The Shikoku region, consisting of the four prefectures of Kagawa, Tokushima, Ehime, and Kochi, is rich in historical buildings and popular spots with abundant nature, and there are many famous places for cherry blossoms. Moreover, compared to large cities like Tokyo and Osaka, it is attractive that you can enjoy cherry blossom viewing in a relatively relaxed manner.
We will introduce recommended cherry blossom viewing spots in Shikoku, from famous places to hidden gems, along with the usual best viewing times, by prefecture.
※The information featured in this article is as of December 2023. Please check the official website or other sources for the latest information.
When is the best time to see cherry blossoms in Shikoku? What's the weather like during cherry blossom season?
The average temperature in the Shikoku region during spring (March-May) tends to be around 10℃-12℃ in the inland areas, and around 13℃-16℃ along the coastlines of the Seto Inland Sea and the Pacific Ocean, with a tendency for chilly days to continue. Although there are many sunny days, the temperature fluctuates every few days, and there is a significant difference between the high and low temperatures.
The typical cherry blossom viewing season in the four prefectures of Shikoku is late March to early April, almost the same as in the Kanto, Kansai, and Kyushu regions. From here, we will introduce the blooming and full bloom dates of the past three years in each prefecture.
|Kagawa Prefecture (Takamatsu City)
|Tokushima Prefecture (Tokushima City)
|Ehime Prefecture (Matsuyama City)
|Kochi Prefecture (Kochi City)
|Usual blooming date
|Usual full bloom date
The state of cherry blossom blooming and the best time to view them can vary depending on the temperature of the year and the unique climate of each region. Therefore, it is recommended to check the latest blooming and full bloom forecast dates on tenki.jp, operated by the Japan Meteorological Association, or weathernews.jp, which provides the latest weather information. Detailed blooming information for each cherry blossom viewing spot can also be checked on the official websites and SNS of each prefecture's tourism association.
Top 3 Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots in Kagawa Prefecture
【Mitoyo City】Mt. Shiude (Typically best viewing: Early to mid-April)
Enjoy the breathtaking view of the Seto Inland Sea from near the summit of the 352m high "Mt. Shiude". This famous spot has been selected in "52 Places to Go in 2019" announced by the American newspaper "The New York Times" and "15 Best Cherry Blossom Views in Japan" by Yahoo! JAPAN.
About 1,000 cherry trees, including Somei-Yoshino, Yoko-Zakura, and Yae-Zakura varieties, color the precincts. Among them, the observatory adjacent to the parking lot is the most popular view spot where you can enjoy the competition of cherry blossoms and the multi-island beauty of the Seto Inland Sea.
To enter the mountain by rental car during the cherry blossom season, you need to make a reservation online in advance, gather at the Oohama Fishing Port at the foot of the mountain at the reserved date and time, and check in.
- Address: 451-1 Oohama Otsu, Takuma-cho, Mitoyo City
- Access: About 30 minutes from JR Takuma Station to "Oohama" bus stop by Mitoyo City Community Bus (Takuma Line). After getting off, walk for about 90 minutes via the pedestrian-only road "Shikoku no Michi"
[Weekdays only during the season] About 25 minutes from Chichihama by "Sunset Shuttle Taxi" (※Reservation required in advance, one-way 1,500 yen)
[Weekends only during the season] About 40 minutes from JR Takuma Station by Mitoyo Central Sightseeing Bus "Heart Shuttle"
- Official Website: https://www.mitoyo-kanko.com/mt-shiude/
【Takamatsu City】Special Place of Scenic Beauty Ritsurin Park (Typically best viewing: Late March to early April)
The "Special Place of Scenic Beauty Ritsurin Park" is the largest cultural property garden designated as a special place of scenic beauty in Japan. This Japanese garden, which took over 100 years to create, still retains its original appearance from the early Edo period, completed in 1745.
In spring, about 300 cherry trees, including Somei-Yoshino, Higanzakura, and Weeping Cherry (Shidarezakura), bloom all over the park, creating a beautiful contrast with the 1,400 pine trees. During the "Ritsurin Park Spring Light-up Event", you can also enjoy the cherry blossoms at night.
- Address: 1-20-16, Ritsurincho, Takamatsu City
- Business hours:
※During the light-up event period, it is open until 21:00
※Business hours vary in other months
- Closed: Open all year round
- Admission fee: Adults 410 yen, Children 170 yen
- Access: About 3 minutes walk from JR Ritsurin Park North Exit Station
- Official website: https://www.my-kagawa.jp/ritsuringarden
【Marugame City】Marugame Castle (Typically best viewing: Late March to early April)
Marugame Castle, one of the twelve surviving castles with wooden keeps dating back to the Edo period, is also famous as a "castle of stone walls" with the highest stone walls in Japan. The view of the cherry blossoms spreading out from the east side of the main castle is a must-see.
