Cherry blossom season is the most long-awaited season for those who live in Japan. Cherry blossoms in Hokkaido will be blooming at a later date compared to Honshu (mainland), from the end April until end May. The cherry blossoms in Hokkaido are always showing extraordinary beauty after the long winter.
1. Goryokaku Park
Goryokaku Park is a park which is well-known for its star-shaped castle. Once it comes to the end of April, there are about 1,600 Somei Yoshino Zakura and Yaezza Zakura that start blooming in the park. The blooming cherry blossoms will fill the star-shaped pentagon and form a flower fort. It is recommended to also take a boat ride and view the cherry blossoms from the moat. In the evening, the cherry blossom trees are lit up and you can enjoy eating grilled lamb in some of the designated areas. When it comes to the end of the cherry blossom season, you can even enjoy viewing the cherry blossom petals which float on the water's surface of the moat.
Goryokaku Park (五稜郭公園)
- Light up period: 19:00 ~ 21:00 during the cherry blossom viewing period, 19:00 ~ 22: 00 on weekends and national public holidays
- Operating Hours: Horinouchigawa(Inside of Park): 5:00-19:00 (Horinosotogawa (Outside of Park) the area is open to the public for the entire day)
- Address: 44, Goryokaku-cho, Hakodate-shi, Hokkaido
2. Matsumae Park
The area around Matsumae Castle is famous as a cherry blossom viewing spot that has approximately 250 species and a total of 10,000 cherry blossom trees. At the cherry blossom garden which is located in the north of the park, 140 kinds of cherry blossoms are blooming one after another for one month depending on the species. It is also selected as one of the top 100 rankings for cherry blossoms landscapes. "Matsumae cherry blossom festival" is held from the 28th of April until the 13th of May, by that time there will be various events and activities at the park such as product exhibitions.
- Best viewing period of cherry blossom: End of April to mid-May
- Light up period: After Sunset ~ 20:30, during the cherry blossom viewing period
- Address: Matsushiro, Matsumae-cho, Matsumae-gun, Hokkaido
3. Maruyama Park
Maruyama Park is located only 20 minutes by subway from JR Sapporo Station and is well-known as a cherry blossom viewing spot, same with the Hokkaido Shrine which is its neighbor. There are many cherry blossom viewers visiting and enjoying the season during spring. Besides viewing the cherry blossom, visitors can enjoy viewing the fully blooming plum blossom here as well. BBQ sets are available to rent at the park management office.
Maruyama Park (円山公園)
- Best viewing period of cherry blossom: end of April to mid-May
- Address: Miyagaoka, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi
4. Hokkaidocho Kyuuhonchosya (Former Hokkaido Government Office Building)
This is a spot where you can view both the cherry blossoms and the famous tourist attraction, Hokkaidocho Kyuuhonchosya (Red bricks government office) which is located in the city center of Sapporo. There are two periods to view the scenery of cherry blossoms, one is the scenery of Kasumi Zakura in early May, while another one will be the Yae Zakura which is blooming in bright color in mid-May.
Hokkaidocho Kyuuhonchosya (Former Hokkaido Government Office Building), Red Brick building (北海道庁旧本庁舎(赤れんが庁舎))
- Best viewing period of cherry blossom: early May to end of May
- Address: Nishi-6, Kita 3-jo, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido