10 Best Things to do in Japan in Spring 2024

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Writer’s Profile

Bryce was born in California, but raised from the age of 3 near Seattle, Washington. He’s been living in Tokyo for about 7 years, and graduated from Temple University, Japan with degrees in economics and international business. He loves traveling of course, but also cooking, snowboarding, some video games as well. His biggest interest is songwriting/music production, more specifically electronic music… (think Skrillex, Marshmello, Daft Punk, etc.) He also has terrible humor as you’ll notice, but he hopes you’ll enjoy it!

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Japan is blessed with 4 distinctive seasons (and 72 microseasons, if you want to get technical) and definitely knows how to enjoy them! Spring is arguably the favorite due to the occurrence of Golden week, a string of holidays at the beginning of May, as well as the vibrant, traditional cherry blossom viewing celebration of Hanami. The cold weather fades into a colorful array of festivals, flowers, and fun for everyone. You’ll have no problem finding enjoyment this time of the year no matter where you are in Japan, it’s truly an uplifting vibe. Without further ado, let’s talk about how to enjoy a Japanese spring!

tsukiji banner

1. Cherry blossom viewing

sakura cherry blossom

Nothing says spring in Japan like Hanami or enjoying the blooming of cherry blossoms. Every spring, around March to May, you’ll be able to see the Sakura trees show off their beauty by flourishing their light pink petals in spectacular abundance! In most parts of Japan, it occurs from late March to early April. Though in southern regions and northern regions, they will bloom earlier or later, respectively. The pinnacle of Hanami has to be picnics under the trees or lively festivals at parks or shrines. There are various places across Japan that are more or less dedicated to Hanami and may boast thousands of trees in a range of varieties. You absolutely can’t go wrong with Hanami.

2. Go Cycling on an E-Bike

Another great way to enjoy the fresh air and get some exercise is to go on a bike ride, or an E-Bike ride. Japan’s density is a blessing and can be a bit overwhelming in some ways because everything feels so close together. But cycling and being able to get to where you’re going much more quickly reveals just how much there is to see in a short time. Not to mention Japan’s infrastructure is quite immaculate, and there are many places and trails designed for cycling for all skill levels. Rent a stylish and trendy E-Bike for a couple hours, a full day, or even join a tour with a trusty guide!

E-Bike Rental

3-hour Tokyo local E-bike Tour (Tsukiji, Ningyo-cho and Kiyosumi area)

3. Strawberry picking

Transition from pink to red and turn those petals into fruit by picking some strawberries! Until mid-May, this is undoubtedly a fruitful activity to do with your friends and family! TokyoFukuoka, and Tochigi are notable locations for picking some of the sweetest varieties, each region has its own type. As wholesome as strawberry picking may seem, the peak of strawberry affluence lies in the Gifu prefecture, just a bit north of Tokyo. The “Bijin Hime” (beautiful princess) strawberries can be purchased here at an appalling ¥400,000 – ¥450,000. Each berry is meticulously grown for 45 days in a maximum quantity of 500 a year. 

4. Plum blossom viewing

plum blossoms

Intimidated by the designer strawberries? Well, let’s head back to the safe zone of pretty pink flowers. Another variety of trees that blooms in another pleasant but darker shade are the plum trees. They bloom a bit earlier than the cherry blossoms and have a somewhat different yet overall similar look. Just like the cherry blossoms, there are plenty of locations where you’ll be able to catch some incredible views. It’s also a great time to harvest some plums to make umeshu, a popular Japanese alcohol. It’s basically a type of wine, though it’s typically very sweet compared to other wines.

5. Go to a festival

フェレス, CC-BY-SA-2.1-JP, Via Wikimedia Commons

Festivals are year-round for Japan as they are often focused on the changing of seasons and the lore that comes with them. Winter festivals and summer festivals can be a bit brutal for the temperature-sensitive, and, combined with the bliss of Hanami, the refreshing warmth of the spring welcomes some of Japan’s biggest festivals! In fact, Japan’s biggest festival of all, Hakata Dontaku, is held at the beginning of May! You’ll have to see to believe the remarkable 30,000 participants and 2,000,000 spectators; those averages are so high for a good reason, no doubt! Of course, there is a menagerie of other festivals with each their own wonderfully vibrant traditional themes.

