Hanami – The Viewing of Cherry Blossoms in Japan

Hanami is here! It is that time of the year when locals and tourists flood landmarks all around Japan to see the beauty of the sakura (cherry blossoms) blooming. The viewing season only lasts for about one week before the sun, wind, and rains wash away the petals from the trees.

The schedule for Japan’s Cherry Blossoms 2017 and the best places to enjoy the flowering trees are as follows:

Tokyo – March 21 to April 7
~ Shinjuku Gyoen ~
11 Naitomachi, Shinjuku, Tokyo
~ Shinto Shrine Yushima Tenjin ~
3-30-1 Yushima, Bunkyo, Tokyo
~ Ueno Park ~
Taito, Tokyo

Kyoto – March 30 to April 16
~ Kiyomizudera Temple ~
1-294 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto
~ Maruyama Park ~
473 Maruyamacho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto
~ Philosopher’s Path ~
Sakyo-ku between Ginkaku-ji and Nyakuoji-jinja, Kyoto
~ Heian Shrine ~
Okazaki Nishitennocho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto
~ Nijojo Castle ~
541 Nijojocho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto

Osaka – March 29 to April 15
~ Kema Sakuranomiya Park ~
2 Nagarahigashi, Kita Ward, Osaka
~ Osaka Castle ~
1-1 Osakajo, Chuo Ward, Osaka
~ Expo 7 Commemorative Park ~
1-1 Senribanpakukoen, Suita, Osaka
~ Mint Bureau ~
1-1-79, Tenman, Kita-ku, Osaka

Cherry Blossom season in Osaka. Since it is springtime, you may encounter a chance of rain during your hanami. Be prepared with an umbrella (or borrow one from your hotel) and join the crowds to admire the flowering trees
The sakura is gorgeous up close and far away. Up close you will be able to tell the difference between the 10s to 100s of cherry blossom trees, and not just from the color but also the shapes of the flower petals
Seeing the cherry blossoms within the season is a must. Otherwise, the rains and winds will wash away the flower petals and fill the grounds. The change can be as sudden as overnight, so it is ideal to view the sakura earlier rather than later
It is Japan, so naturally, there will be a coinciding food festival. At the Mint Bureau in Osaka, for instance, vendors line the walkway with street foods and snacks to take a break in the midst of hanami


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