Japan erupts in to spring with the arrival of cherry blossom, or ‘Sakura’, in full bloom. It is one of the most celebrated seasons of the year, marked with the jubilant tradition of ‘hanami’, or ‘flower viewing’. The spectacular display of soft pink blooms that sweep the country every year are world-renowned, and steeped in centuries-old tradition and ceremony, making a springtime visit to Japan truly bucket list worthy.
The arrival itself is eagerly anticipated, with meteorologists on blossom watch and chronicled at every stage. The revered cherry blossom flower adorns everything during Sakura, from traditional Japanese sweets and stationery, to the highly ‘gramable Sakura Latte.
Hanami celebrations typically involve picnic gatherings under a blossoming tree canopy, and music and street food ensure celebrations run late into the evening.
Time your visit just right, and there are a handful of unmissable places to experience an authentic Japanese springtime…
Ueno Park, Toyko
Perhaps Tokyo’s most famous spot for Hanami celebrations, follow the footpath around the park’s lake to the cherry blossom walk. During full bloom, the whole area comes alive, especially at night, with performers and street food vendors.
One of the most picturesque cherry blossom spots in the capital. Blossom trees line the moat here, where you can hire a rowing boat and gently glide your way through the confetti-showered pink waters.
Imperial Palace Kyoto
The grounds of the Imperial Palace in Kyoto are perfect for escaping the city’s busier districts. Spanning an almost mile-long stretch, you’ll find its cluster of cherry blossoms in the north west side.
The Philosophers Path, Kyoto
To the east of Kyoto, and lining one of the city’s many waterways, lies The Philosophers Path. A canopy of pink during spring, pick up a matcha green tea soft whip and follow the path all the way to the peaceful Honen-In temple.
12 minutes on the bullet train from Kyoto is Osaka, it’s castle being the city’s crown jewel. The park surrounding the castle is the picture-perfect backdrop for admiring both blossoms and history.
Before planning your trip:
The Japan National Tourism Organisation has a handy cherry blossom guide, mapping out when blossoming peaked in springs past. Useful when deciding your travel dates!
Shop the Look
Trunk clutch, Aspinal of London
‘Lifelong’ bangle, Swarovski‘
Fiji’ Friendship Bracelet, Monica Vinader
© Views expressed in this blog are my own. For more information, and for details of my editorial policy, please see my blog disclaimer.