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Cherry Blossom Festival Japan 2018 - Forecast

As the snow is melting and Spring in Japan is slowly creeping in, travellers from all around the world have started making plans for one of the most beloved yearly events: The Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan

The Cherry Blossom Season (Sakura Festival) attracts countless visitors who come to admire Japan's major transformation. The sweet cherry scent, the wonderful blooms make Japan into a suave painting full of soft, colours palettes. 

There is a great deal of anticipation before the Cherry Blossom Festival, and many prepare with months in advance, organising their trips, buying flights and reserving accommodation. During the Cherry Blossom Season, Japan tends to be busier than usual, hence expect higher prices. If you haven't done so yet, make sure to book your accommodation as soon as possible. See my recommendations below. 

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What does the Cherry Blossom Season Symbolise?

The symbolism of the Cherry Blossom Season in Japan is associated with the Buddhist influence and the concept of mono no aware which means "the pathos of things". The idea behind mono no aware is that the Japanese believe in the awareness of the transience of all things, which in turn are meant to heighten the appreciation of their beauty. The emotion should be one of the gentle sadness, as all beautiful things, just like life itself, is passing. 

Next time you find yourself walking under a sakura tree in Japan, allow the beautiful melancholia to take over, and to remind you of the beautiful, long, custom of the hanami. 

What to expect from the Cherry Blossom Season?

The Cherry Blossom Season tradition is still very much alive today. Thousands of people fill the parks all around Japan to admire the beautiful sakura trees. It is also common to feast under the sakura trees, to such extent that certain employees are tasked with keeping a spot all day long for their co-workers. When the evening comes, many Japanese have great social events under the trees. In major cities, it can be common to celebrate the Cherry Blossom Festival during the night, where paper lanterns are hung. 

Know that during the night, hanami is called yozakura, when the trees are illuminated. Even during these times, all sakura spots tend to be crowded, although it is said to be more romantic, hence viewing spots are predominately occupied by the couples who enjoy a more atmospheric Japan. 

What is the Cherry Blossom Festival?

The history of the Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan was said to have started during the Nara period. The tradition of Hanami (flower viewing) was a custom of enjoying the beauty of blooming sakura (cherry) or ume (plum) trees. During the Heian Period, this was reserved mainly for the elite, but soon spread to the samurai society, and eventually to the common Japanese people as well. During the hanami, people used to picnic and drink sake. 

The Cherry Blossom Forecast gets released every year by the Japanese Meteorological Agency. The Sakura blooms start in January in Okinawa, reach Kyoto and Tokyo towards the end of March and finally arrive in Hokkaidō sometime in May. 

The official cherry blossom season forecast 2018 has not yet been released. These are estimations based on 2017 data. Please continue to check this page as we regularly update the information.

Okinawa Cherry Blossom Forecast 2018

Nago, Okinawa

Date: mid-January
Best Cherry Blossom Spot: Nago Castle Park (Nago, Okinawa)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Okinawa

Cherry Blossom Festival 2017

Kyushu Cherry Blossom Forecast 2018

Fukuoka (Fukuoka)

Date: Late March, Early April
Estimated Best Viewing: March 31 to April 8
Best Cherry Blossom Spot: Nishi Park (Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Fukuoka

Cherry Blossom Japan 2017

Oita (Oita)

Date: Late March, Early April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot: Oka Castle Park (Taketa, Oita Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Oita

Sakura Festival Japan 2017

Nagasaki (Nagasaki)

Date: Late March, Early April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot: Omura Park (Omura, Nagasaki Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Nagasaki

Suave Hanami Japan 2017

Saga (Saga)

Date: Late March, Early April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot: Ogi Park (Ogi, Saga Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Saga

Best Cherry Blossom Spots Japan

Kumamoto (Kumamoto)

