Spring is possibly the most beautiful season of the year in Japan, heralding a time for romance and beauty all across the country. The gardens are awash with lovely colours and sweet scents, and people are out and about enjoying hanami (flower viewing). There are many beautiful flowers blooming during this season, but the most famous is undoubtedly Sakura. Sakura is well-loved by Japanese people, and they also attract many foreign visitors, some of whom plan their trips to Japan according to the Sakura forecast of different regions. If you are lucky enough to be able to visit Japan in spring, here are three lovely locations to view Sakura in and near Tokyo!
Located in central Tokyo, Shinjuku Gyoen is one of the most accessible spots to view Sakura. A beautifully landscaped garden, it has been designed with plenty of space for everyone to enjoy hanami. Enjoying hanami traditionally involves having a picnic whilst admiring the beauty of Sakura. Some people bring along special cherry blossom themed or flavoured food like Sakura Mochi or Taiyaki to truly get into the spirit of celebrating the Sakura season.
In Shinjuku Gyoen, they also have early and late blooming varieties of Sakura, which means that even visitors who cannot make it to Japan for the peak Sakura season have a chance to view some flowers. Naturally, it is also a popular location for couples to do romantic Sakura themed photoshoots.
A little further from Tokyo, on the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka prefecture, the little onsen town of Kawazu spectacularly comes to life in spring with early blooming dark pink cherry blossoms. Cherry blossom trees are planted along both sides of the walkway that runs along the Kawazu river. The result is an absolute visual treat, with the flowers forming a vibrant pink archway for visitors to walk through.
During the scheduled festival period, there are also night illuminations, and the trees lit up at night creates a very mystical and enchanting atmosphere. Of course, after enjoying Sakura, visitors should also visit an Onsen, which is what Kawazu is famous for! If time permits, it is also nice to visit some natural attractions such as the Seven Waterfalls, which can be accessed with a short hike.
Kawaguchiko is a magnificent destination at any time of the year, but during Sakura season, the delicate flowers frame the majestic Mount Fuji perfectly, making it extra picturesque and special. A popular spot to take pictures would be at Chureito Pagoda, and although visitors have to climb some steep stairs to reach it, the scenery is truly breathtaking. A little tip would be to go very early in the morning- this is after all one of the most iconic sights of Japan, and it can get very crowded with long queues to get up to the photo spot.
Spring is indeed a beautiful season in Japan although Sakura only blooms for a short period each year. The ephemeral nature of their beauty is actually part of the attraction for the Japanese people, and there is something incredibly magical about sitting under a Sakura tree and watching the soft pale pink petals slowly drift towards the ground. Their fragile beauty prompts contemplation and reflection about life, and perhaps a greater appreciation for the delicate beauty of the present...
Did you like the travel story?
Get more! Subscribe to our monthly inspiration newsletter.