Ahh, cherry blossoms… there’s nothing quite like Spring in Japan. In fact, tourists from all over the world flock to Japan to enjoy this picturesque season. Most commonly, tourists flock to Kyoto, Yoshino, and Mastumoto to experience cherry blossoms in bloom. If you prefer staying away from the crowds, there are other spots in Japan you can visit to experience this season.
Here are some of the best underrated spots to enjoy blooming sakuras.
Hirosaki is a small town situated in the Aomori city. During springtime, cherry blossoms in bloom colour the quiet town with soft, pastel tones. The famous castle in Hirosaki is quite a sight during this season as fallen petals cover its premises.
Around the Hirosaki Park, you’ll see that there are many preserved samurai homes in the Nakamachi area. If you enjoy learning about different cultures, you can book a guided tour and learn more about the history of Hirosaki and visit the Fujita Memorial Garden.
Getting to Hirosaki is pretty easy. Simply take a local train from Aomori station and you’ll get to Hirosaki directly!
This quiet island is the perfect respite from tourists and crowds. The Kotohira-gu Temple, situated on a hill, is one of the best spots to view blooming Sakuras. During this season, you’ll also get to immerse yourself in Japanese culture and enjoy the spring festival at the shrine.
In the Kagawa prefecture, lies the New Reoma World, the largest theme park of Shikoku. If you’re planning to visit the island to enjoy cherry blossoms, you might want to include this theme park into your itinerary. There are lots of thrilling attractions including a VR roller coaster ride!
The Kotohira-gu Temple is a 15 minute walk away from the Kotoshira station, on the JR Dosan Line.
Sakura season begins a little earlier in Fukuoka, around the end of March to early April. One of the favourite Sakura spots among locals is the Amagi Park and it’s not difficult to see why. The tranquil environment, calm waters and the mountainous backdrop is simply breathtaking. Moreover, there are around 4000 cherry trees in this area!
After having a great day out sightseeing, you can also check out an art museum, The Akizuki Art Museum, about 5km away from the park. If you prefer to kick back and relax, you can travel further out and visit the Chikushino Onsen Amandi and soak in a lovely warm tub.
If you’re travelling to Amagi Park from Fukuoka, the quickest way is by car — about a 30 minute drive.
Photo by Jonathan Kim on Unsplash
Don’t like travelling too far away from the city? You might want to check out Yokohama. Located just a short distance from Tokyo, Yokohama is one of the most underrated sakura spots. Its Sankei-en Garden is full of lush greenery and a great place to see cherry blossoms in bloom. After you’re done with sightseeing, you can also check out other attractions in Yokohama in the area, such as Japan’s Largest Chinatown.
Getting to Yokohama is quite straightforward. If you’re getting to Yokohama from Tokyo, simply ride the Yokosuka Line and alight at the Yokohama Station.
Located in Hyogo Prefecture, the Shukugawa Park is home to more than 1600 cherry blossom trees! The park almost turns completely pink during this season as Sakura trees stretch across its premises. What’s more, traditional architecture and historical sites can be seen throughout the park — definitely adds the amazing scenery.
There are lots of places to visit near the Shukugawa park. You can visit the Eijun-ji temple and the Kohorogi Bridge just 500m away from the park. If you’re going on a holiday with your family, you can also let your kids have a day of fun at KidZania Koshien located about 5km away from the park.
There aren’t any parking lots at the park so going by car may not be the best option. Nonetheless, you can get there by rail — the nearest railway station is the Sakura Shukugawa Station on the JR Kobe Line.
And there you have it — some of the more underrated sakura spots in Japan. Visiting Japan during spring is always a busy affair — the streets are filled with both locals and tourists hoping to experience the beautiful blooms they’re so excited about. Going to under-the-radar spots will help you skip most of the crowds! Although spring is the season for blooming cherry blossoms, it’s still important to remember that different trees in Japan bloom at slightly different periods. You don’t want to travel all the way there and realise that the sakuras won’t be in bloom until much later.
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