Miho Shimizu is a Japanese freelance writer settled in Shizuoka with her husband and two rabbits. Fascinated with travelling at the age of 18, she has spent most of her long holidays exploring incredible spots around Japan. Also love to listen to music, draw, and read novels over a cup of green tea.
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Spring is one of the most popular seasons to come to Japan for beautiful cherry blossoms throughout Japan. You can also expect to enjoy the mild climate and watch other colorful spring flowers in full bloom. It’s crowded with international tourists but it’s relatively less busy for Japanese travelers compared to long holiday seasons such as Golden Week in early May and summer holiday in the mid-August. Though you should avoid the weekends and national holidays when you visit the popular tourist spots, you may have a chance to see less crowded tourist attractions.
If you are planning to spend a week holiday in Japan, but have no idea where to go and what to do, why not go on a 7-day trip to enjoy beautiful cherry blossoms across Japan? Here is our 7 days spring itinerary in Japan to enjoy the beautiful spring!
- Day 1: Tokyo (Narita Airport > Tokyo Station)
- Day 2: Tokyo (Meguro River > Shibuya)
- Day 3: Tokyo (Asakusa > Ueno)
- Day 4: Kyoto (Kiyomizu Temple > Gion)
- Day 5: Nara or Osaka
- Day 6: Kyoto (Philosopher’s Path > Silver Pavilion)
- Day 7: Narita (before your flight)
- Cherry Blossom Forecast 2023
- Japan Wonder Travel Tours
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Day 1: Tokyo (Narita Airport > Tokyo Station)
Start your journey from Narita Airport, which is the main international gateway to the best tourist attractions in Tokyo. Don’t forget to check their luggage delivery service which conveniently allows you to travel without carrying your luggage. You can drop off your luggage at their counter in the airport, and it will be delivered to your hotel or other domestic locations across Japan at a specified time and date. From Narita Airport, Narita Express operates between Narita Airport to Tokyo Station every 30 minutes, and it is about a 50-minute train ride to Tokyo Station (costs around ¥3,000)
If you want to save money, you can also take a shuttle bus from the airport to Tokyo Station which costs only ¥1,300 yen.
Once you arrive at Tokyo Station, head to Tokyo Imperial Palace, which is about a 15-minute walk from the station. Widely known as an official residence of Japan’s Imperial family, but its beautiful garden attracts numerous visitors which are open to the public all year round. Walking around the spacious and peaceful gardens will allow you to see historical buildings as well as seasonal flowers and plants. During springtime, many people flock to the garden to admire the beautiful cherry blossoms in full bloom along Inui Street from late March to April.
Another spot you can go, which is one of the most popular cherry blossom viewing spots in Tokyo, is Chidorigafuchi Park. It is located along the north-eastern moat of the palace, and it is particularly famous for a paddle boat experience in a moat, which also offers majestic views of cherry blossoms brightly illuminated at night.
Taking a couple of hours for a pleasant walk around this area will be good for stretching your legs after the long flight.
Day 2: Tokyo (Meguro River > Shibuya)
It is a great idea to spend your second day in Tokyo exploring both the best cherry blossom spots and most popular tourist attractions. Meguro River is a popular cherry blossom viewing spot that boasts a row of cherry blossom trees stretching about 4 kilometers along the peaceful Meguro River. From late March to early April, about 800 sakura trees fascinate visitors with the lovely pink petals which completely cover the beautiful stream, making it a perfect spot for taking a memorable stroll.
After enjoying a relaxing time in nature, head to Shibuya for the famous crossing and Harajuku area which both offer the best shopping and dining experiences with an endless array of small shops, cafes and restaurants. Some shops may release limited editions of Sakura flavored food and drinks which are available only during the springtime. Yoyogi Park and Meiji Jingu Shrine are the top-rated tourist attractions around the area and they are particularly popular for the stunning cherry blossoms.
Recommended: Half-day private tour in Tokyo
▶Tokyo Private Tour [Customized, 4 Hours]
Day 3: Tokyo (Asakusa > Ueno)
The final day in Tokyo starts from the Asakusa area, which is home to Tokyo’s oldest Buddhist temple known as Senso-ji Temple. Nakamise-dori Shopping Street is a lively shopping spot packed with lively shops and stalls selling a wide range of food, drinks and items perfect for souvenirs. Walking along the bustling shopping street will enable you to feel the traditional atmosphere before paying a visit to the sacred temple with a history of over 1,400 years. Denpoin Temple is also found nearby and it has a beautiful Japanese garden which is open to the public from mid-March to early May. It is best known for the symbolic weeping cherry tree and many people take memorable pictures of the tree against a backdrop of Tokyo Skytree!
From Asakusa station it is about a 30-minute train ride and a 10-minute walk to Ueno Park, where you can enjoy watching 1,400 cherry blossom trees. At the site of the park, there are temples, shrines, museums and the zoo. Ueno Zoo is perfect for a family trip to get up close to friendly animals, including popular giant pandas!
In the evening, hop on the JR Shinkansen from Tokyo station, and take a 2-hour ride to Kyoto station. For the following three days let’s explore the best tourist attractions in Kyoto and cherry blossom spots in the Kansai region!
Day 4: Kyoto (Kiyomizu Temple > Gion)
Let’s start your first day in Kyoto slowly, as it may not be a good idea to visit too many places at once. Getting around Kyoto is much easier if you know what public transport is best to take depending on your destination.
