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. 

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Get your FREE cherry blossom forecast map for 2018

Download your free cherry blossom season map for 2018 and learn where to find the best sakura spots in Japan. It includes a forecast so you can better plan your trip as well as the top cherry blossom spot in the country!

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)

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)

    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)

    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)

    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)

    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)

    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)

    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)

    Blooming Sakura

    Fukui (Fukui )

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

    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)

    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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    Discover essential tips on how to behave in Japan.
    Get a complete travel guide geared towards Japan lovers.
    Learn everything you need to know in order to blend in with the locals.
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    6 Comments

    There are already 6 Comments on this post. Click here to tell us your thoughts or questions.

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

    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.

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

    M
    Marie Aronson

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

    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

    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.

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