10 Best Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots in Northern Japan April-May 2024

Shiroishi Riverside Hitome Senbonzakura Places to visit in Japan

Most people think of the cherry blossom season as a short period from mid March to early April. However, the further north you go in Japan, the later the cherry blossoms tend to bloom. That being said, the cherry blossoms in most places up in the Tohoku and Hokkaido regions of Japan aren’t in full bloom until mid to late April or even early May! For those of you who missed out on seeing the sakura down south or in the more central parts of Japan, this could be a great opportunity for you to check out some beautiful, underrated, and less crowded late blooming cherry blossom spots in northern Japan. Here are 10 of the best cherry blossom viewing spots in northern Japan from April to May! 

If you are interested in the cherry blossom forecast for 2024, check out our article here: 

What Is Cherry Blossom Viewing (Hanami)?

Hanami(花見), or cherry blossom viewing, is a tradition that has a long history in Japan and literally means to look at or appreciate flowers in Japanese. It is a traditional custom to enjoy the very short lived but sweet and beautiful sight of the sakura in spring. In contemporary Japan, hanami is usually done by having a picnic under the blooming cherry blossom trees with food and drinks while observing and appreciating the short lived delicacy. However, due to the effects of COVID-19 and the countermeasures Japan is taking to help prevent the spread of the virus, some public parks and areas are not allowing people to sit and do hanami. Please be sure to check the official website of each area before making your way to each spot. 

Cherry Blossom Viewing During Golden Week 2024

If you are living or working in Japan, odds are you will have Golden Week off from work or school. Golden Week in 2024 will be from May 3rd to May 6th, with April 29th being a national holiday as well. It is a great time of year when you can celebrate holidays like Children’s Day and see all of the amazing koinobori festivals throughout Japan. Being a long vacation, it is also a great opportunity to see the late blooming sakura up north! Tohoku and Hokkaido are beautiful places in the spring and they might just be the perfect golden week destination for you. 

Without further ado, here is our list of 10 of the best cherry blossom viewing spots in northern Japan! 

1. Hirosaki Castle/Park (Aomori)

hirosaki castle sakura

The historical landmark Hirosaki Castle in Hirosaki park in Aomori prefecture is known as one of the top 3 best cherry blossom viewing spots in the Tohoku region. The park gets over 2 million visitors during the cherry blossom season every year to see the amazing 2,600 Yoshino and weeping cherry trees in bloom. Throughout the park there are various different spots that have remarkable views. If you are lucky enough to make it to the park on a sunny day, you will be able to see Mt. Iwaki in the background that makes for a magnificent and picturesque atmosphere along with the castle and pink scenery. 

Best time to see cherry blossoms: Mid April – Early May

Location: Hirosaki Park

Website: Hirosaki Park

2. Kitakami Tenshochi Park (Iwate) 

Kitakami Tenshochi Park in Iwate prefecture is known as one of the best places to view cherry blossoms in Japan. There are various different kinds of cherry trees along this park with a whopping 10,000 cherry trees total! This park is great for a long walk or a nice little picnic while doing hanami under the cherry blossoms. The Kitakami Tenshochi Cherry Blossom Festival is held from the early April to the end of April every year and has visitors from across the country. In addition to the cherry blossoms in full bloom, there are also koinobori, or carp streamers, as well as horse drawn carriages that you can take a ride on, making for a nostalgic atmosphere that is fun for people of all ages. 

Best time to see cherry blossoms:  Early to Late April

Location: Kitakami Tenshochi Park

Website: Kitakami Cherry Blossom Festival

3. Shiroishi Riverside Hitome Senbonzakura (Miyagi)

In Japanese, ‘Hitome Senbonzakura’ means “view of a thousand cherry trees”, which is exactly what this stunning riverside spot is. The Shiroishi River runs next to the Zao Mountains in Miyagi prefecture. You can walk for about 8 km along the river and you will be accompanied by the beautiful cherry blossoms the whole way. There are various different sakura events in this area in the spring so be sure to check their website for more information. The cherry trees in full bloom along with the peaceful flowing river and the mountainous background make you feel like you are in a different world. 

Best time to see cherry blossoms: Early – Late April

Location: Hitome Senbonzakura

Website: Shiroishi Riverside Hitome Senbonzakura

4. Yonomori Sakura Tunnel (Fukushima) 

The Yonomori Sakura Tunnel in Fukushima prefecture is a road that runs near the coast and has about 1,500 cherry trees that hang over the road making for a magnificent pink tunnel. The cherry trees are of the Somei Yoshino variety and many of them are over 100 years old. The Sakura Festival for 2024 is on April 6th and 7th, however, the cherry blossoms will be blooming for longer in the month of April. 

