Cherry Blossom Japan 2023: Forecasts and Dates

If you’re looking to plan a trip to view the cherry blossoms in Japan, you’ll want to know when and where the cherry blossoms will be in bloom. In this article, we’ll provide forecasts for the blooming of cherry blossoms in Japan in 2023, as well as information on popular viewing locations and things to do during cherry blossom season. So whether you’re already planning your trip or just curious about when and where the cherry blossoms will be at their best, read on for all the details!

Quick and useful resources to plan your trip to Japan:

  • Book your flights to Japan with Skyscanner. Compare prices and duration and choose the most suitable flight to Japan. Start planning your trip to Japan. This is where all our trips start!
  • Book your hotel in Japan using Booking.com. Check the prices, the reviews, and the conditions, and spot the best hotels in Japan at the best price. Start looking for accommodation in Japan. Booking is our choice when it comes to hotels worldwide.
  • Buy your SIM in advance using Airalo. With Airalo eSIMs, you can connect the moment you land in Japan and avoid data roaming charges. We use this when we travel, and we cannot be happier. Explore Airalo and travel smart.

Why is cherry blossom season so important in Japan?

Cherry blossoms, or sakura in Japanese, are a national symbol of Japan and have been celebrated in the country for centuries. It is often used in art and literature, and its beauty is celebrated in many ways. The flowers are also a symbol of renewal and hope.

The short blooming season of the sakura flower makes it all the more special. Every year, locals and visitors eagerly anticipate cherry blossom season, as it signals the start of spring and is a time to enjoy the beautiful blooms with family and friends.

So it’s no wonder cherry blossom season is such an important time of year in Japan!

Cherry blossom Japan

When is cherry blossom season in Japan?

The peak season for cherry blossoms in Japan is generally from late March to early April. However, the exact dates vary depending on the location and weather conditions. For example, in Tokyo, the cherry blossoms typically bloom from late March to early April, while in Kyoto, they usually bloom a week or two later. Check the forecasts below for the most accurate information on when the cherry blossoms will be in peak bloom.

Cherry blossom season in Japan: dates and forecast 2023

The cherry blossom season typically lasts for around two weeks, with the peak bloom period (when most of the blossoms are open) lasting for just a few days. You’ll want to time your trip carefully to catch the cherry blossoms at their best. But be aware: forecasts can only predict when the flowering will start and end, but they are not to be considered 100% accurate since nature has its processes and timings.

2023 Forecast of flowering and full bloom dates for each area:

  • Tokyo – Flowering: March 23 / Full bloom: March 30
  • Sapporo – Flowering: May 2 / Full bloom: May 5
  • Sendai – Flowering: April 4 / Full bloom: April 10
  • Kanazawa – Flowering: April 4 / Full bloom: April 10
  • Nagoya – Flowering: March 24 / Full bloom: April 4
  • Kyoto – Flowering: March 27 / Full bloom: April 5
  • Osaka – Flowering: March 28 / Full bloom: April 5
  • Hiroshima – Flowering: March 24 / Full bloom: April 4
  • Fukuoka – Flowering: March 23 / Full bloom: April 1

Of course, these are just approximate dates, and the actual blooming period can vary depending on the weather conditions in any given year. Nevertheless, this should give you a good idea of when cherry blossoms will be at their best in different parts of Japan. Also, remember that the mankai (full bloom) only lasts between 1-2 weeks, with the fullest and most gorgeous period sometimes lasting just a few days.

The Cherry Blossom Flowering Forecast Map below shows flowering dates for 2023, released by the Japan Meteorological Corporation.

Sakura 2023 cherry blossom dates

What’s the best place to see cherry blossoms in Japan?

There are many places in Japan where you can see beautiful cherry blossoms. Some popular spots include Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and Hokkaido. Each area has its unique way of celebrating the season, so it’s worth checking out more than one location!

