Japan's Cherry Blossom Season: When to Visit [2024]

Travelers! Read the latest from FlightDeck powered by @pilotplans
Japan's Cherry Blossom Season: When to Visit [2024]
With the warmer weather approaching, Japan’s picturesque scenery is a must-see for any traveler. From the north to south regions, discover the beautiful bloom of cherry blossoms in this guide to Japan’s 2024 cherry blossom festival.
Written by:
Advertisement

Are you dreaming of traveling to Japan? The 2024 Cherry Blossom Season should be a list of must-see activities. But first, learn everything you need to know to make it the trip of a lifetime! 

Japan is a small island country with an exciting blend of longstanding traditions and modern influences. Japan is a popular destination for travelers looking to experience a completely different culture.

Japan usually records 31 million tourists annually, with almost 3 million visits during cherry blossom season. The sakura, or cherry blossoms, play an essential role in Japanese culture. Viewing the cherry blossoms and participating in the events are unique experiences when visiting Japan in the spring. 

The stunning pink cherry blossoms can be seen all over Japan, and each region has something different to offer during this magical time. Learn everything you need to know in this handy article about visiting Japan during cherry blossom season!

What Is Cherry Blossom Season in Japan?

Cherry blossom season refers to a specific time during the spring in Japan when the cherry blossom trees bloom. These trees display beautiful hues of pink flowers. There are national festivals and special celebrations nationwide to celebrate the cherry blossoms. Depending on which regions you're visiting, the festivities can vary. 

Cherry Blossom trees
Photo by Mark Tegethoff on Unsplash

When Do Cherry Blossoms Bloom in Japan?

The cherry blossoms bloom in intervals across the country from south to north, depending on the weather. The earliest blooms can be seen in the south in late January, and the last bloom in the north around May. 

The best time to visit to ensure you see the bloom would be the end of March until early April. Due to global warming, the season varies significantly from year to year, so it's essential to know which areas you want to visit and also to check the cherry blossom forecast for up-to-date information.

Each region has a festival that coordinates with the bloom. To get an idea of when to visit, look at the festival dates from the last 5 years and plan to arrive around that time.

How Long Do the Cherry Blossom Blooms Last in Japan?

The cherry blossom trees usually bloom for two weeks before the pink petals wilt. The blooms can be shorter or slightly longer, depending on the weather conditions. 

Cherry Blossom Forecast for this year!

Regularly check the forecast if you plan to see cherry blossom season in 2024. Checking the forecast can help you know where to be and where to go to experience the peak bloom! 

At the start of each year, the Japan Meteorological Corporation releases forecasts for when cherry blossoms will start to flower and reach their peak. The JMC released its 4th forecast with the flowering dates but not peak bloom. 

In each major area, the bloom dates are:

  • Tokyo - March 14, Full bloom on March 22
  • Nagoya - March 17, Full bloom on March 27
  • Osaka - March 19, Full bloom on March 27
  • Kyoto - March 17, Full bloom on March 24
  • Nagano - April 9, Full bloom on April 15
  • Kanazawa - March 23, Full bloom on March  30
  • Sendai - March 26, Full bloom on March 31
  • Sapporo - April 15, Full bloom on April 25
  • Ukuoka - March 18, Full bloom on March 26
  • Wakayama - March 27, Full bloom on April 4
  • Kochi - March 22, Full bloom on March 30
  • Kagoshima - March 27, Full bloom on April 7

The Best Places to See Cherry Blossoms in Japan

Each region of Japan has picturesque attractions, made even more beautiful by the blooming cherry blossoms. Each region also has festivals that align with the blossoming of the trees that are a must-see for any visitor to Japan.

A Hanmi is a socializing event under the cherry blossom trees. The community comes out to eat, drink, and bask in the beauty of the sakura trees. You can find many of these celebrations in each region of Japan.

Tokyo

There are many places to see the blooms across Japan's largest city, but check out this list of top spots, hidden gems, and day trip options. Take a world-class trip to Tokyo by checking out all the fantastic activities the city has to offer!

  • Tokyo Imperial Palace Gardens
  • Shinjuku Gyoen
  • Ueno Park
  • Chidorigafuchi
  • Meguro River
Osaka Castle
Photo by getyourguide

Hidden gems

  • Zenpukuji River
  • Kanda River
  • Asukayama Park

Day trips

Osaka

Osaka is another popular spot in Japan for visitors and can be less crowded than Tokyo for cherry blossom viewing.

  • Osaka Castle 
  • Expo '70 Commemorative Park
  • Osaka Mint Bureau
  • Kema Sakuranomiya Park

Hidden gems

  • Shin-en Garden, Heian Jingu Shrine
  • Yodogawa Riverside Park

Day trips from Osaka

Kyoto

Kyoto is famous for peace and tranquility. Full of Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, gardens, and imperial palaces. Viewing the cherry blossoms amongst this already beautiful background is a huge treat!

  • Maruyama Park
  • Yasaka Pagoda street 
  • Sannenzaka street
  • The Keage Incline

Hidden gems

  • Takenaka Inari Shrine
  • Shinnyodo Temple
  • Takase River

Day trips

Sendai

Sendai, located in the north, is one of the last regions to see the cherry blossoms bloom. There are many great locations across the city to see the cherry blossom season in full swing.

  • Hitomi Senbon Zakura
  • Saigyo Modoshi no Matsu Park
  • Happonmatsu Park

Hidden gems

  • Hanamiyama Park

Day trips

Why Are Sakura Trees Special in Japan?

In Japanese culture, nature is highly revered and worshiped. For the Japanese, the sakura symbolizes birth, death, and the fleetingness of life.

Throughout history, these little pink flowers signified the short but courageous life of the samurai. Sakura emblems could be seen on the planes of kamikaze pilots during World War II.

Cherry Blossom Trees, Japan
Photo by Crystal Kay on Unsplash

Other Important Festivals in Japan

Many important festivals are happening in japan year-round! 

  • Yuki Matsuri or the Saporro snow festival. This festival is one of Japan's most famous winter events.
  • The Omizutori Festival celebrates the coming of spring.
  • Gion Matsuri. This summer festival takes place during July and is full of ​​parades, food, culture, and more.
  • Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri celebrates the autumn harvest!
Saporro snow festival
Image Courtesy of Saporro snow festival

Tips for Visiting the Cherry Blossoms in Japan

Visiting Japan during this busy tourist season can be daunting, but there are some handy tips to help you make the most of your visit. 

If you're planning a trip to Japan to see the Cherry Blossoms, you should plan 6-8 months in advance to try to avoid expensive prices and fully booked flights.

Is Cherry Blossom Season in Japan Worth It?

Yes! Seeing the cherry blossoms bloom in Japan is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and it is well worth every shoulder bump as you move through the crowds. During cherry blossom season, there are celebrations, food, drink, and excitement as the locals and visitors come together to ring in spring. 

Create a Game Plan for Japan With Pilot

Now that you've mastered the essentials of cherry blossom season, let Pilot help you plan the rest of your Japan adventure. 

Pilot - A Social Trip Planner - Banner
Pilot is a social trip planner to discover and build travel itineraries connecting you to resources everywhere, for free. Pilot makes it fun and easy to create and share your favorite travel moments.

Collaborate stress-free with your travel companions and have all the features you need all in one place with Pilot. It’s completely free and ready for you to try it out now!

Disclosure: Pilot is supported by our community. We may earn a small commission fee with affiliate links on our website. All reviews and recommendations are independent and do not reflect the official view of Pilot.

Amanda Lawrence Blog
Written by:
Amanda Lawrence
linkedin logoInstagram logo
Pilot Icon in White

Satisfy your wanderlust

Get Pilot. The travel planner that takes fun and convenience to a whole other level. Try it out yourself.

Get started
Get started
Pilot Icon in White

Satisfy your wanderlust

Get Pilot. The travel planner that takes fun and convenience to a whole other level. Try it out yourself.

Get started
Get started

Make the most of every trip

Join 22,000+ travelers and Pilot your next adventure!
Get the app
Get the app
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Pilot Plans web app product images

You won’t want to plan trips any other way!

The trip planner that puts everything in one place, making planning your trip easier, quicker, and more fun.

Get the app
Get the app
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Close button
Pilot Plans web app product imagesClose button
Get the app
Get the app
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.