Date: Late March, Early April
Estimated Best Viewing: March 31 to April 8
Best Cherry Blossom Spots:
Kumamoto Castle (Kumamoto, Kumamoto Prefecture)
Kumamoto Castle (Kumamoto, Kumamoto Prefecture)
Lakeside of Ichifusa Dam (Mizugami, Kumamoto Prefecture)
Minamata Cherry Line (Minamata, Kumamoto Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Kumamoto

Cherry Blossom Places Around Japan

Miyazaki (Miyazaki )

Date: Late March, Early April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot: Mochino Sekino Park (Miyakonojo, Miyazaki Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Miyazaki

The Best of the Cherry Blossom

Kagoshima (Kagoshima)

Date: Late March, Early April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot: Tadamoto Park (Okuchi, Kagoshima Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Kogoshima

Beautiful hanami Japan 2017

Shikoku Cherry Blossom Forecast 2018

Takamatsu (Kagawa)

Date: Late March, Early April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot: Kotohiki Park (Kanonji, Kagawa Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Takamatsu

Cherry Blossom Japan Places

Tokushima (Tokushima)

Date: Late March, Early April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot: Seibu Park (Tokushima, Tokushima Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Tokushima

Beautiful Hanami Sakura 2017

Matsuyama (Ehime)

Date: Late March, Early April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot: Matsuyama Park (Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Matsuyama

Japan Cherry Blossom Spots

Kochi (Kochi)

Date: Late March, Early April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot:
Kagamino Park (Kami, Kochi Prefecture)
Makino Park (Sakawa, Kochi Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Kochi

Sakura Season Festival

Chugoku Cherry Blossom Forecast 2018

Hiroshima (Hiroshima)

Date: Late March, Early April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot:
Senkoji Park (Onomichi, Hiroshima Prefecture)
Ueno Park (Shobara, Hiroshima Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Hiroshima

Blossom Sakura Japan Spot

Okayama (Okayama)

Date: Late March, Early April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot: Kakuzan Park (Tsuyama, Okayama Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Okayama

Hanami Festival Japan 2017

Matsue (Shimane)

Date: Late March, Early April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot:
Matsue Castle Park (Matsue, Shimane Prefecture)
Bank of the Hi River (Unnan, Shimane Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Matsue

Best Cherry Blossom For 2017

Tottori (Tottori)

Date: Late March, Early April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot:
Kyusho Park (Tottori, Tottori Prefecture)
Utsubuki Park (Kurayoshi, Tottori Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Tottori

Cherry Blossom Times Japan 2017

Shimonoseki (Yamaguchi)

Date: Late March, Early April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot:
Kikko Park (Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture)
Tokiwa Park (Ube, Yamaguchi Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Shimonoseki

Wonderful Blossoms Sakura

Kansai Cherry Blossom Forecast 2018

Tsu (Mie)

Date: Late March, Early April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot:
Mitake (Tsu, Mie Prefecture)
Miyagawa-Tsutsumi Park (Ise, Mie Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Tsu

Suave Hanami Festival

Osaka (Osaka)

Date: Late March, Mid April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot:
Osaka Castle Park (Osaka, Osaka Prefecture)
Japan Mint (Osaka, Osaka Prefecture)
Expo Park (Suita, Osaka Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Osaka

Where to view the best cherry blossom

Hikone (Shiga)

Date: Early April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot:
Kaizu Osaki (Takashima, Shiga Prefecture)
Hokoen Park (Nagahama, Shiga Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Hikone

Kyoto Cherry Blossom

Kyoto (Kyoto)

Date: Late March, Early April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot:
Arashiyama (Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture)
Ninnaji Temple (Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture)
Daigoji Temple (Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture)
Kasagiyama Natural Park (Kasagi, Kyoto Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Kyoto

Perfect Snap of Cherry Blossom

Kobe (Hyogo)

Date: Late March, Early April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot:
Himeji Castle (Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture)
Akashi Park (Akashi, Hyogo Prefecture)
Shukugawa Park (Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Kobe