Best time to see cherry blossoms: Early – Late April

Location: Yonomori Sakura Tunnel

Website: Tomioka Town Sakura Festival 

5. Sakura Nanohana Road (Akita)

Sakura Nanohana Road in Akita prefecture is an 11km stretch that runs through Ogata Village. Lining the road are about 3,700 cherry trees accompanied by a beautiful contrast of spring-colored yellow nanohana, which are young shoots of the rapeseed plant. There is a cherry blossom and nanohana festival held every year from late April to early May that includes picking flowers as well as a mini steam train that you can ride through the nanohana fields. The pink and yellow together make for a true spring feeling and a sight that you surely won’t forget.   

Best time to see cherry blossoms: Late April – Early May

Location: Nanohana Road

Website: Sakura Nanohana Road

6. Goryokaku Park (Hokkaido)

Goryokaku Park in Hakodate, Hokkaido prefecture, is a massive park that was built in the shape of a star. The park is Japan’s first French-style fort and is one of the best places for cherry blossom viewing in the country. It has about 1,600 cherry trees in total and is designated as a special historic site. You can also get more of a bird’s eye view of the park from the Adjoining Goryokaku Tower Observatory right next to the park which gives you a spectacular panoramic view of the whole area. It costs ¥500 for adults and ¥250 for kids to get into the park but it will 100% be worth your while. 

Best time to see cherry blossoms: Late April – Early May

Location: Goryokaku Park

Website: Goryokaku Park (Japanese)

7. Nicchu Line Memorial Walkway (Fukushima) 

The Nicchu Line Memorial Walkway in Fukushima prefecture has a beautiful abundance of about 1,000 cherry trees that is truly a sight to see in full bloom. The Nicchu Line that used to run there was abolished in the 1980’s and is now a peaceful place for people to take a nice stroll and enjoy spring flowers. The trees lined up here are weeping cherry trees and gracefully hang down making for almost a tunnel-like atmosphere of pink. Midway through the walkway, you can also see the old locomotive that once ran through the area along the Nicchu Line. 

Best time to see cherry blossoms: Mid – Late April

Location: Nicchu Line Memorial Walkway

Website: Kitakata Tourism

8. Nijukken Road (Hokkaido)

nijukken road sakura

Nijukken Road is known to be one of the best places to see cherry blossoms in all of Japan. The road is about a 7km stretch lined with around 3,000 blooming cherry trees in the springtime. Every year in early May the Shizunai Cherry Blossom Festival is held and attracts over 200,000 people from across the country. There is a nice sidewalk that you can walk along if you want to enjoy the short lived cherry blossoms more up close and personal. However driving along this road is also always a great option as you feel like you are in a scene from a movie.  

Best time to see cherry blossoms: Early – Mid May

Location: Nijukken Road Cherry Blossoms

Website: Shinhidaka Hokkaido

9. Okitama Sakura Corridor (Yamagata) 

Okitama Sakura Corridor in the Okitama region of Yamagata prefecture is a long corridor that stretches about 40km along the Yamagata Railway Flower Nagai Line. The line of trees has a number of different kinds of cherry trees that makes for a wonderful atmosphere of various colors. There is also one very famous cherry tree in the area called the “Lonesome Cherry Tree”  that is said to have been there for over 1,000 years and is a piece of the area’s history and culture as well as two other famous trees that have been named Natural Monuments of Japan. 

Best time to see cherry blossoms: Mid – Late April

Location: Eboshiyama Park

Website: Okitama Tourism

10. Hanamiyama Park (Fukushima)

Hanamiyama Park is also located in Fukushima prefecture and is known as a utopia in the Tohoku region. It is a beautiful flower-filled park on a hill in Fukushima City. It used to be more of a hidden spring flower destination but now is more well known and gets visitors from all over Japan every year. In Spring, if you are lucky and are there at the right time, you will be able to see forsythia, maple, quince, peach, plum, and cherry blossoms all in bloom together making for an unforgettable sight. When the weather is nice, you can also see the Adatara and Azuma Mountains in the distance which are usually still snowcapped, which makes for a beautiful contrast in color. 

Best time to see cherry blossoms: Early – Late April

Location: Hanamiyama Park

Website: Hanamiya

Regions like Tohoku and Hokkaido are so beautiful in the spring and are worth making the trip whether you are planning on viewing cherry blossoms or not. The nature and scenery up north is truly a sight to see and there are so many hidden places to explore. With the cherry blossom season being so short-lived, it is best to take advantage of every opportunity you can to see them throughout Japan. We hope you can make the trip up north and check out all of the beautiful cherry blossom viewing spots in northern Japan!

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Happy traveling!

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