When do cherry blossoms bloom in Japan? Introducing the best viewing times for each area from south to north and famous cherry blossom viewing spots!

The cherry blossoms that color Japan's spring have a short blooming period, and the best viewing times vary from north to south across the Japanese archipelago. From the south in Kyushu to Kansai, Kanto, and the north in Hokkaido, this article introduces the best times and places to see cherry blossoms all over Japan. When planning your trip, be sure to refer to the best viewing times in this article. By the way, during this time, enjoying cherry blossoms together in group is called "hanami". For manners during hanami, please refer to this article.

Main Types of Cherry Blossoms in Japan​

There are 9 species of wild cherry blossoms in Japan, and including variants, over 100 types of cherry blossoms grow naturally.

The variety we often see in urban areas today is Somei Yoshino, and other famous types include Yama-zakura, Kawazu-zakura, Oshima-zakura, and Kanhi-zakura.

There are various flower shapes such as single-layered petals and gorgeous multi-layered petals, and the shape of the cherry tree can be umbrella-shaped or weeping. The color of the flowers also varies from white, light pink, red, to purplish red, and you can enjoy various appearances such as the powerful presence of a single cherry tree and the powerful landscape of a thousand cherry trees. One of the charms of cherry blossoms is enjoying the different blooming shapes and colors depending on the variety.

Also, while cherry blossoms generally bloom once in the spring, depending on the variety, some bloom twice, from September to December and from February to March.

When is the "best time" to see cherry blossoms? The process and duration from cherry blossom blooming to scattering

The status of cherry blossom blooming is expressed as "blooming" (開花 / Kaika) when 5-6 or more flowers have bloomed on the sample tree, and as "one-third bloom", "half bloom", "eight-tenths bloom" depending on the proportion of flowers that have bloomed on the sample tree. When more than 80% of the buds on the sample tree have opened, it is finally considered "full bloom" (満開 / Mankai). After full bloom, the cherry blossom petals "begin to scatter" (散り始め / Chiri-hajime), and the state becomes "leaf cherry blossom" (葉桜 / Hazakura) where young leaves appear.

The length from blooming to full bloom is generally about 7 to 10 days. The further north you go, the shorter it becomes, so it is said to be about 5 days in the Tohoku region and about 4 days in the Hokkaido region. And, about a week after full bloom, the flowers gradually scatter. Therefore, even if the "blooming" forecast is announced, the actual scenery varies depending on the blooming situation. The period from full bloom to the beginning of scattering is probably the most beautiful as the "best view" of cherry blossoms.

Reasons why the blooming period varies depending on the weather​

The buds of cherry blossoms are usually formed in the summer of the previous year and go into dormancy once (休眠打破 / Kyumin Daha - breaking dormancy) to survive the cold season in early winter. When exposed to the severe cold of midwinter, they awaken from dormancy and resume growth towards blooming. At the end of winter, when the temperature rises, they begin to bloom, so if the temperature is high in early spring, the blooming period will be earlier. Therefore, the blooming period is shorter when the temperature is high and longer when it is low.

However, if a warm winter continues, the breaking of dormancy will be delayed, and the blooming period will also be delayed. Also, if it rains or strong winds blow during the blooming period, the flowers will scatter quickly.


  • Winter: If the temperature is high, the blooming period will be delayed
  • Spring: If the temperature is high, the blooming period will be earlier

Cherry blossoms in Japan typically start blooming in late January in warm southern regions such as Okinawa and Kyushu, then move northward to areas including the Kansai region like Osaka, the Kanto area including Tokyo, and finally bloom in Hokkaido around April and May.

For the blooming period, check the information similar to a weather map that connects the expected blooming dates of Somei Yoshino, known as the "Cherry Blossom Front" (桜前線 / Sakura Zensen), in advance.

Best time to see cherry blossoms & famous cherry blossom spots in Okinawa and Kyushu area

© K.P.V.B

Kyushu and Okinawa are the regions where cherry blossoms bloom the earliest every year. In particular, cherry blossoms in Okinawa usually start to bloom from mid-January to early February, and cherry blossom festivals are also held. While the cherry blossom front moves from south to north in other regions, it strangely moves southward only in Okinawa. This is because cold waves cause the temperature to drop earlier in the north than in the south, triggering the breaking of cherry blossom dormancy.