Beautiful Cherry Blossom Pink

Nara (Nara)

Date: Late March, Early April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot:
Nara Park (Nara, Nara Prefecture)
Mount Yoshino (Yoshino, Nara Prefecture)
Koriyama Castle Park (Yamatokoriyama, Nara Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Nara

Sakura Hanami Japan

Wakayama (Wakayama)

Date: Late March, Early April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot:
Kimiidera Temple (Wakayama, Wakayama Prefecture)
Negoroji Temple (Iwade, Wakayama Prefecture)
Shichikawa Dam (Kozagawa, Wakayama Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Wakayama

Cherry Blossom in 2017

Chubu Cherry Blossom Forecast 2018

Kofu (Yamanashi)

Date: Late March, Early April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot: Ōboshi Park (Minamikomagun, Yamanashi Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Kofu

White hanami sakura

Niigata (Niigata)

Date: Late March, Early April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot:
Okotsu Canal (Tsubame, Niigata Prefecture)
Muramatsu Park (Kosen, Niigata Prefecture)
Takada Park (Joetsu, Niigata Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Niigata

Wonderful Little Sakura flower

Toyama (Toyama )

Date: Late March, Early April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot:
Matsukawa Park (Toyama, Toyama Prefecture)
Takaoka Castle Park (Takaoka, Toyama Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Toyama

Touch Sakura

Kanazawa (Ishikawa)

Date: Early April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot: Kenrokuen Garden (Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Kanazawa

Blooming Sakura

Fukui (Fukui )

Date: Early April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot:
Asuwayama Park (Fukui, Fukui Prefecture)
Maruoka Castle Park (Sakai, Fukui Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Fukui

Hanami Festival Sakura

Nagoya (Aichi)

Date: Late March, Early April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot:
Okazaki Park (Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture)
Four Seasons Road at Yamazaki River (Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture)
Tsuruma Park (Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture)
Gojo River (Iwakura, Aichi Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Nagoya

Sakura Photo

Shizuoka (Shizuoka)

Date: Late March, Early April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot:
Cherry Blossom Village (Ito, Shizuoka Prefecture)
Mount Fuji Cemetary (Oyama, Shizuoka Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Shizuoka

Blue Sky Hanami

Gifu (Gifu)

Date: Late March, Early April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot:
Along the Shinsakai Canal (Kakamigahara, Gifu Prefecture)
Usuzumi Park (Motosu, Gifu Prefecture)
Kamagatani Valley (Ikeda, Gifu Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Gifu

inbloom sakura

Nagano (Nagano )

Date: Late March, Early April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot:
Garyuu Park (Suzaka, Nagano Prefecture)
Takato Castle Park (Ina, Nagano Prefecture)
Komoro Castle Ruins (Komoro, Nagano Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Nagano

Artistic Sakura Picture

Kanto Cherry Blossom Forecast 2018

Tokyo (Tokyo)

Date: Late March, Early April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot:
Ueno Onshi Park (Tokyo (Taito-ku)), Tokyo Prefecture)
Shinjuku Gyoen (Tokyo, Tokyo Prefecture)
Sumida Park (Tokyo (Sumida-ku)), Tokyo Prefecture)
Koganei Park (Koganei, Tokyo Prefecture)
Inokashira Park (Musashino, Tokyo Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Tokyo

Lovely hanami Tokyo

Choshi (Chiba)

Date: Late March, Early April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot:
Shimizu Park (Noda, Chiba Prefecture)
Mobara Park (Mobara, Chiba Prefecture)
Izumi Nature Park (Chiba, Chiba Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Choshi

Pink Bloom Sakura Tokyo

Yokohama (Kanagawa)

Date: Late March, Early April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot:
Kanagawa Kenriku Mitsuike Park (Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture)
Odawara Castle Park (Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture)
Kinegasayama Park (Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Yokohama

