When is Cherry Blossom Season in Japan?

Cherry Blossom Season in Japan

Cherry blossom season in Japan, known as "sakura" season, is a time of national celebration and reflection, marking the arrival of spring with a blanket of delicate pink and white flowers. The fleeting beauty of the cherry blossoms, symbolizing the transient nature of life, draws both locals and tourists to participate in "hanami," the traditional practice of enjoying the blossoms' beauty.

Timing your visit to coincide with this spectacular season is crucial for experiencing this iconic aspect of Japanese culture. Here's what you need to know about when cherry blossom season occurs in Japan.

Understanding Japan's Cherry Blossom Season

Cherry blossom season varies across Japan due to the country's geographical diversity, stretching from late January in Okinawa to late April or early May in Hokkaido. The blossoms typically last for only a week or two, making the timing of your visit essential.

Regional Blooming Times

Okinawa (Southern Japan)

  • Season: Late January to February
  • Highlights: The subtropical climate of Okinawa sees some of the earliest cherry blossom blooms in Japan, with festivities centred around Naha and the castles of the Ryukyu Kingdom.

Honshu (Main Island)

Tokyo and Kyoto

  • Season: Late March to early April
  • Highlights: Iconic spots like Ueno Park in Tokyo and the Philosopher's Path in Kyoto offer stunning sakura views. Festivals and night illuminations add to the experience.


  • Season: Early April
  • Highlights: Visit Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Miyajima Island for spectacular cherry blossom views against historical and natural backdrops.

Kyushu (Western Japan)


  • Season: Late March to early April
  • Highlights: Maizuru Park and Uminonakamichi Seaside Park are popular for hanami picnics and strolls under the cherry trees.

Hokkaido (Northern Japan)


  • Season: Late April to early May
  • Highlights: The colder climate of Hokkaido means later blooming. Moerenuma Park and Maruyama Park are must-visit locations for cherry blossom enthusiasts.

Tips for Enjoying Cherry Blossom Season

  • Book Early: Accommodation and transport can fill up quickly during cherry blossom season. Plan and book several months in advance.
  • Check Bloom Forecasts: Follow cherry blossom forecasts (sakura-zensen) online for the latest updates on blooming times across different regions.
  • Respect Local Customs: Participate in hanami respectfully by keeping public spaces clean and allowing everyone the chance to enjoy the views.
  • Explore Various Locations: While popular spots can be crowded, exploring lesser-known areas can offer equally beautiful sakura experiences with fewer people.

The Cultural Significance of Cherry Blossoms

In Japan, cherry blossoms are more than just a natural spectacle; they are deeply woven into the country's art, literature, and daily life, symbolizing renewal, hope, and the ephemeral nature of existence. The sakura season is a time for gatherings, reflection, and joy, reinforcing bonds within communities and with nature itself.


Japan's cherry blossom season offers a unique opportunity to witness one of the country's most celebrated natural events. The exact timing of the sakura blooming varies from year to year and from region to region, but generally, it spans from late January in the south to early May in the north. By planning your trip with the blooming period in mind, you can immerse yourself in the beauty and cultural significance of this unforgettable season.