Japan has four distinct seasons, each with its own appeal, so it’s best to pick the one that excites you the most when planning holidays here. But during spring, one of the country’s greatest natural sights occurs. The sakura, or cherry blossom, is spectacular, with trees becoming awash with delicate pink flowers. Several of our holidays are timed to celebrate the beautiful blush of delicate pink blossom that coats the country during this period.
There are dozens of different cherry tree varieties in Japan, most of which bloom for just a couple of days in spring. The typical timing for our sakura cherry blossom walking tours is between the end of March and the first two weeks of April. So, if a sakura holiday in Japan is on your bucket list, we can help make sure you see this wonderful country at its finest.
This is such a well designed itinerary to see the real Japan, from their rich history and Culture to the modern side it was amazing how you travel through their history along the trip. You get to see a LOT of places along the way in a manner that feels like you have accomplished a lot but not too quickly. I think anyone going to Japan has to be prepared for a lot of travelling and moving around, especially as almost everything is on public transport. Don’t let this put you off as it is the best public transport in the world! So clean, always on time, friendly and respectful people – coming back to the UK after the trip was a real shock after we got experienced to the Japanese way.
An amazing trip to japan to see its wonder and it didn’t disappoint. we were blessed with incredible weather which led to the blessing of seeing Mount Fuji fully during the day and at sunset which is mesmerising. the snow monkeys also came out to entertain us in such a beautiful location. we also had sakura viewings almost every day in abundance in the warm sunshine. spotting geisha wandering along and talking to each other as they were on the way to bookings was a lifelong tick of my list!! seeing a dance show complete with a comedy section which was totally relatable even if we couldn’t understand Japanese eating the most amazing food lots I have never had before and seeing how the real people of japan eat out and drink sake.
5 of the best places to visit during a Sakura cherry blossom tour in Japan
Tokyo: The capital is home to several popular sites brimming with cherry blossom at this time of year. You can soak up cherry blossom on a trip through Ueno Park, then head to the iconic Sensō-ji Temple which becomes even more picturesque with cherry blossom trees framing that sought-after shot for your photographs. Meanwhile, Meiji Jingu Gyoen is home to the Meiji Shrine, as well as the tree-lined Omotesando shopping street which becomes bathed in cherry blossom at this time of year. This area is a must-visit during your sakura holiday.
Nikko: In Nikko, the Shinkyo Bridge is another flourishing site during sakura season. This is one of the most photographed attractions in Japan, made especially charming by the pink and white hues reflected in the Daiya River flowing beneath it. While in the area, you can also see the lavish Toshogu Shrine, a UNESCO world heritage site.
Kyoto: The ancient capital of Japan is a must-see during sakura season. You’ll uncover the Hanami-koji within the famous Gion District – also known as the Geisha District – which becomes awash with cherry blossom. Next up, the Arashiyama is a photogenic spot year-round and deserves a spot on your Japan cherry blossom tour itinerary. Located on the outskirts, the cherry blossom trees are set against a calming mountainous backdrop interspersed with bridges and water. For a spectacular concoction of brazen vermilion and dusky pink, visit the Fushimi Inari with its thousands of torii gates.
Hiroshima: Take in rich history and beautiful sites aplenty in Hiroshima. Perhaps the most iconic attraction in the area, Hiroshima Castle is over 400 years old and is revitalised by almost 500 cherry blossom trees in the surrounding grounds. The 300 cherry blossom trees in Peace Park showcase pink and white tones in abundance. This park was built in memory of those who died as a result of the atomic bomb in World War II. On some tours, you will also head to the early 17th-century Himeji Castle en route to Hiroshima. This UNESCO-listed site boasts a distinctive design and equally stunning grounds, enhanced by 1,000 surrounding cherry blossom trees.
Miyajima: A small island beside Hiroshima’s coast, Miyajima, also known as Itsukushima, is destined to be a special part of your sakura holiday to Japan – not least because it’s home to inquisitive deer that roam the island. There are approximately 2,000 cherry blossom trees across the island, giving you plenty of photo opportunities. It’s well worth visiting the Komyoin Temple, as well as the famous Floating Torii Gate, which looks spectacular with sakura in the frame.
When is cherry blossom season in Japan?
We recommend you book your sakura tour between late March and early April, in line with cherry blossom season in Japan.
How long do cherry blossom trees last in Japan?
Cherry blossom season is said to be between late March and April. However, the breadth of Japan means that the season travels up the country and lasts around four months in total. This is down to the fact that the climate in Japan becomes milder as you travel north. The northernmost parts of the country will experience the latest cherry blossom seasons. We recommend taking this into account if you are planning a more extensive cherry blossom trip to Japan.
Where are the best places in Japan to see cherry blossoms?
Some of the best places to visit during your sakura holiday in Japan include:
Sakura quite literally means ‘a flowering cherry tree’.
What is the cultural significance of cherry blossom season in Japan?
Adoration of sakura season dates back to the Heian period over 1,000 years ago. A short yet vibrant season, it’s associated with renewal and new beginnings. This time of year is met with great admiration and it’s common for it to be celebrated in Japanese culture. As a result, it is regularly showcased in art and other cultural outlets.
When is the cherry blossom festival in Japan?
Hanami, otherwise known as the cherry blossom festival, has existed for centuries. There are no exact dates for when these festivals take place, however, there will be ongoing celebrations. If you’re planning a cherry blossom festival tour to Japan, be sure to align your trip with when each location will enjoy sakura season.
Where am I likely to find cherry blossom festival celebrations during a tour in Japan?
You will naturally come across celebrations throughout the sakura season, but there are some places in Tokyo with more extensive celebrations. These include:
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
The areas of Kyoto and Tokyo are particularly vibrant at this time of year and are worth visiting to experience cherry blossom festivals during your trip to Japan.
What should I wear on a cherry blossom season trip in Japan?
Many people opt for white and pastel-coloured clothing during sakura season holidays in Japan. Having said this, more practical advice includes wearing a coat or jacket during the earlier stages of the season as it can be a little chilly. As the season progresses, layers are a good idea, allowing you to add and remove clothing where necessary.
Regardless of when you go, we recommend wearing comfortable footwear for your cherry blossom walking tour in Japan.
What can I expect from a cherry blossom walking tour in Japan?
Our cherry blossom walking tours in Japan are guided group trips. Group sizes will range from 6-18 people, plus your expert leader, with travellers aged 16 years or above.
The activity level will be listed in our trip details, but they will generally be in the moderate range, requiring some fitness and an adventurous spirit. You can read our full activity level guidelines for more information.
What is the weather like during a cherry blossom season holiday in Japan?
The weather during your cherry blossom trip to Japan will depend on where you are. During the spring, temperatures range from 2–24 °C, so it is recommended that you check the forecast ahead of your trip. The start of the season is a lot chillier, so make sure you account for this.
Do you offer cherry blossom cycling holidays to Japan?