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5 Tips For Stunning Sakura Season In Japan

Every year, Japan undergoes a breathtaking transformation as cherry blossoms, known as sakura in Japan, burst into full bloom. This magical season, typically lasting from late March to early April, paints the country in delicate shades of pink and white.

Travellers from around the world flock to Japan during this time to witness the captivating beauty of Sakura. In this guide, we will take you on a journey through Japan’s Sakura season, from obtaining a visa to experiencing the enchantment firsthand.

Getting a Visa to Japan

Before embarking on your Sakura adventure, it’s essential to ensure that you have the necessary documents to enter Japan. Depending on your nationality, you may need to obtain a visa for Japan.

The Japanese government offers various types of visas, including tourist visas, which allow visitors to explore the country for up to 90 days.

To apply for a tourist visa, you will typically need a valid passport, a completed application form, a recent photograph, proof of travel itinerary, and evidence of financial stability.

Remember to allow ample time for the visa application process, as it may take several weeks to obtain the necessary documentation.

Experiencing Japan’s Sakura Season

Once you have secured your visa, it’s time to immerse yourself in the splendor of Japan’s Sakura season. It varies from year to year, depending on weather conditions and geographical location.

Keep an eye on the cherry blossom forecast, known as “Sakura zensen,” which predicts the blooming dates for different regions of Japan. Plan your trip accordingly, aiming to visit when the Sakura is in full bloom.

Iconic Sakura Spots

Sakura season in Japan.

Japan boasts numerous picturesque locations where you can witness the blooming cherry blossoms in all their glory. Tokyo’s Ueno Park, Kyoto’s Maruyama Park, and Osaka Castle Park are just a few examples of renowned Sakura viewing spots.

Take the time to explore these iconic locations and discover hidden gems throughout the country.

Hanami Picnics

Japan in spring, park scene in Sapporo.

Hanami, meaning “flower viewing,” is a beloved tradition during the Sakura season. Join locals and fellow travellers by setting up a picnic under the cherry blossom trees.

Pack a blanket, some delicious Japanese snacks, and perhaps a bottle of sake to fully indulge in the ambiance and beauty surrounding you.

One of my favourite spots where I had a hanami was with Japanese friends watching the sakura in the city of Sapporo in the northern province of Hokkaido.

Nighttime Illuminations

Some parks and gardens offer nighttime illuminations, transforming the Sakura experience into a mesmerising display of lights and colours.

These illuminations, known as “yozakura,” create a unique atmosphere, casting an ethereal glow upon the cherry blossoms. Be sure to check the schedules of these illuminations in your chosen locations.

Sakura Season in Japan

Japan’s Sakura season is a truly enchanting time, filled with natural beauty and cultural significance. From the moment the cherry blossoms burst into bloom, the country is enveloped in a captivating atmosphere.

By following the tips outlined in this guide, you can enhance your experience and make the most of this magical season. Start planning your journey to Japan and immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring allure of Sakura.

Remember, the Sakura season is a fleeting phenomenon, so seize the opportunity to witness this extraordinary natural spectacle while it lasts.

For more on travel in Japan take a look at my extensive guides to Japan.

Of course, it’s not only in Japan that you can see cherry blossoms, they are seen in many places in the world, although it is in Japan where you will find a truly unique experience seeing them as it’s integrated into their very culture.

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