By: Jiyi Zheng, Program Intern 

Spring, a time of renewal and growth. The cycle of life starts again. With the arrival of spring, the enchanting cherry blossom trees begin to bloom. As fleeting as the spring season, the cherry blossom’s life is very short.  

Japan is well-known for the cherry blossom as there are many wonderful sites to see them in full bloom. With this post, I am going to introduce you to some of the most cherry blossom sites in Japan! 

The most symbolic site is “The Three Great Cherry Blossom Trees of Japan.” These are the three oldest, ancient cherry blossom trees and were assigned as the nature memorial of the country. 

 

  1. Jindai-zakura

Jindai-zakura and its neighbor (Photo credit: Skyseeker) 

This is the oldest cherry blossom tree in Japan. It is more than 2,000 years old and is said to have been planted by the ancient hero, Prince Yamato Takeru. 

Location: Hokuto, Yamanashi 

The best time to view: late-March to mid-April 

 

  1. Usuzumi-zakura

Usuzumi-zakura (Photo credit: Toshihiro Gamo)

It has more than 1,500 years of history. What’s unique about this tree is that the initial color of the flower is light pink, turning white at full bloom stage, and changes to pale grey right before the flowers drop. 

Location: Motos, Gifu 

The best time to view: early to mid-April 

 

  1. MiharuTaki-zakura

MiharuTaki-zakura (Photo credit: Ayu Oshimi)

This 1,000 year-old tree is 12 meters high. The flowers point face down and look like a pink waterfall when it’s fully bloomed. 

Location: Miharu, Fukushima 

The best time to view: middle to late April 

  

Cherry blossoms are also beautiful at night. Night cherry blossom viewing is called “Yozakura” in Japanese. Many places hold light-up events and festivals. It feels very different at night! 

Here are some of the best night cherry blossom views you don’t want to miss! 

 

  1. Takada Castle

(Photo credit: annintofu)

This site is one of the “Night View Heritage of Japan”, with over 4,000 cherry blossom trees and 3,000 lights. 

Location: Niigata Prefecture 

 

  1. Chidorigafuchi

(Photo credit: Ryouhei Saita)

Beautiful lake view. Boating in the lake would be fun!

Location: Ina, Nagano

 

  1. Heian-Jingu Shrine

(Photo credit: Eddy Chang)

This is the biggest festival in Kyoto. Night views are also incredible, especially combined with a live music concert.

Location: Kyoto

 

If you ever have a chance to go to Japan during spring, don’t miss the beautiful cherry blossom views! Get more information online about the location, transportation, and the details of various events.