Many people think spring is the best time of the year for traveling, with pleasant temperatures, beautiful blooming flowers under the blue sky, and the exciting start of a new season full of happiness after a cold winter season. The arrival of spring in Japan is for many also seen as a perfect time to start something new, including memorable trips to other countries! What’s better than exploring scenic spots and indulging yourself in other cultures with good weather. Another reason why the perfect season to visit Japan is spring is because of the beautiful cherry blossoms!
- Spring in Japan
- 1. Kawazuzakura
- 2. Mother Farm
- 3. Huis Ten Bosch
- 4. Isumi Railway
- 5. Inabe Plum Festival
- 6. Shiudeyama
- 7. Mt. Yoshino
- 8. Kawachi Wisteria Garden
- 9. Hirosaki Park
- 10. Awa Katsuura Hina Matsuri
- 11. Hitachi Seaside Park
- 12. Ashikaga Flower Park
- 13. Fuji Shibazakura Festival
- 14. Unkai Terrace
- 15. Poppy Festival
- 16. Sanja Matsuri
- 17. Beaches in Okinawa
- 18. The strawberry kingdom:Tochigi
- 19. Kanda Matsuri
- 20. Mifuneyama Rakuen
- Japan Wonder Travel Tours
- Other articles you might like
Spring in Japan
Sakura, the beautiful cherry tree blossom, is without a doubt the most popular attraction in springtime. The stunning cherry blossom is a symbolic spring flower that marks the arrival of warmer weather and has been loved by Japanese people for centuries. There is a variety of different types of cherry blossom flowers with different colors and shapes of petals and it might be difficult for some people to spot the difference, but you can start by comparing several types of the trees that are spread across the country. The cherry blossom season lasts about 2 weeks, depending on the region and the weather, but typically starts towards the end of March. During this period many famous sakura viewing spots will be extremely crowded. But also other flower parks throughout Japan feature all different kinds of spring flowers that make for a beautiful sight. Japan boasts a number of tourist destinations that offer incredible scenery during the spring season. Here is a list of the best spring destinations in Japan.
Kawazuzakura (河津ザクラ) refers to a specific type of cherry blossom which can be seen in the Kawazu area located on the Izu peninsula in Shizuoka prefecture. It is known as an early-blooming cherry blossom, and its beautiful flowers start to open up from early February. The flower has large petals which have a relatively dark pink color. Along the Kawazu river, the Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival is held from the early February through the beginning of March and draws millions of visitors every year. The popular event fascinates visitors with about 800 cherry blossom trees blooming along the river!
2. Mother Farm
Mother Farm is a popular tourist attraction located in Chiba prefecture. Located on Mt. Kano, it covers a vast area of 250ha that is suited for a range of outdoor activities and entertaining attractions. Visitors can enjoy interacting with cute animals such as sheep, horses, cows as well as smaller animals including rabbits and capybara. Horse riding is one of the most popular activities among children. The farm is also home to a variety of seasonal flowers. During the summer season, it draws numerous visitors with a beautiful petunia garden offering incredible scenery created by the pink flowers. For children, Wakuwaku Land is an enjoyable theme park with exciting rides and attractions such as a Ferris wheel and a roller coaster!
3. Huis Ten Bosch
Huis Ten Bosch is known as one of the most popular theme parks in Japan. It is located in Nagasaki Prefecture in the Kyushu region, and attracts almost 3 million visitors every year. The Western-style buildings are based on the townscape found in the Netherlands back in the 17th century. The name of the park means “house of forest” in Dutch. The park features a peaceful river running through the park for 8km, along which houses and other buildings are built. In spring, the entire park is filled with beautiful flowers and plants that grow in the Netherlands such as tulips and roses. Special course menus and sweets that can be enjoyed only during that specific season are served at restaurants and cafes. At night, you feel as if you are in a completely different world created by thousands of lights illuminating flowers with fascinating colors.
4. Isumi Railway
Isumi Railway is a 26.8km railway line situated in the east part of Boso peninsula in Chiba Prefecture. Since its opening in 1988, it connects Ohara Station to Kazusa Nakano Station with a peaceful train ride, crossing the beautiful countryside landscape that can be enjoyed through your window. Even though it doesn’t receive a large number of passengers like major railway lines in big cities, many people go there to enjoy the sight of rape blossoms (also known as Nano Hana in Japanese), beautiful yellow flowers which start to bloom from the mid-March to early April. From late March, you can also enjoy the incredible contrast created by them and cherry blossoms!
5. Inabe Plum Festival
Along with cherry blossoms, the plum is another iconic flower that indicates the arrival of spring. They start to bloom a little earlier than cherry blossoms; the small darker pink flowers can be enjoyed from mid-February onwards. The Inabe Plum Festival is a famous festival that is held every spring in Mie Prefecture, where you can find one of the largest plum farms, covering about a 38ha area, in Inabe City Nogyo-koen. Enjoy exploring the stunning park while viewing 4,000 plum trees that spread across the park with pink and white flowers with the Suzuka Mountains in the background. On the first or second weekend of March, a special food event called Umaimon-ichi (うまいもん市) is also held. At the event you will have the chance to try local specialties from some of the neighboring areas!
