Hi, how are you? I got a slight fever the other day but getting better now…
From the end of March to May, Sakura trees bloom all over Japan.
The season of Hanami is just around the corner!
Hanami, or flower viewing (most of the times referring to the viewing of Cherry blossom) is one of the most popular customs in Japan.
People gather and sit under the cherry trees and spend time with a boyfriend/girlfriend, friends, or family.
Most people drink and eat together admiring the beautiful scenery.
Popular Hanami spots get really crowded with people and food stalls, so if you are planning to enjoy the event, you’d better plan ahead!
Hanami usually lasts until late evening each day.
The viewing of Sakura at night time is called Yozakura (night sakura).
Here is a brief history about it and some great spots to enjoy the event in Japan!
Short History of Hanami
It is said that the custom of Hanami started during the Nara period (710-794).
Ume, or plum tree was popular, but by the Heian period(794-1185),
Sakura became the most popular tree/flower.
Back then, people believed that Kami (God of nature) was inside the trees and made offerings to pray for a good harvest year.
Originally, Emperor Saga of the era started having the flower-viewing parties and only the elite of the Imperial court did the practice.
Later on, people began gathering under the Sakura trees and started enjoying drinking sake and eating food sharing time together, and by the Edo period, it spread all over the Japan and it still is one of the most popular events of Spring.
There are about 600 kinds of Sakura in Japan.
Among them, Somei-Yoshino accounts for 80%.
Other popular kinds are Shidare-zakura (it has dangling branches), and Kawazu-Zakura (it has big, beautiful petals and deep pink color).
Popular Hanami spots
The park is near Tokyo sky tree, and is one of the most popular Hanami spots in Tokyo.
It has about 640 Sakura trees lined up by the river for about 1 km between the Azumabashi and Sakurabashi bridge.
Closest station: Asakusa station
About 260 Sakura trees stand along the moat of the imperial palace.
You can rent a rowboat to explore the moat if you would like.
In the evening, the trees are illuminated and visitors enjoy the beautiful view of Yozakura.
Closest station:Hanzoumon Station
It is located in Nakameguro area near Shibuya.
Over 800 Sakura trees are there lined up for 4km along the river.
Cherry blossom festival takes place every year during Hanami season.
You can enjoy the view of Sakura until 9pm each day.
Closest station: Tennoz Airu Station
It is a beautiful park in my hometown, Kichijoji.
There are about 500 Sakura trees there and you can rent a small boat.
It gets really crowded with visitors, photographers, and street performers during Hanami season.
There is a Zoo and shrine inside of the area as well ,and near the park, there are a lot of nice cafes so you never get bored visiting the park!
Closest station:Inokashira park station
It is a great place to enjoy Hanami in Osaka.
There is a street of Sakura called “Sakura no Tourinuke” which is open only for a week during the Hanami season.
You can admire 134 kinds of Sakura there from 10:00am until 9:00pm
(From 9:00am on weekends).
Closest station: Temmabashi Station
Osaka castle park
Over 4,000 Sakura trees are on the spacious grounds of Osaka castle.
With the majestic Castle, it is a great place to take beautiful pictures of Sakura trees!
Closest station:Osaka castle park station
It is a park about 15 min train ride away from Osaka station.
The 4.2km long promenade along the river is lined up with around 4,800 Sakura trees.
Closest station:Sakuranomiya Station
It is one of the most popular parks for Cherry blossom viewing in Kyoto.
There are over 680 Sakura trees including Somei Yoshino, Shidarezakura, and Yamazakura.
The park has a big Shidarezakura which is 88 years old, 12m high!
Closest station:Maruyama Park Station
Founded in 780, it is a world heritage site in Kyoto.
Around the temple, there are about 1,500 Sakura trees and you can enjoy the view from the popular Kiyomizu Stage.
Closest station:Kiyomizu Gojo Station
It is located in the outskirts of Kyoto and famous for beautiful bamboo forest.
A lot of Sakura trees can be found near Togetsukyo Bridge below Arashiyama mountains.
Closest station: Arashiyama Station
According to weather map,
The prospects of the date of first bloom are March 22nd in Tokyo
March 20th in Nagoya, and 23rd in Kyoto and 25th in Osaka this year.
Sakura usually blooms for about one week.
If you are planning to visit Japan in Spring, don’t miss Hanami!
By the way, this is my music called “Edge” released in the Spring, 2015.
I wrote this song to encourage people having difficulties in life.
I hope this song will reach you somewhere in the world
Life is fragile and everyone’s scared,
But there’s always hope right in front of you
Even if you get lost or how much you suffer,
手を伸ばして いつだって 今以上求めていく
Spread your wings and live with aspirations.
Say Goodbye to the loneliness and live your life.
※Complete song is available here Skyhigh Or click on the band camp link below.
What do you do in Spring in your country?
See you next time!
*Need more info about Japan?
Give me a comment here or send me a message to