When Cherry Blossoms in Japan: Interesting Facts and the Best Places to Enjoy the View

In Japan, there is a national tradition, which involves admiring cherry blossoms - hanami ("flower watching"). The history of hanami began at the imperial court, when the nobles spent all day long under the flowering trees, chatting and writing poetry.


In Japan, the cherry blossom period is identified with the beauty and the fleeting nature of life. In the Land of the Rising Sun, you can count a huge number of places, where you can admire the cherry blossoms from. Travellizy collected Tokyo's 5 most popular cherry blossom parks and calculated the tree blossom calendar in different parts of the country in 2019.

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Cherry Blossoms in Japan: the Tradition of Hanami

During the cherry blooming period, Japanese clerks often spend a whole working day in the parks or have picnics with their chiefs. 


Among the appetizers, the most popular are the onigiri (rice balls) and dango (rice flour balls), and among the drinks - saké. Since there are a lot of people willing to get settled in the park, it is customary to occupy a place in the morning, spreading the bedding with the name of the group and indicating the time, when the group is planning to use it. Or they leave on duty someone, who is waiting for the rest to come.


From far, cherry blossoms look like a cloud, hooked on tree trunks. In combination with temples and castles, this is an unforgettable sight. In many cities of Japan, cherry blossoms are specially illuminated in the evening.


Cherry Blossom Forecast 2019 in Japan 

According to the forecast of the Japan Meteorological Corporation,  the beginning of Japanese cherry blooming can be expected earlier than usual.

Sakura blossoms only about a week and blooms gradually throughout the country. In the south of the Shikoku Island, the blossoms are opening this year on March 18. Blooming spring will come to Fukuoka on March 20, to Tokyo - on March 22, and residents of Sendai will be the last to enjoy the cherry blossoms.

Cherry Blossom Calendar in 2019 looks like this:


The Best Places to Admire the Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden


Address: 11 Naitomachi, Shinjuku, Tokyo

Opening hours: 9:00 - 16:30

Entrance fee: 200 yen (1.5 euro)

Shinjuku Gyoen is a large park with several gardens, located in the urban areas of Shinjuku and Shibuya in Tokyo. You can find there alleys of early and late-blooming cherry blossoms, and have a picnic on one of the cozy picnic lawns. Famous politicians and members of the imperial family take part in the official opening of hanami in Shinjuku Gyoen.


Ueno Park 

Ueno Park

Address: 5-2 Uenokoen, Taitō, Tokyo

Opening hours: 24 hours a day

Entrance fee: free

Ueno Park is one of the most famous and visited parks in the Japanese capital. This is one of the most crowded, noisy and popular places in Japan for cherry blossom holidays. More than a thousand trees are planted along the street leading to the National Museum and around the Sinobatsu pond. Tourists from all over the world, photographers and newlyweds come here to capture a passing, but such a beautiful miracle of nature.


Chidorigafuchi Moat

Chidorigafuchi Moat

Address: 1-1 Chiyoda, Tokyo

Opening hours: 09: 00–17: 00

Entrance fee: free

Chidorigafuchi Park is located on the territory of the Imperial Palace. The great thing about this place is Edo Castle stone-walled moat, planted with hundreds of cherry trees. You can get a spot in a boat and watch the flower petals falling on the water surface. Water is covered with a lot of blossoms, creating a picturesque picture.


Sumida Park

Sumida Park

Address: 1-1 Mukoujima, Sumida-ku, Tōkyō-to 

Opening hours: 24 hours a day

Entrance fee: free

Sumida Park is located on the banks of the river of the same name. During the cherry blossom period, it is especially beautiful. More than 450 trees are planted by the river, and the cherries are lit from below at night.


Koganei Park

Koganei Park

Address: 1 Chome-13-1 Sekinocho, Koganei, Tokyo

Opening hours: 09: 00–17: 00

Entrance fee: free

Koganei Park is the second largest park in Tokyo after Hibiya Park. On an area of 196 acres, over 1,700 cherry trees grow. During the cherry blossom season, crowds of visitors flock to this place. The park's territory allows picnicking, admiring cherry blossoms, walking, bicycle riding and skateboarding, as well as tennis or baseball.


Interesting Facts about Cherry Blossoms in Japan:

● Cherry blossoms are considered to be inedible, but its leaves are edible. The Japanese salt them, pickle, and also wrap in them wagashi, a national dessert. During the cherry blossom period, everyone should try wagashi in a cherry blossom leaf, although the taste of these sweets, to put it mildly, is specific.


● The oldest cherry tree grows in the city of Hokuto, this tree even became a symbol of the country. Experts believe, that Jindaizakura, a divine generations cherry tree, is about 2000 years old, and it is considered to be a national monument of nature.

oldest sakura

● It is customary to drink saké under the cherry blossoms. It is believed, that if pollen from a blossom falls into a cup, such a drink gives a person strength and health. In parks, they drink quite a lot of saké, holding saké competitions. The idea is that you have to drink as much alcohol as possible while staying on your feet.


● Springtime admiration is not limited to cherry trees. Ume plum twigs blossoms (it is also called Japanese apricot) begin almost from the end of January throughout the country. But the best time for it is the last decade of February - the beginning of March.

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