Mar 10, 2017

Hanami in Japan 2017: The most popular hanami spots across Japan

Hanami in Japan 2017: The most popular hanami spots across Japan photo

So here we find ourselves again at the cusp of that most Japanese of seasons, hanami (花見); the act of sitting under, or as near as possible to, cherry blossom trees whilst getting imbibed and chowing down on some B-grade grub.  In our post about hanami in Japan for last season we already stated that this is ground that has been about as well covered as any conceivable ground space at Ueno Park peak season.  To that effect we attempted to bring you the voice of the locals, and what they see as the best places to enjoy the cherry blossom.  So, we're doing the same for hanami in Japan 2017!!  Again, the people over at Walker+ have compiled lists of the most popular hanami spots up and down Japan, which we attempt to translate and bring to you here.

We start this breakdown of cherry blossom spots in the North, Hokkaido, working our way south as far as Kyushu.  We were honest in our intentions to list some hanami spots in Okinawa, but it turns out they didn't make any of the top 10s.  For each region we list the spot name, the prefecture, and the estimated dates of blooming.  Lists are ordered in 'popularity' rank.  You'll perhaps notice the gaping absence of Tokyo is this piece.  We wrote a separate on about hanami spots in the capital, which you can read here: The best places for cherry blossom & 'hanami' in and around Tokyo .


Hanami in Japan 2017: The most popular hanami spots across Japan photo

The latest of the cherry blossom bloomers.  Things don't get going in Hokkaido until the end of April, so you've plenty of time to go yet.  The hanami in this part of Japan can continue into late May.

Goryōkaku Kōen Hakodate-shiend of April - early May
Shizunai Nijukken RoadHidaka Districtearly to mid May
Masaki KōenMasaki DistrictApril 28 - May 20
Noboribetsu Onsen Sakura Flower Tunnel Noboribetsu-shiMay 10 - end of May
Shibazakura Takinoue KōenMonbetsu Districtmid May - early June
Hokkaido Ritsu Makomanai ParkSapporo-shiend of April - end of May
Bibai-shi Tōmei KōenBibai-shiearly - mid May
Moerenuma KōenSapporo-shiearly - mid May
Tentozan Sakura KōenAbashiri-shimid - late May
Oniushi KōenKayabe Districtearly - late May


Hanami in Japan 2017: The most popular hanami spots across Japan photo

Petals will start falling around the end of April in this, the most northern region of Honshu.  While most spots don't get going until the middle of April, there are a couple to look out for during the early days of the month.

Nichu Line Bicycle/Walking Path Fukushima-kenmid April - early May
Shiraishi River Dike (View of 1000 Cherry Trees)Miyagi-kenmid - end April
Miharu Taki SakuraFukushima-kenmid - end April
Hanamiyama KōenFukushima-kenearly - end April
Tsuruga Castle KōenFukushima-kenApril 20 - May 5
Funaoka Jōshi KōenMiyagi-kenearly - mid April
Hokujōten Scenic SpotIwate-kenmid - end April
Hirosaki Park (Yoshino Cherry Tree)Aomori-kenend April - early May
Kakunodate Samurai DistrictAkita-kenmid - end April
Kannonji RiverFukushima-kenend April - early May


Hanami in Japan 2017: The most popular hanami spots across Japan photo

The Kōshinetsu region of Japan kind of dissects the island of Honshu, spreading as it does from Yamanashi through to Niigata.  Given the inclusion of Yamanashi, this is one of the regions where hanami enthusiasts might be able to get themselves a shot of the pink stuff with Mt. Fuji photo bombing the background.  (If it can be bothered to come out of the clouds, that is!)  Things will kick off here from the end of March.

Takada KōenNiigata-kenmid April
Minobusan Kuon-jiYamanashi-kenend March - early April
Mt. Kōbō Kofun (ancient tomb)Nagano-kenearly April
Takato Jōshi ParkNagano-kenearly April - end May
Yamataka Kumashiro SakuraYamanashi-kenearly April
Kawaguchi Lake (North Bank)Yamanashi-kenmid April
Garyō ParkNagano-kenmid - end April
Daihōshi ParkYamanashi-kenend March - early April
Sakura Onsen StreetYamanashi-kenend March - early April
Matsumoto CastleNagano-kenApril 10 - April 15


Hanami in Japan 2017: The most popular hanami spots across Japan photo

Shizuoka, Aichi, Gifu, and Mie make up the Tōkai region (although there appears to be some debate about this).  Shizuoka could be another place from which to get your Mt. Fuji / cherry blossom shots.  In fact, Shizuoka can also boast of having one of the earliest 'blossom' spots in the land; Kawazu-zakura.  That already got going at the end of February and could be gone by, well, just about now!  Still, other spots in the region haven't yet warmed up and will likely be sticking around until early April.

Okazaki KōenAichi-kenend March - early April
Sana River banksAichi-ken end March - mid April
Izukōgen Sakura Namiki Shizuoka-kenend March - early April
Hamamatsu Castle KōenShizuoka-kenend March - April 10
Nagoya CastleAichi-ken  end March - early April
Okuyamada Weeping SakuraAichi-kenmid March - early April
Shinsakai River banksGifu-kenend March - early April
Awa Boku KōenGifu-kenearly - mid April
Kawazu-zakuraShizuoka-kenend Feb - early March
Tsurumai Kōen Aichi-ken end March - early April



Hanami in Japan 2017: The most popular hanami spots across Japan photo

The Hokuriku region faces the Sea of Japan and covers Toyama, Niigata, Fukui, and Ishikawa prefectures.  In the Noto Peninsula the region can perhaps boast at having one of the more remote hanami spots in all of Honshu, but this is an area that thoroughly rewards the effort of reaching it.  Early to mid April is pretty much the season for cherry blossom across the whole region.