Some of the most popular cherry blossom spots in Japan include:

  • Ueno Park, Tokyo
  • Philosopher’s Walk, Kyoto
  • Meguro River, Tokyo
  • Hirosaki Castle Park, Aomori Prefecture
  • Mount Yoshino, Nara Prefecture

Tokyo is known for its large parks and gardens, perfect for picnics and Hanami parties (cherry blossom viewing parties). One of the most popular spots is Ueno Park, where over a thousand cherry trees bloom in early April. Osaka’s Sumiyoshi Park is also great for seeing the blossoms and enjoying some traditional Japanese culture.

Kyoto is one of the best places to see cherry blossoms in Japan because of its many temples and shrines. The Philosopher’s Walk is charming this time of year, as it is lined with cherry trees. In Hokkaido, the town of Biei is famous for its fields of lavender and daisies, but in late April and early May, the fields are blanketed in pink and white cherry blossoms.

Hanami parties during the cherry blossom season in Japan

Hanami, also known as flower viewing, is a traditional Japanese activity that involves enjoying the beauty of flowers. The most popular flowers to view during the Hanami season are cherry blossoms, which typically bloom in early spring. Hanami celebrations often take place outdoors, under the blooming cherry trees. During Hanami, picnics and parties are common, and people enjoy food and drink while admiring the flowers. Hanami season is a time to appreciate the transient nature of life, as the cherry blossoms only bloom for a short period of time before falling from the trees. The Japanese concept of mono no aware, which roughly translates to “the pathos of things,” is often associated with Hanami. This refers to the awareness of the transience of things and the bittersweet feeling that comes with knowing that everything is temporary. Hanami season is a time to enjoy nature’s beauty while reflecting on the ephemeral nature of life.

How to do Hanami?

  • Look for a place with good views of cherry blossoms;
  • Set up your picnic blanket and food;
  • Sit back, relax, and enjoy the view!

What are the most important cherry blossom festivals in Japan?

There are plenty of cherry blossom festivals in Japan, which are a great way to enjoy the country’s iconic flowers. One of the most popular cherry blossom festivals is the Yokohama Cherry Blossom Festival, which takes place every year in late March or early April. During the festival, people can enjoy watching cherry blossoms, listening to music, and eating traditional Japanese food. Another famous cherry blossom festival is the Osaka Cherry Blossom Festival, which takes place in early April. During this festival, people can enjoy viewing cherry blossoms, participating in traditional Japanese games, and eating delicious food. If you’re looking for a unique cherry blossom festival, you might want to check out the Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival, which takes place in late February or early March. This festival is famous for its pink cherry blossoms, which bloom earlier than most other cherry blossoms. If you’re interested in attending a cherry blossom festival in Japan, research and plan to make the most of your experience!

Cherry Blossoms Tokyo

How to plan a trip to Japan to watch the cherry blossoms?

If you’re hoping to catch the cherry blossoms in Japan in 2023, you’ll need to plan your trip well in advance. Accommodation tends to fill up quickly during cherry blossom season, so booking your hotel or Ryokan is essential as early as possible.

Similarly, making early reservations is a good idea if you plan to take any day trips or excursions during your stay. This is especially true for popular cherry blossom spots like Kyoto and Tokyo, which tend to be very crowded during the cherry blossom season.

So if you’re planning a trip to Japan to see the cherry blossoms, start planning early!

If you are looking for an accommodation in Japan for the cherry blossom season, check out the offers on Booking.com. You will find hotels, traditional houses, and B&Bs, and you can also read the comments from people who have already been there, check the ratings, and see photos of the place. Try Booking.com and be sure to pick flexible accommodations: in this way, if the blooming dates change, you can move or cancel the facilities at no additional cost.

What to do and visit in Japan during the cherry blossom season?

There are so many beautiful places to see in Japan it can be hard to know where to start. Aside from visiting parks to admire the cherry blossoms, we’ve selected 10 top things to do in Japan during the cherry blossom season.

1. Visit the temples and shrines of Kyoto

With over 2,000 temples and shrines, Kyoto is the perfect place to experience traditional Japanese culture. Check out some famous temples, such as Kiyomizu-Dera and Fushimi Inari Taisha.