Shiudeyama is a scenic mountain located in Kagawa prefecture in the Shikoku region. Facing the Seto Inland Sea, it offers a stunning view of the cluster of remote islands from the observation deck on the summit which stands 352m above sea level. Between the end of March and early April, the entire mountain is covered with majestic cherry blossoms that create a breathtaking scenery. The pink petals covering the paths and creating a magical atmosphere are a sight to behold. In spite of the remote location that is a little far from major tourist destinations such as Tokyo and Osaka, it is definitely worth visiting! You can take the bullet train or a domestic flight.
7. Mt. Yoshino
Mt. Yoshino is widely known as an amazing cherry blossom viewing spot that is situated in Nara Prefecture. The mountain is covered by thousands of cherry trees, creating a stunning scenery. Nara is home to world-famous historical sites like Todai-ji temple and the popular free-roaming deer that attract a lot of visitors. However, during the spring season, the city of Nara is packed with tourists who flock there to catch a glimpse of the iconic mountain range covered in beautiful cherry blossoms. When you have the chance to go, you will understand what the craze is about with thousands of cherry blossoms that literally spread from mountain to mountain!
8. Kawachi Wisteria Garden
If you want to enjoy spring flowers other than cherry blossoms, we recommend visiting the Kawachi Wisteria Garden in Fukuoka prefecture. The garden welcomes visitors with majestic scenery created by thousands of Wisteria flowers. They come in a range of colors which include purple, white and pink, creating an incredibly beautiful contrast along with the nature around. Walking through the 100m long Wisteria tunnel takes you to a mystical world where you can take memorable pictures with the beautiful flowers. In fall, the garden also attracts numerous visitors as a perfect spot to enjoy the autumn colors!
9. Hirosaki Park
Located in Aomori Prefecture, Hirosaki Park is widely known as one of the best cherry blossom viewing spots in the Tohoku region. From mid-April through early May, the entire park is packed with visitors from all around Japan, who want to witness the breathtaking scenery created by beautiful cherry blossoms and Hirosaki Castle. Hirosaki Castle is officially designated as one of the 12 original castles which were built in the Edo period (1603-1868) or earlier. Going on a popular boat cruise in the moat around the castle offers you a fun experience. Enjoy viewing the pink flowers dancing in the air or floating on the water gracefully!
10. Awa Katsuura Hina Matsuri
Hina Matsuri refers to a traditional Japanese custom held on March 3rd every year. People celebrate the special day by displaying beautiful hina dolls, ‘hina ningyou‘, dressed in a kimono, the traditional Japanese garment. It is mainly dedicated to girls, wishing for their good health and sound growth. Throughout Japan, many Hina festivals are organized with the most famous one being Awa Katsuura Hina Matsuri, held annually in Tokushima Prefecture. It features numerous Hina matsuri dolls that are displayed on a giant platform standing 7m high. More than 20,000 dolls donated from across Japan are also put on show to fascinate visitors! There are many food stalls selling local street food and the whole event is a fun experience.
11. Hitachi Seaside Park
Recognized as a national park in Japan, Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki prefecture is famous for having 7 areas that are filled with different types of flowers almost every season. It is said that the best time of year to go to the park is in the spring from mid-April to early May when there are thousands of nemophilia flowers that blanket the park with a beautiful light blue color. Other than viewing the flowers, there are fun outdoor activities you can enjoy such as cycling on the local trails, golfing, or having a nice BBQ. This park is only 2 hours from Tokyo and can make for a nice day trip.
12. Ashikaga Flower Park
Chosen as one of the top 10 dream destinations in the world by CNN in 2014, Ashikaga Flower Park in Tochiji prefecture is a magical place to visit in the spring. Bringing in about 1.5 million people on an average year, it is famous for its 350 wisteria trees that turn various shades of purple and are in bloom between mid-April to mid-May. This fantasy like setting looks like something you would see in a movie and is definitely worth checking out. There is an 80m long wisteria tunnel that is very picturesque and is a popular spot to snap some good shots. The famous Great Wisteria Festival takes place here every year from mid-April. Ashikaga Flower Park is also home to many other flowers including cherry trees that are usually in bloom in April.
13. Fuji Shibazakura Festival
Shibazakura, or moss phlox in English, is a species of pink flowering plant that grows on the ground but resembles sakura in color and shape. Hence the name shibazakura, shiba meaning lawn, and zakura meaning cherry blossom, roughly translating to ‘lawn cherry blossom’. The festival is held in Yamanashi prefecture from April to May near the base of Mt. Fuji, with an amazing view of the famous mountain in the background. There are usually food stands where you can buy your favorite food and drinks while enjoying an unbeatable view.