The first destination on our itinerary is Kiyomizu-dera Temple, which is easily accessible by bus from JR Kyoto station for only ¥230. This Buddhist temple was built in 798, and officially designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. About 1,500 cherry blossoms welcome visitors which are beautifully lit up at night from late March to early April. Kodaiji Temple is also within walking distance from Kiyomizu-dera Temple, and the peaceful temple allows visitors to admire beautiful weeping cherry blossoms in a Zen garden. The lovely garden is beautifully lit up at night during an annual spring event from early March to early May.
From Kiyomizu-dera Temple, it is about a 30-minute walk to Gion District (also known as Geisha district), which fascinates tourists with a stunning townscape of traditional buildings and tea houses along a beautiful stone-paved street. Yasaka Shrine and Maruyama Park are also easily accessible from there.
Take the best guided tour in Kyoto to make your trip more fun!
▶Kyoto Private Full Day Walking Tour [Customizable]
Day 5: Nara or Osaka
For your second day in the Kansai region, choose either Nara or Osaka as your day trip destination from Kyoto.
If you want to visit Nara, take the JR or Kintetsu Railway line from Kyoto station. It’ll take less than an hour to arrive in Nara.
Nara is home to world-famous ancient temples and shrines, including Todaiji Temple and Kofukuji Temple.
Nara Park is a perfect spot to enjoy watching beautiful cherry blossoms in full bloom and feeding friendly wild deer roaming around the peaceful park.
Mt. Yoshino is the most popular cherry blossom viewing spot in Nara which boasts about 200 different types of cherry blossoms spreading out across the hillside of the symbolic mountain.
Popular walking tour in Nara
▶Nara World Heritage Private Walking Tour from Kyoto
Osaka is an alternative option for those who prefer modern and exciting experiences in a big city. Take a JR Kyoto line’s Special Rapid Service then you’ll get to Osaka in about 30 minutes!
Osaka Castle is a symbolic structure in Osaka which was built back in 1583. Osaka Castle Park is adjacent to the historic castle and covers a beautiful area of 105.6 ha which is home to more than 3,000 cherry blossoms. The best time to see the cherry blossom is from late March to early April, and night time illumination events are held during the season. Dotonbori is a bustling shopping and dining hub which is perfect for trying Osaka’s unique food culture.
Check out our popular walking tour in Osaka
▶Osaka Highlights Private Walking Tour
Day 6: Kyoto (Philosopher’s Path > Silver Pavilion)
Before traveling back to Tokyo, once again let’s explore Kyoto and enjoy a bit more of the area. Philosopher’s Path is a lovely walking path located in the northern part of Koyo. It is a perfect spot for taking a relaxing stroll in a pleasant atmosphere while enjoying cherry blossoms in full bloom along a peaceful canal. From there, it is about a 10-minute short walk to Ginkakuji (also known as “Silver Pavilion” as opposed to Golden Pavilion), Zen Buddhist temple built in 1490 by Ashikaga Yoshimasa, the 8th Shogun of the Muromachi Shogunate. The beautiful temple grounds are home to historic structures as well as spectacular Japanese-style gardens with seasonal plants and flowers.
Take the JR Shinkansen from Kyoto to Tokyo and spend the rest of the day as you like. It would be a good idea to visit some popular shopping areas like Nihonbashi and Ginza to buy Japanese souvenirs that you can take back home.
If you like anime or games, visit Akihabara which is known as a geek town! Those areas are easily accessible from Tokyo Station.
Day 7: Narita (before your flight)
If you have time on your last day before your flight, how about exploring around the airport area instead of just waiting at the terminal? Stop by at Naritasan Park which is about a 1.5-hour train ride from central Tokyo and takes about 10 minutes to Narita International Airport by either JR or Keisei Line. This beautiful park is particularly popular among international tourists with the seasonal flowers that fascinate visitors all year round. Naritasan Shinshoji is an iconic Buddhist temple built in 940 and the huge temple grounds are home to historical buildings, lovely gardens with pond and fountain, and a popular shopping street packed with souvenir shops!
Cherry Blossom Forecast 2023
Cherry blossoms are a symbolic flower in Japan that has been loved by Japanese people from ancient times. There are about 200 different types of cherry blossoms across Japan, and one week of travel will allow you to visit multiple destinations which offer different experiences with great cherry blossom scenery. Since cherry blossoms start to bloom at different times in different regions, it is important to carefully check the flowering forecast before your trip.
|Location||Flowering date||Full bloom date||Flowering avg.|
|Tokyo||March 22||March 30||March 24|
|Kyoto||March 27||April 5||March 26|
|Osaka||March 28||April 5||March 27|
|Nara||March 29||April 4||March 28|
Make sure to check our full cherry blossom flowering forecast for 2022 and enjoy the breathtakingly beautiful spring blooms!
Japan Wonder Travel Tours
Japan Wonder Travel offers the best private tours throughout Japan.
Let us take you to the highlights of the area and local’s secret hidden spots which you’ll never find otherwise. You can also learn about the Japanese culture, history and backstories of the town etc! These tours can be customized upon your request.
- Tokyo 1-Day Private Walking Tour (8 Hours)
- Kyoto Private Full Day Walking Tour [Customizable]
- Osaka Highlights Private Walking Tour
- Nara World Heritage Private Walking Tour from Kyoto