Fast Facts

  • Location: The festival is organized in various places throughout Japan.
  • Attraction Type: Event.
  • Significance: The beauty of the cherry blossoms is the USP of this event. The event also includes a number of other activities including music and dance.
  • Best time to Visit: From mid-January to early-May.
  • How to Reach: Cherry Blossom Festivals are organized throughout the country. So, your destination would be according to your place of interest. If you are coming down from overseas, you can land at any of the two major airports in Tokyo and Osaka. There are also some other international airports in Japan where you can land at. You can also reach Japan by ferry from a few international destinations like Korea, China and Russia. Ferries are available from Busan in Korea to Fukuoka, Chimonoseki and Osaka. If you are coming down from China, you can catch a ferry from Shanghai to Osaka or Kobe, from Tianjin to Kobe and from Qungdao to Shimonoseki. The Russian tourists can come down from Sakhalin to Wakkanai, or from Vladivostok to Takaoka.
  • Nearest Airport: Narita Airport (NRT) near Tokyo, Kansai Airport (KIX) near Osaka.

Its an awesome sight to find cherry blossoms in each and every frame around that you focus on, its an amazing sight that has attracted thousands from all parts of the world, and its an astonishing sight that has made it almost a religion and an event to celebrate. Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan is something that not only all the Japanese but also many people from all corners of the world eagerly wait for. It is a tradition celebrated in Japan for centuries. As a few varieties bloom for a very small span of time, the riot of color and beauty makes the whole nation to its prettiest best. The whole nation becomes the most happening and perhaps the most beautiful places in the world as people make a bee-line for Cherry Blossom Viewing, also known as Hanami. There are a number of Cherry Blossom Festivals organized throughout the country from mid-January to early-May. So, if you are the priest of beauty, you simply can t afford to miss it.

Cherry Blossom Forecast 2011

As of February 23, 2011
The cherry blossoms are expected to follow the average year’s schedule relatively closely this year. In Tokyo they are forecast to open on March 26 and in Kyoto on the following day. Below are the forecast dates of cherry trees opening their blossoms this year (according to the Japan Weather Association) and the estimated best viewing periods (estimated by japan-guide.com). The dates may change as they are subject to climatic conditions therefore please confirm before going.

LocationOpeningEstimated best viewing
TokyoMarch 26April 1 to 11
KyotoMarch 27April 1 to 11
KagoshimaMarch 22March 29 to April 6
KumamotoMarch 22March 30 to April 7
FukuokaMarch 23March 30 to April 7
HiroshimaMarch 24March 30 to April 7
NaraMarch 29April 2 to 10
OsakaMarch 26April 1 to 9
NagoyaMarch 26April 2 to 10
YokohamaMarch 27April 3 to 11
KanazawaApril 4April 8 to 16
NaganoApril 12April 16 to 24
SendaiApril 11April 16 to 24
AomoriApril 24April 28 to May 5
HakodateApril 30May 3 to 10

Significance of Cherry Blossoms in Japan

Cherry Blossoms have a deep root in the culture of Japan. The blossoms, also known as Sakura, often become the part of traditional Hinamatsuri ceremonies for little girls. Cherry blossoms were also used to forecast the crops for the coming year in ancient Japan. Currently people gather to see the beauty of the Cherry blossoms and also indulge in various activities to celebrate the event, which include going for picnics under a canopy of cherry blossoms.

Hanami
In Japan, the Cherry Blossom Viewing is popularly known as Hanami. As the Sakura bloom all over the country, people started poring in to various spots to beauty the floral beauty. Weather bureau forecast the blossom every year, which as a great importance as the blossoms last for only a week or two.

Currently, Hanami is not only all about seeing the blossoms, it also consists of a number of activities like picnic and outdoor party during the daytime and night as well. However, Hanami at night has a different term, called yozakura, where temporary paper lanterns are hung in many places. Traditional Japanese music and dance performances also add more color to the festival.

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