The middle of March until the middle of May is the spring season in Japan. At this time, the famous cherry blossom, commonly called ‘sakura’ by locals, is at its full bloom. In fact, Hanami or flower-viewing events during springtime are so popular; one of the many reasons why thousands of tourists from around the world visit Japan. If you happen to be in the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’ in time for Hanami, especially cherry blossom viewing, below are the best places you and your travel buddies must visit.
Goryokaku Park (Hokkaido)
The Goryokaku is a star-shaped fort planted with over 1, 600 sakura trees. For a bird’s eye view of the entire estate and its surrounding moat, tourists should head to the observatory platform of the Goryokaku Tower. The tower stands 107 meters above the ground.
Hirosaki Park (Aomori Prefecture)
When the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, which is from March to May, the Hirosaki Park is always the venue of the annual Hirosaki Sakura-Matsuri. This park is home to more than 2, 5oo trees. Here, locals and tourists alike will also find the old, three-story Hirosaki Castle that was built in 1611.
Odawara Castle Park (Kanagawa Prefecture)
This is another park in Japan that has a castle. Odawara Castle Park, which is southwest of Kanagawa, is not only home to cherry blossoms but also to plum blossoms. The entire park has around 400 flowering trees.
Takato Joshi Park
This park in Ina City, Nagano claims to be the ‘best sakura viewing destination under heaven’. According to sources, there are more than 1, 500 sakura trees all over the park.
Starting Friday, April 3, until Sunday, April 19 of 2015, the Takada Park will start its cherry blossom viewing for the public. During this event, bombori lanterns will be lighted and the Sakura Road will be illuminated. Within the park, admission is free for locals and tourists while entrance to the castle will be at 200 yen per person.
I guarantee, booking an itinerary to one or perhaps all of these beautiful places will leave you no regrets!