Kyoto

2. Visit Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

A must-see for anyone visiting Hiroshima, this park is dedicated to the victims of the atomic bomb that was dropped on the city in 1945. The park is also home to the Peace Memorial Museum, which provides a moving and informative account of the bombing and its aftermath.

3. Take a walk through the Imperial Palace gardens

Tokyo’s Imperial Palace is home to some of the most beautiful gardens in Japan. Entry to the gardens is free and open to the public every day except Monday.

Himeji Castle

4. See the sights from Tokyo Tower

One of Tokyo’s most iconic landmarks, Tokyo Tower, offers stunning city views from its observation decks. Be sure to take the elevator to the top for the best views.

5. Explore the Ryukyu Islands

A group of islands located southwest of mainland Japan, the Ryukyu Islands offer stunning beaches, clear blue waters, and a laid-back atmosphere. Be sure to visit Okinawa, the largest and most popular of the islands.

6. Visit the Tsukiji fish market

Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji fish market is a must-see for any food lover. The market is open to the public from 5 am, but be sure to get there early as it gets very crowded later in the day.

Fish market japan

7. Take a ride on the bullet train

Japan’s famous bullet train is not only fast (it can reach speeds of up to 320 km/h), but it’s also a great way to see the country. Be sure to ride the Shinkansen when you’re in Japan.

8. Take a dip in an onsen

An onsen is a Japanese hot spring, and taking a dip in one is a must-do when you’re in Japan. There are onsens all over the country, so be sure to find one near you.

9. Eat as much food as you can

We covered this aspect in depth in our Tokyo food guide.

ramen noodles

10. Go to Chureito Pagoda

Chureito Pagoda is a five-storied Buddhist pagoda located in Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan. The pagoda is built on Arakura Sengen Shrine’s main grounds and offers visitors stunning views of Mt. Fuji. The shrine and pagoda were founded in 782 by the priest Gyoki and have been rebuilt several times over the centuries. The current pagoda was built in 1963 and stands at 44 meters (144 feet). The Chureito Pagoda is a symbol of peace and has been designated as a National Treasure of Japan. It is also one of the 100 Famous Viewpoints of Japan and one of the country’s Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots. Hundreds of thousands of people visit the pagoda to enjoy the stunning views of Mt. Fuji and the surrounding area.

Pagoda cherry

We have selected some of the best activities in Japan that you can book online with a special discount:

If you need fast and unlimited internet access for the entire duration of your trip in Japan, you can buy an e-Sim with Airalo and install it to your device before arriving in Japan. We use Airalo for all our trips and cannot be happier: easy to install, affordable and stable. It’s the best way to have your connection available the moment you land in Japan. Explore Airalo and travel smart!

Is it worth going to Japan for cherry blossoms?

There’s no doubt that cherry blossoms are gorgeous, and Japan is one of the best places in the world to see them. However, whether or not it’s “worth” going to Japan specifically for the cherry blossoms depends on a few factors. For instance, if you’re planning to visit Japan for another reason (such as business or pleasure), then seeing the cherry blossoms would be a bonus. On the other hand, if you have no plans to visit Japan and your sole purpose for travel is to see the cherry blossoms, then it may not be worth it, depending on how much it would cost and how long it would take to get there. On top of this, you need to consider that the country is so busy that time of the year because the 2-3 week period of cherry blossom in Japan brings the most overseas’ visitors; on top of this, the Japanese and the locals also can’t wait to admire the blossoming.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether or not seeing the cherry blossoms in Japan is worth it.

Start checking the listings on Booking.com to find the best deals on hotels and accommodation in Japan for the cherry blossom season.

Start checking the flights on Skyscanner.com to find the best offers to fly to Japan for the cherry blossom season.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means that we may receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase through a link.

Veruska
About the author
Veruska Anconitano
Veruska is a Multilingual SEO and Localization Consultant. She's an accredited journalist and a certified sommelier. She also won an award as World's Best Food Travel Journalist. She's the co-owner of TheFoodellers and a bunch of other websites.
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