6. Other spring flowers (Wisteria, pink moss, nemophila)

Yes, believe it or not, there is more foliage to enjoy throughout Japan! You’ll have to dedicate your entire spring in order to see it all. One dreamy variety is the lavender wisteria. Check out Tochigi for a nearly 100,000 square meter area of them that creates a sky of purple, or head to Kyushu for a similar experience but in tunnel form! Speaking of the sky, head to Ibaraki to find the sky on the ground in this huge seaside field of nemophila! And, coming full circle, another opportunity to enjoy the color pink. Commonly referred to as “pink moss,” a variety of flowers called shibazakura covers the ground like grass, almost like a pink version of the nemophila. There are various places to check it out, such as ChichibuHokkaido, and near mt. Fuji!

7. Celebrate Children’s Day/Koinobori festivals

Children’s day is a holiday that comes on May 5th and is the last of the holidays that make up Golden Week. This holiday actually has been celebrated since ancient times but was officially recognized as a national holiday in 1948. You’ll know it’s children’s day once you see all the Koi flags! Different colors represent the members of the family. Additionally, you can enjoy Koinobori festivals across Japan, where the flags are hung in abundance across rivers; it’s a very peaceful and fun thing to experience.

8. Go to a park

You don’t have to go to places with natural wonders like huge fields of pink moss or wisteria tunnels to relax and enjoy the spring weather. Japan may be home to some of the most densely populated areas in the world, but they take very good care of their parks, and it’s easy to find them even in downtown areas. If you’re trying to find the best of the best in Japan, look no further than our expertly crafted list!

9. Tateyama Kurobe alpine route

elminium, CC-BY-2.0, Via Wikimedia Commons

An incredible sightseeing adventure you can go on from mid-April to the end of November is the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. The full course offers many scenic photo opportunities, but the claim to fame is the snow corridor. Reminiscent of the snow course from Mario Kart 64, if you know it, the 20-meter-high walls of snow tower over the road as you ride through in a bus or a car if you have access to one. You can also walk through part of it, though this is only possible until June 25th.

10. Late-season Skiing in Hokkaido

Robert Thomson, CC BY-NC 2.0, Via Flickr

Hokkaido, being the northernmost island of the four main ones that make up Japan, will have snow for longer than any other region! If you’re a spring skiing fan, you’ll enjoy some top-of-the-line opportunities until as late as May. The Niseko United resort consisting of 4 different areas, is a great place to start, but be sure to check out our list of other resorts throughout Hokkaido to find your best match!

Japan Wonder Travel Tours 

Japan Wonder Travel is a travel agency that offers guided tours throughout Japan. 
From private walking tours to delicious Food and Drink tours, we can help you organize the best tours just for you! If you want to explore Japan and learn more about the history and backstories of each area you are visiting, our knowledgeable and friendly English speaking guides will happily take you to the best spots! 
In addition, we can provide you with any assistance you may need for your upcoming trip to Japan, so please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need some help! 

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Explore the most lively and popular fish market in Tokyo and try some of the local’s favorite street foods and sake with one of our friendly and knowledgeable English speaking guides! 

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Tokyo 1–Day Highlights Private Walking Tour (8 Hours)
There’s no better way to explore an area than taking a tour with a knowledgeable local guide. You will have the chance to learn about the history and interesting background stories of Tokyo, as well as discover some hidden gems which can be hard to do without a guide.

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Mt. Fuji Day Trip Bus Tour from Tokyo
Experience the breathtaking views of Mt. Fuji by visiting the highlights of the area on our guided sightseeing bus tour! Departing from Shinjuku in central Tokyo, you can travel comfortably to all of the best spots in the area by bus.

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Kyoto Private Full Day Walking Tour
On this full-day private tour of Kyoto, you will be able to see the highlights of Kyoto in just one day and at the same time develop a deeper understanding of both the culture of the area and Japan as a whole.

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