The famous castle, which has been standing for over 400 years, is dressed up with about 700 cherry trees, including Somei-Yoshino, in spring. Every year, events such as the "Marugame Castle Cherry Blossom Festival" and light-up events are held.
- Address: 1-20-1, Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Castle Tower Main Gate Opening hours
*The castle ground is open 24 hours
09:00～16:30 09:00～16:00 Closed Open all year round During rainy weather Admission fee Adults 200 yen, Children 100 yen Free
- Access: About 15 minutes on foot from JR Marugame Station
- Official website: https://www.city.marugame.lg.jp/site/castle/
Top 3 Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots in Tokushima Prefecture
【Tokushima City】Bizan Park (Best viewing time: Late March to Mid-April)
Adjacent to the city center of Tokushima, on a hill with an altitude of 290m, is "Bizan Park". At the summit, you can appreciate about 300 Somei-Yoshino cherry trees, and about 1,200 on the middle slope of Otakiyama.
In addition to enjoying the ropeway and observatory, you can overlook JR Tokushima Station, the city area, and the Seto Inland Sea from near the summit. The night view, which has been selected as one of the "Top 100 Night Views", is a must-see in Shikoku.
- Address: Bizancho-cho, and Suwa-yama, Sakoyama-cho, Tokushima City
- Access: About 10 minutes on foot from JR Tokushima Station to Bizan Ropeway Foothill Station. About 7 minutes by Awagin Bizan Ropeway, get off at Bizan Ropeway Summit Station
【Mima City】Yaoyorozu no Kami no Goten (Typically best viewing: Late March to mid-April)
The "Yaoyorozu no Kami no Goten", where about 8,000 cherry trees such as Somei-Yoshino, Kogome-zakura, and Weeping Cherry dye the slope of a mountain at an altitude of about 400m. Many people visit for cherry blossom viewing, seeking the grand scale and overwhelming beauty that is unique to Tokushima.
If you stroll through the tunnel of cherry blossoms in full bloom, the entire area seems to be dyed in cherry blossom color, even the air! The cherry blossoms here are said to be more vivid than ordinary cherry blossoms because they are well cared for throughout the year.
- Address: 1701-2 Higashi Akatanimyo, Waki-cho, Mima City
- Business hours: 08:00-19:00
- Admission fee: 1,000 yen per person (elementary school students and above)
- Access: About 15 minutes by car from JR Anabuki Station
- Official website: https://www.yaoyorozukaminogoten.net/
【Anan City】Iwawaki Park (Typically best viewing: Late March to early April)
At "Iwawaki Park", there are about 1,000 cherry trees planted. When they are in full bloom, the lines of cherry blossom trees, known as "Sakura no Baba", transform into a cherry blossom tunnel that stretches for about 400m. From the red Taiko bridge over the pond, you can take pictures that capture the essence of Japanese spring.
It's about a 2-minute walk from "Sakura no Baba". The adjacent "Sakura Zutsumi Park" is planted with Somei-Yoshino, weeping cherry trees, and botan cherry trees, allowing you to enjoy cherry blossom viewing for a long period due to the different blooming times. The cycle boat that can tour the pond in the park is also popular.
- Address: Iwawaki, Hanoura-cho, Anan City
- Access: About 10 minutes by car from JR Hanoura Station
Top 3 Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots in Ehime Prefecture
【Matsuyama City】Matsuyama Castle (Typically best viewing: Late March to early April)
One of the only surviving 12 castles nationwide that still have a castle tower from before the Edo period, "Matsuyama Castle" (also known as "Katsuyama Castle", "Kameyama Castle"). The entire Castle Mountain Park is a national historic site, and 21 buildings including the castle tower are designated as important cultural properties.
In spring, various varieties of cherry blossoms, mainly Somei-Yoshino, from early blooming to late blooming, color the precincts. At the "Castle Festival", which is held as part of the spring tradition, Matsuyama Spring Festival, there is also a "Daimyo Warrior Parade" where a procession of people dressed in armor and kimonos walk around.
- Address: Marunouchi, Matsuyama City
- Business hours: Vary depending on the season
- Closed: 3rd Wednesday of December
【Matsuyama Castle Tower Viewing Ticket】Adults 520 yen, Children 160 yen
【Ropeway & Lift Round Trip Ticket】Adults 520 yen, Children 160 yen
- Access: About 10 minutes by Iyotetsu city tram bound for "Dogo Onsen" from JR Matsuyama Station. After getting off at "Okaido", it's about a 5-minute walk to the Matsuyama Castle Ropeway Station
- Official Website: https://www.matsuyamajo.jp/
【Matsuyama City】Dogo Park Yuzuki Castle Ruins (Typically best viewing: Late March to early April)
The "Dogo Park Yuzuki Castle Ruins", the site of Yuzuki Castle in Matsuyama City, which existed from the first half of the 14th century to the second half of the 16th century. Moats and earthworks in the park remain as they were at that time, and it has been selected as a national historic site and one of the "Japan's Top 100 Castles®".
