Cherry blossom season in Japan is the peak foreign tourist season.
It’s hard to say exactly when is the cherry blossom season in Japan because it is different by region and every year the cherry blossoms peak at different times depending on the weather and the temperature in the winter.
That being said, in Tokyo, the cherry blossoms reach full bloom usually from the last week of March until the very beginning of April.
It’s one of the most beautiful time of year but also the busiest.
Here are some tips on how to enjoy the sakura season in Japan.
1. Find sakura around you
Famous sakura viewing places are popular for a reason, they are beautiful. But that means there will be crowds.
There are many sakura trees in Japan. You don’t necessary need to visit the famous places to see sakura. There should be parks, temples, shrines, and alternative choices for sakura viewing in your neighborhood.
It’s more relaxing to see sakura in a less crowded place and certainly it will allow you more time and space to enjoy their beauty.
2. Appreciate different types of sakura
The majority of sakura in Japan are the kind called someiyoshino but it is said there are over few hundred kinds of sakura in Japan. There are shidare-zakura, the weeping cherry tree, yae-zakura, which has more petals than someiyoshino, and so on.
3. Don’t miss the moment
Once the flowers come into full bloom, they will stay like that for few days to maximum a week. But there will be only one or two days when they look the liveliest and the most beautiful. If it rains or the weather gets windy, the flowers can get damaged very easily. So, when you see them in full bloom, appreciate the moment.
4. Go see sakura both during the daytime and nighttime
There’s a word in Japanese for cherry blossoms at night, yozakura. There are parks and sakura festivals that are open at night during the sakura season.
Sakura season in Tokyo is still cold. Bring your jacket and camera to fully enjoy yozakura.
5. Take some time to sit and see the flowers
Japanese people love to do hanami, flower viewing. We eat and drink outdoor near the sakura trees once they start blooming.
There will be many sakura-themed or flavored wagashi (Japanese confectionary) and cakes sold around this time, even in the convenience stores. Also, there will be obento (lunch box) sold for hanami called hanami bento. It would be nice to drink hot green tea and taste some sweets and obento while you see the flowers.
Lastly, be careful not to harm the trees when you take pictures! Sakura trees are fragile. Never break or pull the branches and try to avoid stepping on the feet of the trees.
I’m already exicted to see this year’s sakura and of course the hanami party!