Tokubetsu Meishō KenrokuenIshikawa-kenearly - mid April
Asuwa River Sakura NamikiFukui-kenearly - mid April
Matsukawa (river) KōenToyama-kenearly - mid April
Noto Sakura StationIshikawa-kenmid - late April
Takaoka Kojō KōenToyama-kenearly - mid April
Maruoka CastleFukui-kenearly - mid April
Kanasaki Miya (Kanegasaki Park)Fukui-kenearly - mid April
Asuwayama KōenFukui-ken early - mid April
Tsune Nishi Yōsui Promenade KōenToyama-kenearly - mid April
Ashi Castle KōenIshikawa-kenearly - mid April


Hanami in Japan 2017: The most popular hanami spots across Japan photo

Kansai must surely be home to some of Japan's most iconic hanami spots, with the temples/shrines of Kyoto and Nara amongst its ranks, as well as Osaka Castle.  Things will start to get going here towards the end of March.

Daigoji Kyoto-fuend March - early April
Osaka Castle KōenOsaka fuend March - end April
Yoshinoyama (Chusenhon)Nara-kenearly - mid April
Yodogawa Kasen Koen (Riverside Park) "Sewaritei" areaKyoto-fu early April
Kaizu OsakiShiga-ken~ 10 - 15 April
Bampaku-kinen KōenOsaka-fuend March - early April
Cherry Blossom Tunnel Road (Japan Mint)Osaka-fu mid April
Yawaragi no michi (along the Nanatani River)Kyoto-fu  end March - early April
Shukugawa KōenHyōgo-kenend March - early April
Kema Sakuranomiya KōenOsaka fu end March - mid April


Hanami in Japan 2017: The most popular hanami spots across Japan photo

The Chūgoku region spreads east from Osaka to reach up to Hiroshima and the last bastions of Honshu. The region includes Miyajima, the island off of Hiroshima, which must make for one of the more unique and rewarding cherry blossom experiences in Japan.

Tsu Yamashiro (Tsuruyama Kōen)Okayama-kenearly - mid April
(Around) KintaikyōYamaguchi-kenend March - early April
Sera Kōzan Fureai No SatoHiroshima-kenmid - end April
MiyajimaHiroshima-ken end March - early April
Okayama KōrakuenOkayama-kenend March - early April
Daigo SakuraOkayama-ken early - mid April
Sakazu KōenOkayama-ken  end March - mid April
Senjōgahara Kōen Yamaguchi-kenearly April
Miyasumi KōenOkayama-kenearly - mid April
Takebe no Mori KōenOkayama-kenearly - end April


Hanami in Japan 2017: The most popular hanami spots across Japan photo

Most of Shikoku's hanami parties will likely get going around the end of March.  In Dōgo Kōen, Shikoku can boast of a cherry blossom spot which could also afford a soak in one of Japan's oldest hot spring 'resorts', Dōgo Onsen.

ShiundeyamaKagawa-kenend March - mid April
Kaisan KōenEhime-kenearly - mid April
Hyōtan Sakura KōenKōchi-kenend March - early April
Tokubetsu Meishō Ritsurin KōenKagawa-kenend March - early April
Matsuyama Castle (Shiroyama Kōen)Ehime-kenend March - early April
Asahiyama Shinrin KōenKagawa-kenend March - mid April
Dōgo KōenEhime-ken end March - early April
Ōyake Fuchi Shinrin KōenKagawa-ken~ March 25 - April 15
Nakagoshike Weeping SakuraKōchi-ken end March - early April
Kōchi KōenKōchi-ken  end March - early April


Hanami in Japan 2017: The most popular hanami spots across Japan photo

Much like Shikoku, expect hanami festivities on Kyushu to start getting into their stride at the end of March, with many of the most popular places being in Fukuoka-ken.

 Isshin Yuki No Dai SakuraKumamoto-kenend March - early April
Maizuru KōenFukuoka-kenend March - early April
Asai No (One Tree) SakuraFukuoka-kenearly April
Shiranoe Botanical GardensFukuoka-ken mid Feb - early April
Nishi KōenFukuoka-kenend March - early April
Kumamoto CastleKumamoto-kenend March - early April
Yu no Cherry RunKumamoto-kenend March - early April
Katsuyama Kōen (Ogura Castle)Fukuoka-ken end March - early April
Ogi Kōen Saga-kenend March - early April
Tadashimoto KōenKagoshima-kenend March - early April

While this post may have attempted to detail the most popular hanami spots in Japan for 2017, by no means does it make them the best.  On top of which, by definition, the locations above will likely be the most crowded.

If you've got some hanami spots that you'd like to share, we'd love to read about them on City-Cost.

See the Japan Meteorological Corporation for updates on this year's cherry blossom forecasts.

See us on ...

Twitter: @City_Cost_Japan

Facebook: @citycostjapan


Resource: www.walkerplus.com


Hokkaido: MIKI Yoshihito Flickr License / Tōhoku: Yisris Flickr License / Kōshinetsu: Skyseeker Flickr License /

Tōkai: rumpleteaser Flickr License  / Hokuriku: Tsuda Flickr License / Kansai: Kimon Berlin Flickr License

Chūgoku: Jordan Emery Flickr License / Shikoku: Jeremy Hall Flickr License 

Kyushu: TANAKA Juuyoh (田中十洋) Flickr License



A Q&A and blogging community about life in Japan (plus a load of life-in-Japan stats!). Get your questions answered, share your experience! | Inquiry -> KyodoNewsDigital International Media | Tokyo, Japan | +81 3 6252 6402