Every year, around March, about 300 cherry blossoms, mainly Somei-Yoshino, come into full bloom. During the day, you can enjoy gourmet food stalls, and at night, you can enjoy cherry blossoms illuminated by lanterns, attracting many locals for a stroll.
- Address: Dogo Park, Matsuyama City
- Opening hours: Open 24 hours
- Access: About 20 minutes by Iyo Railway from JR Matsuyama Station, immediately after getting off at Dogo Park Station
- Official website: https://dogokouen.jp/
【Imabari City】Hirakiyama Park (Typically best viewing: Early April)
Located near the summit of a 149m high mountain, "Hirakiyama Park" is a famous cherry blossom viewing spot where you can overlook the islands of the Seto Inland Sea and the three bridges that span the sea. In spring, about 1,000 cherry trees, mainly Somei-Yoshino, bloom in full glory, dyeing the entire mountain a pale pink.
The park also has a 36m slide and jungle gym, making it popular with families with children. During the cherry blossom viewing season, the park is also lit up with lanterns.
- Address: Ikata, Hakata-cho, Imabari City
- Access: About 10 minutes by car from the Shimanami Kaido Hakatajima IC
Top 3 Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots in Kochi Prefecture
【Kochi City】Kochi Castle・Kochi Park (Typically best viewing: Late March to early April)
The "Kochi Castle", which has been designated as a national important cultural property and one of the "Top 100 Castles in Japan🄬". It is a rare existence nationwide where both the castle tower and the main castle palace still exist.
The "Kochi Park", which was formed around the castle, has more than 200 cherry trees such as Somei-Yoshino blooming in spring, and traditional lanterns, bonbori, light up at night to match the tourist season. At the "Kochi Castle Flower Corridor" held in early April, you can experience Kochi's traditional culture up close, such as Yamada drums, lion dance, and Japanese musical instrument performances.
- Address: 1-2-1 Marunouchi, Kochi City
- Access: About 10 minutes by Tosaden Kotsu bus from JR Kochi Station, immediately after getting off at "Kochi Castle Mae" bus stop
- Official Website: https://kochipark.jp/kochijyo/
【Niyodogawa Town】Hyotan Sakura Park (Typically best viewing: Late March to early April)
In Kochi, scattered with single cherry blossom trees, is Niyodogawa Town. Among the many cherry trees boasting long tree ages, the "Hyotan Sakura", designated as a natural monument of the prefecture, is particularly popular.
By the way, Hyotan Sakura is not a variety name, but a nickname for an old Edo Higan tree that stands against the backdrop of a magnificent mountain, with a height of 21m and an age of about 500 years. Apparently, it was named because the shape of the buds resembled a gourd.
At almost the same time, about 250 cherry trees and canola flowers planted around the old tree also bloom all at once. Be sure to take in the contrast of the colorful flowers.
- Address: Sakura, Niyodogawa Town, Agawa County
- Access: About 45 minutes by car from JR Sagawa Station
- Official Website: https://www.town.niyodogawa.lg.jp/life/life_dtl.php?hdnKey=948
【Suzaki City】Snow Split Cherry of Kuwata Mountain (Typically best viewing: Mid-February to Mid-March)
The 'Snow Split Cherry Blossom' (official name: Tsubakikanzakura) blooms in the cold season when snow still remains, planted on Mt. Kuwata in the central part of Kochi Prefecture. Approximately 1,000 cherry trees start to bloom with vibrant peach-colored flowers from mid-February, allowing you to enjoy the cherry blossom viewing mood earlier than other famous cherry blossom spots.
The recommended photo spot is an observatory overlooking the slope of a mountain. You can take spring-like photos of yellow and pink woven by cherry blossoms and canola flowers.
- Address: Kuwata-yama Otsu, Susaki City
- Access: About 10 minutes by car from JR Wakuso Station
Enjoy the full bloom of spring cherry blossoms in Shikoku!
Seas, beautiful islands, castles, gardens, nature... Shikoku has many famous cherry blossom spots. Why not enjoy a cherry blossom viewing trip around Shikoku on your next visit to Japan?
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- When is the best time to see cherry blossoms in Shikoku? What's the weather like during cherry blossom season?
- Top 3 Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots in Kagawa Prefecture
- Top 3 Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots in Tokushima Prefecture
- Top 3 Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots in Ehime Prefecture
- Top 3 Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots in Kochi Prefecture
- Enjoy the full bloom of spring cherry blossoms in Shikoku!