14. Unkai Terrace
Unkai Terrace is an amazing place in Hokkaido prefecture to see a beautiful view above the clouds. “Unkai” in Japanese means “sea of clouds”. Although this terrace is open from mid-May to October, the best time of year to see this spectacular sight 1,088m up is in spring. If you take the gondola up to the terrace early in the morning you can enjoy drinking a hot cup of coffee while feeling like you are on top of the world. Up at the top there are attractions like the “cloud walk”, where you literally feel like you are walking on clouds, as well as other decks that overlook the area.
15. Poppy Festival
Held annually from mid to late May in Saitama prefecture, the Poppy Festival is only about an hour away from Tokyo. Known as Japan’s largest poppy fields, Poppy Happy Square spans over 125,000 square meters and has more than 30 million poppy flowers! There are various different kinds of poppies that include California poppies as well as the common variety that tend to be red. If you are lucky enough to join the festival on a sunny day, you will have a great view of Mt. Fuji as you stroll through the vibrant poppy fields.
16. Sanja Matsuri
The Sanja Matsuri(festival) takes place in Asakusa in Tokyo and is one of the biggest festivals of the year in Japan during spring. The festival is held annually for three days on the third Saturday of May, but starts on that Friday and goes through Sunday. Every year about 1,800,000 people flock to this popular festival! You can expect big portable shrines to be carried through the streets of Asakusa, along with lots of places to buy food and drinks. If you are planning on being in the Tokyo area in the springtime, this lively festival is worth checking out.
17. Beaches in Okinawa
You might think it would be too cold to swim in the springtime, but that is not the case in Okinawa. Beaches throughout Okinawa open up in the springtime between March and April and are a perfect getaway from the still fairly chilly weather everywhere else in Japan. A great place to take advantage of spring beaching is Miyakojima, that is about 300km south of the main island and is home to a number of spectacular beaches such as Maehama Beach and Toguchi no Hama Beach. Ishigaki Island is another great place to enjoy in spring with beaches that are hard to beat. Yonehara Beach, Sukui Beach, and Fusaki Beach are a few of the famous ones. Okinawa is a great option if you want to be somewhere warm where you can swim in spring.
18. The strawberry kingdom:Tochigi
Another fun thing to do in Japan in spring is visit what is known as the strawberry kingdom, Tochigi prefecture, where as you may have guessed, strawberries are the main attraction. Although Ashikaga Flower Park might be the most famous destination in the prefecture, who wouldn’t want to go pick and eat strawberries too? Tochigi happens to be the biggest cultivator nationwide when it comes to strawberries. Some of the farms even have an all you can pick and eat activity that you can partake in! With rich nature and fertile land as well as a climate that has long sunlight hours during winter and a large temperature difference between day and night, there are various farms overflowing with strawberries throughout the prefecture.
19. Kanda Matsuri
Kanda Matsuri(festival) is a big festival that takes place at Kanda Myojin in Ochanomizu in Tokyo. This special event is known as one of the three major festivals of Tokyo and is held over the span of a week. Although this festival is held every year during the springtime in mid-April, the events of the festival change every year depending on whether the year is odd or even. On an odd numbered year, it is called “Honmatsuri”, and is held in quite an upscale and lavish way. However on an even numbered year, it is called “Kage Matsuri”, and it is shorter as well as less luxurious. Whether it’s an odd or even year, it is an amazing event to witness in the spring.
20. Mifuneyama Rakuen
Located at the base of Mt. Mifune in Saga prefecture, Mifuneyama Rakuen is a massive garden spreading 500,000 square meters. Filled with flowers that change color from season to season, spring is one of the best times to go see this beautilful sight in Japan. During springtime, when you first make your way into the garden it’s almost hard to believe that it’s real, as all of the flowers are in bloom and make an ocean of all different colors. In this area, the sakura(cherry blossoms) bloom from late March to early April, while the Azalea usually bloom from mid April to May. The garden is right next to Takeo Onsen so you can enjoy a relaxing overnight stay if you want as well.
Japan Wonder Travel Tours
Japan Wonder Travel is a local travel agency based in Tokyo and Kyoto, offering all different kinds of tours. Whether you are looking for the best places to visit in the whole of Japan, want to eat some delicious local food or learn about the interesting Japanese history and culture, we can help you! We arrange tours in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka but also more off the beaten path locations such as Fukushima. If you need some help organizing your trip to Japan, be sure to contact us. We can help you out with your itinerary in Japan, and customize tours to your liking. We’d be delighted to help make your trip to Japan a safe, comfortable, and unforgettable one! Here are some of our popular tours & services:
Traveling around Japan in spring will allow you to witness the most impressive scenery with some of the most beautiful, unique flowers in full bloom. They bring the refreshing smell of a new season that embraces us peacefully and gracefully. You can explore other famous tourist attractions with pleasant weather which will make your time in Japan exceptional. We hope you found some Japan spring destinations that you want to visit!