31 Mar 2017 in Have Fun
Cherry blossom season is here! From mountain vistas to places to party, discover our guide to the essential sakura spots.
To celebrate sakura season, we take a look at Japan’s most popular places for hanami (flower viewing).
The best place to party during sakura season? Ueno Park in the heart of Tokyo. At nightfall, the park’s 800-plus sakura trees are lit up by hundreds of lanterns, and the hanami festival turns to dancing, drinking and general merrymaking. Pick a spot and spread your picnic blanket early to make sure you don’t miss out.
Where? Tokyo, a 20-minute ride from HOSHINOYA Tokyo.
With around 30,000 cherry trees and plenty of panoramic vistas to see them, Mount Yoshino is perhaps the most famous hanami destination in Japan. Throughout April, pink blossom gradually works its way up the mountain from the foot to the summit, making a hike up its slopes a memorable experience.
Where? Nara Prefecture, a day trip from HOSHINOYA Kyoto.
Yamataka Jindai Zakura
People come from all over Japan to see this one single sakura tree – but it’s quite some tree! Jindai Zakura – which translates as “Age of the Gods cherry blossom” – stands 10 metres tall and 11 metres wide. It’s estimated to be around 2,000 years old and, according to folklore, was planted by Japan’s legendary hero Prince Yamato Takeru. No wonder it’s considered one of the “Three Great Cherry Trees of Japan”.
Where? Yamanashi Prefecture, a short drive from Hoshino Resorts RISONARE Yatsugatake.
This stone-paved walkway in Kyoto runs alongside a narrow canal for over a mile – and is lined with hundreds of sakura trees on both sides of the water. In early April, cherry blossom petals floating on the water make this the city’s most atmospheric hanami spot.
Where? Kyoto, a short train or car ride from HOSHINOYA Kyoto.
Goryokaku Fort Park
In late April or early May, the best place to see sakura is Hokkaido – and the Goryokaku Fort Park is perhaps the island’s most spectacular viewing spot. At the heart of this public park is a 19th-century star-shaped fortress surrounded by water – with about 1600 cherry trees growing in and around its ruins. Head to the nearby Goryokaku Tower for a bird’s eye view.
Where? Hokkaido Prefecture, a day trip from Hoshino Resorts KAI Tsugaru.