There are many famous cherry blossom spots on Okinawa Island, but Nago Castle Park is especially recommended as it has been selected as one of the "Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots". By the way, the cherry blossoms that can be seen in Okinawa, including Nago Park, are a variety called Kanhi-zakura, which is a deep pink cherry blossom, different from the Somei Yoshino variety that is commonly seen in Honshu.

In Kyushu, there are some spots where cherry blossoms bloom in February, but generally, many areas bloom from late March to early April. Sengan-en in Kagoshima has various types of cherry blossoms planted, and it is a spot where you can enjoy a variety of cherry blossoms over a long period of two months from early February to early April.

Spot Information

  • Name: Nago Castle Park
  • Address: 5511 Nago, Nago City, Okinawa
  • Access: 5 minutes walk from Nago Castle Entrance bus stop
  • Name: Sengan-en
  • Address: 9700-1 Yoshino-cho, Kagoshima City, Kagoshima
  • Access: Immediately from Sengan-en Mae bus stop

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Best time to see cherry blossoms & famous cherry blossom spots in Chugoku and Shikoku Areas​

Seto Inland Sea taken from Miyajima

Cherry blossoms bloom from late March to early April in the Chugoku and Shikoku areas. The Seto Inland Sea side is characterized by a calm sea and climate all year round, relatively low rainfall, and many sunny days. It is an ideal area for those who want to enjoy cherry blossom viewing in good weather. Recommended cherry blossom viewing spots in the Chugoku and Shikoku areas blessed with nature are Shiroyama Park of Matsuyama Castle in Ehime Prefecture, which was selected as one of the "100 Best Cherry Blossom Spots", and Miyajima in Hiroshima Prefecture with the Seto Inland Sea as a backdrop.

Spot Information

  • Name: Shiroyama Park
  • Address: Horinouchi, Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture
  • Access: 10-minute walk from Matsuyama City Station, or 15-minute walk from JR Matsuyama Station
  • Name: Miyajima
  • Address: Miyajima Town, Hatsukaichi City, Hiroshima Prefecture
  • Access: About 10 minutes by ferry from JR Miyajimaguchi Station

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Best time to see cherry blossoms & famous cherry blossom spots in Kansai Area

Mount Yoshino

In the Kansai area, cherry blossoms start to bloom from late March to early April, with many spots at their best in early April. This area, which has been home to the capital for a long time, has many historical buildings where you can feel the history and culture of Japan. It is known as an area where you can enjoy unique Japanese views of cherry blossoms harmonizing with traditional buildings and temples. In particular, the cherry blossoms at Daigoji Temple in Kyoto and Yoshinoyama in Nara are famous.

Spot Information

  • Name: World Heritage Kyoto Daigoji Temple
  • Address: 22 Daigo Higashi Oji-cho, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto
  • Access: About 15-18 minutes by train from Kyoto Station, right from Daigo Station
  • Name: Yoshinoyama
  • Address: Yoshinoyama, Yoshino-cho, Yoshino-gun, Nara
  • Access: About 1 hour 15 minutes from Osaka by Kintetsu Limited Express to Kintetsu Yoshino Station

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Best time to see cherry blossoms & famous cherry blossom spots in Chubu Area​

Cherry Blossoms in Kawazu Town

In the Chubu area, the best time to see cherry blossoms is usually from late March to late April. This area is surrounded by mountains and has an inland terrain, so there is a noticeable temperature difference between the highlands and the basin even in the same prefecture, resulting in variations in the cherry blossom blooming period. In Nagano and Niigata prefectures, there are places where you can enjoy cherry blossoms until May. One of the most famous cherry blossom spots in the Chubu area is the Kawazu cherry blossoms in Kawazu Town, Shizuoka Prefecture. The Kawazu cherry blossoms are a rare early-blooming variety that starts to bloom in early February.

