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The cherry blossom or sakura is Japan’s unofficial national flower. The sakura season is between February and April. Sakura start blooming in southern islands of Okinawa and go up all the way to Hokkaido over the period of a month and a half.

The sakura season is celebrated with hanami (cherry blossom viewing) parties under sakura trees at parks and by lakes. So, when is the best time for sakura viewing this year in 2016? The verdict is out! Cherry Blossoms in Japan – Sakura Forecast 2016:

Sakura weather forecast

Cherry Blossoms Forecast

According to the Sakura Weather Map website, the general prediction of cherry blossom is slightly later than an average pace in 2016. Sakura is predicted to begin opening in late March and reach full bloom around early April in many of Japan’s major cities, including Tokyo and Yokohama.

The earliest blossom is predicted to happen in Fukuoka on the 23rd of March. Sakura in the rest of the country will start blossoming after the 25th of March.

The Best Viewing Time across Japan

FUKUOKA March 23
NAGOYA March 26
OSAKA March 29
TOKYO March 27
NIIGATA April 10
SENDAI April 10
TOHOKU Region Data not available yet

Now that we roughly know when sakura starts opening this year, the next important question is where to go.

My personal favorite (and a hidden gem in the Kanto Region) is the Mitsuike Park in Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama. It is not as big as the famous Ueno Park in Tokyo, but there will be less people and most of the visitors are usually locals (very few tourists). The Mitsuike Park expands across three ponds and has 78 different kinds of sakura.

The total number of sakura trees at Mitsuike Park is 1600. The park is actually chosen as one of the official 100 Best Places for Sakura (cherry blossom) Viewing.

Mitsuike Park, Tsurumi, Yokohama

Mitsuike Park, Tsurumi, Yokohama (src: www.blog.livedoor.jp)

Popular Sakura Viewing Spots in Tokyo

  • Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

    • Entry fee is 200yen, but it’s totally worth it. Easy access from Shinjuku Station or Metro Shinjuku Gyoen Station.
  • Ueno Park

    • Definitely most crowded park in the entire country during the sakura season. Avoid weekends if possible. Good place if you are a party type, if not, try elsewhere.
  • Chidorigafuchi

    • Located near Yasukuni Shrine. Hundreds of sakura trees cover the moats of former Edo Castle around Kitanomaru Park. Best view from a rowing boat which is available for rent. Evening light-ups.
  • Meguro River

    • 800 Somei Yoshino Sakura trees decorate the 3.5km long of Meguro River. The best way to view sakura there is just walk along the river and enjoy the view. The most popular sakura viewing site according to several websites.

Night Sakura Viewing Spots in Tokyo

All our staff are also gearing up for the sakura hanami season in our Tokyo office. This year, we are definitely going to keep you posted about sakura blossom. For those who are not able to make it to Japan this sakura season, we have 2016 Sakura Collection at our online store! Let our Sakura Collection make your life pink right at home.

Sakura Collection at Takaski

See the complete Sakura Collection here.