10 Best Cherry Blossom Festivals in Japan

10 Best Cherry Blossom Festivals inAs light-up during cherry blossom season in Japan, sakura festival is also typical in Japan. Festivals in some famed cherry blossom viewing spots are held throughout the whole season, often two weeks, and some only on weekends. You can enjoy traditional performances, food and drink stands, cutting-edge light shows in the events.

No.1 Kawazu (Shizuoka Prefecture) 

Festival: February 10 to March 10

Owing to unparalleled cherry blossom variety and onsen (hot spring), festival in Kawazu is held every early spring attracts one million visitors, though pretty cold during the period. It takes two and a half hours from Tokyo to Kawazu by train.

No.2 Sumida Park (Tokyo)

Festival: March 30, March 31, April 6 and April 7

People began to view cherry blossom in Sumida Park since the Edo period (1603- 1868). Taking yakababune (viewing boats) to cruise the river is a popular way to enjoy blossoms. Food stands and performances are available during sakura festival.

No.3 Showa Memorial Park/Showa Kinen Park (Tokyo)

Festival: March 23 to May 26

Showa Memorial Park/Showa Kinen Park is a paradise of flowers and trees. In spring, sakura, canola flowers and tulip flourish one after another. Every year Flower Festival is held from the middle of March to late May.

No.4 Akagi Nanmen Thousand Cherry Blossoms (Gunma Perfecture)

Festiva: April 6 to 21

Akagi Nanmen Thousand Cherry Blossoms is the most popular place to appreciate sakura in Gunma Prefecture. Local specialties and performances are available at festivals. Don’t miss the neighbouring Miyagi Senbonzakura no Mori Park, home to a stretch of unique Shibazakura (moss cherry blossoms).

No.5 Osaka Castle Park (Osaka)

Festival: March 23 to April 14

As a urban oasis of Osaka, Osaka Castle Park is home to over 3,000 cherry blossom trees and 1,270 Japanese apricot trees. Ascend the castle wall, you can enjoy glamorous panorama of pink trees and turquoise moats. Light-up is often held at Nishinomaru Garden.

No.6 Hirosaki Castle (Aomori Prefecture)

Festival: April 20 to May 6

Awarded once-in-a-lifetime cherry blossom viewing spot, one of Japan’s top 100 cherry blossom viewing sites and one of Japan’s top 100 sights of people and nature, Hirosaki Park attracts about 2 million people during sakura season. At the end of full bloom, you can rent rowing boat to appreciate sakura carpet on the moats.

No.7 Sakura Street at Harima Slope (Tokyo)

Festival: March, 23 to April 7

Harimazaka, or Harima Slope is a common street in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo, but it becomes a treat during cherry blossom season when local people often get together and enjoy cherry blossoms under trees. Local government even temporarily blocks the street and forms a pedestrian zone to celebrate sakura festival.

No.8 Samurai Residence Street in Kakunodate and Hinokinai Riverbank (Akita Prefecture)

Festival: April 20 to May 5

Edo-period-style constructions, Samurai residences in particular, are well-preserved in Kakunodate, also known as “Little Kyoto in Michinoku”. The 2km long sakura tunnel along the Hinokinai riverbank is just a 10-minute walk from Samurai residence street.

No.9 Tsutsujigaoka Park (Miyagi Prefecture)

Festival: April 13, 14, 20 and 21

Tsutsujigaoka Park, located to the east of Sendai Station, boasts more than one-month sakura viewing period thanks to different cherry blossom trees varieties.

No.10 Takada Park (Niigata Prefecture)

Festival: April 1 to 15

Don’t miss 300 food stalls during festival at Takada Park, which is the lure to 1 million visitors.