Pink Suave Petals Sakura

Mito (Ibaraki)

Date: Early April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot:
Kamine Park (Hitachi, Ibaraki Prefecture)
Shizumine Park (Nakashi, Ibaraki Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Mito

Sky Of Hanami

Utsunomiya (Tochigi)

Date: Early April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot:
Nikko Pilgrimage Route (Utsunomiya/Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture)
Ohirasan Prefectural Nature Park (Tochigi, Tochigi Prefecture

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Utsunomiya

Beautiful Cherry Awesomeness

Maebashi (Gunma)

Date: Late March, Early April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot:
Akaginanmen Cherry Blossoms (Maebashi, Gunma Prefecture)
Sakurayama Park (Fujioka, Gunma Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Maebashi

Cherry Blossom Street Art

Kumagaya (Saitama)

Date: Late March, Early April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot:
Kumagaya Sakuratsutsumi (Kumagaya, Saitama Prefecture)
Omiya Park (Saitama, Saitama Prefecture)
Nagatoro (Nagatoro, Saitama Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Kumagaya

White Cherry Blossom Beauty

Tohoku Cherry Blossom Forecast 2018

Aomori (Aomori)

Date: Late April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot:
Ashino National Park (Goshogawara, Aomori Prefecture)
Hirosaki Park (Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Aomori

Morning Cherry Blossom

Akita (Akita )

Date: Late April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot:
Senshu Park (Akita, Akita Prefecture)
Mato Park (Yokote, Akita Prefecture)
Bank of Hinokinai River and Kakunodate Samurai Residence (Senboku, Akita Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Akita

Hanami Beautiful Sakura

Morioka (Iwate)

Date: Late April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot:
Takamatsu Park (Morioka, Iwate Prefecture)
Kitakami Park (Kitakami, Iwate Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Morioka

Hanami Japan

Yamagata (Yamagata)

Date: Mid April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot:
Tsuruoka Park (Tsuruoka, Yamagata Prefecture)
Eboshiyama Park (Nanyo, Yamagata Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Yamagata

Cherry Blossom Bee

Sendai (Miyagi)

Date: Mid April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot: Funaoka Castle Grounds (Shibata, Miyagi Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Sendai

White Cherry Sakura

Fukushima (Fukushima)

Date: Mid April
Best Cherry Blossom Spot:
Miharu Shidarezakura (Miharu, Fukushima Prefecture
Kasumiga Castle Park , (Nihonmatsu, Fukushima Prefecture)
Tsuruga Castle Park (Aizu-Wakamatsu, Fukushima Prefecture)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Fukushima

Pink Wonder Sakura

Hokkaido Cherry Blossom Forecast 2018

Sapporo (Hokkaido)

Date: Early May
Best Cherry Blossom Spot:
Sakura Namiki Street (Shinhidaka, Hokkaido)
Matsumae Park (Matsumae, Hokkaido)

Book your Cherry Blossom Accommodation in Sapporo

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Responses

J
Jurga
04 Mar 2017

Great guide. Cherry blossom season in Japan is such a bucket list trip for me! Hoping to get there one day!

C
Cory
06 Mar 2017

We are going this April (coincidentally) and we simply can't wait to trail around Japan for a whole month. The cherry blossom transforms the country...so amazing.

M
Morgan
11 Mar 2017

Absolutely stunning! Thanks for the great guide. Will definitely use for my trip next month. xx Morgan

M
Marie Aronson
01 Apr 2018

Wonderful!
Please keep me posted for next year sakura festival.

S
Sonal Gupta
05 Apr 2018

Wow! It's really a amazing festival I went there with my paratner and both of us has enjoyed a lot I would like to go there again so that I could make a new sweet memories
Thanks

V
Vineeta Sharma
16 May 2018

Hey! Thank you so much for writing this. i am planning on visiting this place since a long time and now having read your blog i have complete knowledge of the place.