Spot Information

  • Name: Izu-Kawazu Town (Kawazu River Cherry Blossom Trees)
  • Address: 79-4 Hama, Kawazu Town, Kamo District, Shizuoka Prefecture
  • Access: About 2 hours and 30 minutes by limited express train from Tokyo Station, a short walk from Kawazu Station

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Best time to see cherry blossoms & famous cherry blossom spots in Kanto Area

Shinjuku Gyoen

The Kanto area, including Tokyo, is particularly beautiful for cherry blossoms from late March to early April. Even in the metropolis of Tokyo, there are many cherry blossom spots with good access, such as parks, where tourists can easily experience cherry blossom viewing. Shinjuku Gyoen is particularly recommended as you can enjoy various cherry blossoms over a long period from mid-February to late April.

Also, if you visit the suburbs of Tokyo, there are many cherry blossom spots blessed with nature. For example, the cherry blossoms in Onshi Hakone Park, a famous hot spring area in Hakone, can be seen until early May, so it is recommended.

Spot Information

  • Name: Shinjuku Gyoen
  • Address: 11 Naito-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
  • Access: 5 minutes walk from Shinjuku Gyoen-mae Station
  • Name: Onshi Hakone Park
  • Address: 171 Moto-Hakone, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa
  • Access: 40 minutes by bus from Hakone Yumoto Station

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Best time to see cherry blossoms & famous cherry blossom spots in Tohoku area

Hirosaki Park

The Tohoku area, located in the northeastern part of Japan, sees cherry blossoms bloom later than in the Kansai and Kanto regions due to its geographical location. In Fukushima Prefecture, there are exceptions where cherry blossoms bloom as early as March, but for most other spots, the best viewing period is generally from mid-April to early May.

In the Tohoku area, there are cherry blossom spots known as the "Three Great Sakura Spots of Michinoku". These are Hirosaki Park in Hirosaki City, Aomori Prefecture, Kakunodate in Senboku City, Akita Prefecture, and Tenshochi in Kitakami City, Iwate Prefecture. From mid-April to Golden Week, Kitakami Tenshochi, Kakunodate, and Hirosaki Park will be in full bloom in that order, with beautiful cherry blossoms in full bloom.

Spot Information

  • Name: Hirosaki Park
  • Address: 1 Daishiroganecho, Hirosaki City
  • Access: 15 minutes by bus from Hirosaki Station, 4 minutes walk from City Hall bus stop
  • Name: Kakunodate
  • Address: Kakunodate Town, Senboku District, Akita Prefecture
  • Access: About 15 minutes walk from Kakunodate Station
  • Name: Tenshochi
  • Address: 10 Tachibana, Kitakami City, Iwate Prefecture
  • Access: About 20 minutes walk from Kitakami Station

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Best time to see cherry blossoms & famous cherry blossom spots in Hokkaido


In Hokkaido, located at the northernmost part of Japan, cherry blossoms are expected to bloom the latest, from early to mid-May. Due to the vast area of Hokkaido and the large temperature differences in various places, the cherry blossom blooming period varies by region. A recommended cherry blossom spot is Goryokaku Park in Hakodate, famous for its star-shaped fortress structure. The view from the Goryokaku Tower is particularly spectacular, and the full bloom of cherry blossoms in Goryokaku is famous for its fantastic and beautiful appearance.

Spot Information

  • Name: Goryokaku Park
  • Address: 44 Goryokaku-cho, Hakodate, Hokkaido
  • Access:
    • About 10 minutes walk from Goryokaku Park Station on the Hakodate City Tram
    • About 5 minutes walk from Goryokaku Park Entrance Bus Stop on the Hakodate Bus

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Best Time to See Cherry Blossoms Across Japan​

AreaTypical Best Viewing Time
Mid-January to early February
Kyushu (Fukuoka, Kumamoto, Kagoshima, etc.)
Late March to early April
Chugoku & Shikoku (Hiroshima, Okayama, Kagawa, etc.)
Late March to early April
Kinki (Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, etc.)
Late March to early April
Chubu & Hokuriku (Nagano, Yamanashi, Nagoya, etc.)
Late March to late April
Kanto (Tokyo, Chiba, Yokohama, Hakone, etc.)
Late March to early April
Tohoku (Aomori, Iwate, Sendai, etc.)
Mid-April to early May
Early to mid-May

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