yoshinoyama (Nara)

    Mount Yoshino has long been one of Japan's most famous cherry blossom viewing spots, with the first trees planted along its slopes more than 1300 years ago. Today, there are around 30,000 cherry trees in numerous varieties that can be enjoyed as you ascend the mountain and explore its temples and shrines. During the season, shuttle buses connect Yoshino Station with the Naka Senbon area near Chikurin-in Temple.

    Best time to visit: early April to late April

    吉野山(下千本)
    Address
    奈良県吉野郡吉野町吉野山2430
    Phone
    0746-32-1007
  • Hikone Castle (Shiga)

    Hikone Castle (Shiga)

    Hikone Castle (Shiga)

    Spring is the most beautiful time to visit Hikone Castle in Shiga when around 1,200 cherry trees ignite the grounds and a festival takes place to mark the occasion. Held from 30 April to 18 May, it draws people from near and far to wander through the castle grounds by both day and night when the trees are magnificently illuminated. Hikone Castle is around 15 minutes on foot from Hikone Station.

    Best time to visit: early March to mid-April

    Hikone Castle
    Address
    Shiga Pref. Hikoneshi Konkichou 1-1
    Phone
    0749230001
  • Maizuru Park (Fukuoka)

    Maizuru Park (Fukuoka)

    Maizuru Park (Fukuoka)

    Situated in the heart of Fukuoka City, Maizuru Park is home to the ruins of Fukuoka Castle and around 1,000 cherry trees that bloom each spring. The occasion is marked by the Fukuoka Castle Sakura Festival when food stalls and shops set up in the park and the cherry trees are illuminated against the old castle walls at night. Maizuru Park is a five-minute walk from Akasaka or Ohori Park stations

    Best time to visit: late March to early April

    Maizuru Park
    Address
    Fukuoka Pref. Fukuokashichuouku Jounai
    Phone
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