Cherry
Blossoms

In Japan, no flower is more beloved than the pretty pink cherry blossoms (sakura). Due to its geographic location stretching across northeastern Japan, the Eastern Japan region experiences sakura blooming over a long period, from April all the way until early May. If you visit Japan during this period and just want to catch a glimpse of sakura, you’ll be sure to see some somewhere in Eastern Japan! One highlight is the view of sakura with snow-capped mountains in the background.

Nagano / Niigata

1 Takato Castle Ruins Park

Bus is covered by JR EAST PASS (Nagano, Niigata area) (Bus operates only during cherry blossom period)
Average blooming period: early ~ mid-April
One of the 「 Top 3 Famous Sakura Viewing Spots in Japan 」. Its unique variety of sakura - the Takato Kohigan Zakura, can only be found here. It has a light reddish pink color and dense blossoms, which make it very photogenic.

2 Takada Castle

Echigo TOKImeki Railway between Joetsumyoko Station and Takada Station is covered by JR EAST PASS (Nagano, Niigata area)
Average blooming period: early ~ mid-April
Famed as one of the 「 Top 3 Spots in Japan to View Sakura at Night 」, the view of Takada Castle's 4,000 sakura trees attracts over 1 million people each sakura season. During the festival period (early-late April), illuminations are on from sunset until 9pm. Entrance is free and the park is open 24 hr! During the festival there are a variety of food stalls for you to enjoy.

3 Matsumoto Castle

Average blooming period: early ~ mid-April
With its stone foundation and surrounding moat, Matsumoto Castle is truly a sight to behold against the backdrop of mountains and beautiful blue skies on a clear day. During sakura season, the view is further enhanced with the light pink cherry blossoms complementing the black castle.

4 Hakuba Oide Park

Average blooming period: early ~ late-April
A sight unique to northern mountainous areas, Hakuba Oide Park is where you can see pink cherry blossoms together with the magnificent snow-capped Hakuba mountain range in the background, with the bright blue Himekawa River flowing in front of you.
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Northern Tohoku

1 Kitakami Tenshochi Park

(Boat operates only during cherry blossom period)
Average blooming period: mid-April ~ early May
With over 10,000 sakura trees of 150 varieties spread over its 293ha grounds, Kitakami Tenshochi Park is where you are sure to be able to catch the sakura blooming any time between mid-April (someiyoshino) to early May (kasumizakura). Experience a unique way of viewing sakaura by taking a horse-wagon ride under the trees!

2 Kakunodate Samurai Residences

Average blooming period: late-April ~ early May
Against the backdrop of old samurai residences, the sakura at Kakunodate are the dramatic dark pink weeping sakura, with branches that fall downward. You can enjoy a ride through the district on rickshaw! The sakura are equally impressive at night, when they are illuminated. A 10-min walk from the samurai residences is the Hinokinai River, which is lined with the common light pink someiyoshino cherry blossoms and yellow daffodils.

3 Hirosaki Castle Park

Average blooming period: late-April ~ early May
One of the best spots in Japan for sakura viewing, Hirosaki Castle and its surrounding park are most stunning in spring, when the 2,600 sakura trees are in full bloom. The sakura carpet, formed when fallen petals accumulate on the moat and cover it in pink, is definitely a sight not to be missed!

4 Koiwai Farm Ipponzakura

Average blooming period: late-April ~ early May
Against the backdrop of the majestic Mt. Iwate, a lone sakura tree 「ipponzakura」 stands in the middle of the expansive grounds of Koiwai Farm.

Southern Tohoku

5 Funaoka Joshi Park

Average blooming period: early ~ mid-April
Take a retro-style slope car at Funaoka Joshi Park to enjoy a ride through a 300m tunnel of cherry blossoms and take in the panoramic view from the top.

6 Hitome Senbonzakura

Average blooming period: early ~ mid-April
Hitome Senbonzakura literally means "1,000 Sakura in One Glance". Lining an 8km stretch along the Shiroishi River on both sides are around 1,200 sakura trees. With the snow-capped Mt. Zao in the background, the sight of sakura with snow is one that is unique to the Tohoku region.

7 Hanamiyama Park

(Bus operates only during cherry blossom period)
Average blooming period: early ~ mid-April
Hanamiyama literally means "Flower-viewing Mountain". You can see not just pale pink sakura, but also dark pink peach blossoms and bright yellow forsythia depending on when you visit. As it is perched on a hill, from Hanamiyama Park you can get a panoramic view of the city below, and even of Mt. Azuma in the distance.

8 Miharu Takizakura

(Bus operates only during cherry blossom period)
Average blooming period: mid ~ late April
Often considered to be the most beautiful sakura tree in Japan, the Miharu Takizakura is an ancient sakura tree over 1,000 years old. It stands at 12m, with branches spread 20m wide. Its branches hang downward, making the flowers look like a waterfall of sakura, hence the name Takizakura (literally "Waterfall Sakura").

9 Tsuruga Castle

Average blooming period: mid ~ late April
Nestled in the middle of Tsuruga Castle Park is Tsuruga Castle, one of Aizu-Wakamatsu's best cherry blossom viewing spots. The unique castle features red roof tiles, and is the only castle in Japan to do so. The park's nearly 1,000 sakura trees bloom around mid ~ late April, and are illuminated during the full bloom period.

10 Kajo Park

Average blooming period: mid ~ late April
Kajo Park is the site of the former castle ground of Yamagata Castle. The 1,500 cherry blossom trees make it one of Yamagata's best sakura viewing spots, in particular the rows of trees along the east and south moats, which are illuminated at night during the full bloom period!
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