If you’re thinking about taking a trip to Japan, spring may just be the perfect time to visit. While Japan certainly holds plentiful attractions for visitors throughout the year, spring is arguably the time when the country looks its prettiest.
In fact, many visitors to Japan plan their trip to coincide with the blooming of the cherry blossom, planning carefully in advance to ensure their trip coincides with the time the cherry blossom looks its very best.
So, where should you go to see the cherry blossom as it comes into bloom? There are plenty of amazing places to see cherry blossom around Japan, so why not take a flower walk – or hanasanpo – in some of these beautiful spots to experience the best of this springtime tradition.
The castle town of Hirosaki is home to the Sakura Matsuri festival, and is perhaps one of Japan’s most notable cities famous for its bountiful cherry blossoms.
Set in almost 50 hectares, the park in Hirosaki holds around 2,600 cherry trees, with some that are said to date back to 1715. With its grand castle and turrets, and its abundant cherry blossom, this is one festival that’s not to be missed.
Or why not head to the Nara Prefecture? Here you can visit Nara Park, a historical park surrounding Todai-ji Temple, Kofuku-ji Temple and Shoso-in Repository. Explore the vast parklands to see the many herds of deer as they roam around under the park’s 1,700 gorgeous cherry trees.
Also in Nara is Mount Yoshino, a mountain with more than 30,000 cherry trees. Considered to be the best viewing spot in all of Japan, this mountain blooms with various types of cherry blossom, with displays that can last up to a month.
Alternatively, you could travel to Osaka to visit the Japan Mint. Here you can step through the picturesque cherry blossom viewing tunnel, to take a closer look at the 120 varieties planted there.
If you’re planning on staying in Tokyo for the cherry blossom blooming, be sure to visit Ueno Park. The 1,000 trees along the street leading towards the National Museum and around Shinobazu Pond are lit up at night, making it the perfect spot for an evening stroll.
While cherry blossoms may take centre stage, plenty of other blooms put on a show in Japan come springtime. Check out the endless blanket of blue and white nemophila (baby blue eyes) as it rolls across the hills at Hitachi Seaside Park, Ibaraki.
Meander under the hanging wisteria at the Wisteria Festival at the Ashikaga Flower Park in Tochigi or Kawachi Fujien in Fukuoka, or marvel at the glorious pinks and purples of Shibazakura – or moss phlox – at either the Shibazakura Festival located at Mount Fuji or Chichibu.
Once you’ve had your fill of flowers, immerse yourself in the art of sumo at the annual sumo wrestling tournament held in Osaka in March. Alternatively, visit Inuyama to see the wondrous floats at the Inuyama Festival, a festival that dates back to 1635, celebrating the Haritsuna shrine.
Don’t forget to include the above in your ‘must-see’ list while you’re planning for your upcoming Japan trip. And remember to stay protected by purchasing your travel insurance beforehand with Chubb Insurance Singapore Limited.