Once you miss it, you have to wait until the next year to experience this rare but beautiful thing.
Japan’s cherry blossom season, which starts in mid to late March, and lasts through to early May is a big deal and one of the best times to visit the cities, riverbanks, fields and forests coming alive in exquisite shades of pink. The arrival of these beautiful flowers has always been anticipated year after year, due to the fleeting nature of their existence. Usually the event only lasts for around two weeks in any given place, from first bloom to the final fallen petal.
On Japan’s southern, subtropical islands of Okinawa, cherry blossoms open as early as January, while on the northern island of Hokkaido, the flowering can be as late as May. In most major cities in between, such as Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, the cherry blossom season typically takes place in early April.
Tokyo was by far our most favorite location. With it being the biggest city in Japan, it has some of the most iconic cherry blossom viewing locations. There are a few major locations around the center of the city that are guaranteed to have some spectacular viewing spots, and of course the crowds. The sights and sounds of Tokyo and its surrounding area also make this the favorite city of many.
Kyoto is ancient, scenic, and known for its beautiful natural surroundings. Visiting a site like Kiyomizudera during sakura (cherry blossom) season is memorable, both for how beautiful it is and how many people there are – locals and visitors alike.