Cherry Blossom Tours

Book Cherry Blossom Tours in Japan

Japan is well known for a number of things — sushi, tea ceremonies, kimonos, ninjas, anime, manga, and most importantly, cherry blossoms. The very word Japan conjures images of Mount Fuji surrounded by the pink flowers. The sakura (Japanese for ‘cherry blossom’) symbolizes mortality — the fleeting nature of life; it reminds us of how something so beautiful can also be short. The cherry blossom reminds us to live every day to the fullest. Here are some Japan cherry blossom tours you can take to experience the graceful beauty of nature, while making the most of life.

Cherry Blossom in Japan

Cherry blossoms are a symbol of high importance in Japan, so much so that the flower is even featured on the 100 yen coin. The flower reaches full bloom in spring, which is when visitors flock to popular spots around the city to view these blossoms from and have a picnic under the blanket of these blushing petals. Spring typically is a bit chilly in Japan, with temperatures reaching an average of 12°C in March and about 17°C in April. However, the mornings and nights are especially chilly, with northern parts of Japan such as Hokkaido being especially cold. Hence, it is advised that when you are packing for your cherry blossom tour in Japan, carry along sweaters as well in case it is cold.

When is the Cherry Blossom Season in Japan 2021?

Cherry blossom season in Japan typically starts around March and goes on till the end of April. The northern parts of the country, such as Hokkaido, typically experience cherry blossom season much later — around May. In some cases, the season starts in February for slow blooming cherry blossom varieties like the Kawazuzakura (found in the city of Kawazu in Izu Peninsula) and the Atamizakura (found in the city of Atami, in Shizuoka perfecture). During this time, you can take a cherry blossom tour in Japan and check out the numerous cherry blossom festivals across the country that take place specifically around this time.

The following is a rough approximation of when cherry blossom season starts across the different cities in Japan:

  • Late February: Kawazu, Atami City
  • Early March: Matsuda
  • Mid-March: Minamiashigara City
  • Late March: Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Matsuyama, Tokyo
  • Early April: Kyoto, Nagoya, Nara, Osaka
  • Mid-April: Fuji, Fukushima, Kanazawa, Sendai
  • Late April: Aomori, Hakodate, Hirosaki
  • Early May: Sapporo

Japan Cherry Blossom Tour 2021 Locations 

  • Atami City: Home to the lovely cherry blossom variety Atamizakura, Atami city is a two-hour drive from Tokyo. The flowers bloom between January and February, with the last four years seeing the flowers start blooming by February.
  • Matsuda: A beautiful town located in Kanagawa Prefecture, Matsuda sees its cherry blossoms bloom between February and March. You can also find the Kawazuzakura variety here, especially during the Matsuda Cherry Blossom Festival, which is typically held in February.
  • Minamiashigara City: Located in Kanagawa Prefecture, Minamiashigara City typically sees its cherry blossoms start to bloom in March. During this time, the riverbank, which is surrounded by over 150 cherry trees blooms together, creating a large pink canopy.
  • Tokyo: The capital city sees cherry blossoms start to bloom mid-March and reach full bloom by the end of the month. This magical experience is best enjoyed by strolling down Chidorigafuchi and munching on cherry blossom-flavoured snacks. 
  • Jinroku Sakura Park: Featuring over 40 varieties of cherry blossom trees, this massive park is perfect for those who want to see the different species in one place. It is home to the famous Kawazuzakura, Jugatsuzakura, and Somei Yoshino.

Why Take a Cherry Blossom Tour

The sakura (cherry blossom) is a flower of high importance in Japan. A symbol of transience, it is a reminder of the impermanence of life. To look at the beautiful pink canopy surrounding you may make you feel wistful, but is also an inspiration to enjoy every single minute. 

The cherry blossoms only appear for about a month, so this time is filled with lots of revelry. Many people get together to indulge in hanami (cherry blossom viewing) with picnics or by attending sakura-themed festivals. A cherry blossom tour in Japan takes you to different places in the country from where you can admire the raw beauty of nature with a beautiful pink hue. To admire these delicate flowers is a peaceful experience in its own right.

Types of Cherry Blossom Tours

Guided Cherry Blossom Tours

Guided Tours

A guided tour involves a professional English-speaking guide who tells you everything there is to know about cherry blossom season and takes you to places to get the best view of it. Transfers are usually covered as part of a guided tour, ensuring a hassle-free visit.

Japanese Cherry blossom tours

Combo Tours

A combo cherry blossom tour combines visiting the cherry blossoms along with other landmarks or experiences like Mishima Skywalk, Shiraito Falls, Fujisan Sengen Shrine, and Mount Fuji’s fifth station. Transportation and a guide are usually included for a stress-free visit.

Which Cherry Blossom Tour Should You Take?

  1. Budget-friendly
    For those looking for a cherry blossom tour that is easy on the pocket, it is best to pick the non-guided or self-guided tour option. This way, you can pick a transport option that’s inexpensive and plan your trip as per your convenience, and including only the sights that you want to explore.
  2. Informative
    Apart from just admiring the cherry blossoms, if you also want to learn more about the history of the region and the importance and symbolism of cherry blossoms, pick a guided tour. While these are a touch more expensive, it is well worth the money, as it also includes transportation. 
  3. Explorative
    If you are interested in what’s beyond the cherry blossoms, take a combo tour. As part of this, you can visit the Mount Fuji World Heritage Center, Shiriato Falls, Lake Ashi, Fujisan Sengen Shrine, Hakone-en, and Komagatake. Transfers, an English-speaking guide, and lunch are usually included.

What to See In & Around Shizuoka Perfecture

Shizuoka Prefecture is about three hours away from Tokyo, and offers some of the best cherry blossom-viewing opportunities. It is also home to Kawazu, Izu Peninsula, which is known for local cherry blossom species, Kawazukzakura, which typically has a longer life than most of the other species. When you go to see the Kawazuzakura, here are some other things you can do in and around Shizuoka Prefecture.

Mishima Skywalk
  • Mishima Skywalk: The longest suspension bridge in Japan at 400m, the Mishima Skywalk gives you unbeatable views of Mount Fuji. You can also go ziplining for 300m as you look at the lofty peak. During winter, you can also get a spectacular view of the sunset.
  • Mount Fuji World Heritage Center: Marking the designation of Mount Fuji as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this attraction is designed to reflect the structure of the volcano in the pond outside. It also gives you insight into the history and cultural importance of the volcano, along with a stunning view of it.
Arakurayama Sengen Park
  • Arakurayama Sengen Park: Home to the Arakura Fuji Sengen-jinja Shrine and pagoda, the park is covered in a lovely pink canopy when cherry blossom season hits. Visitors are also afforded an amazing view of Mount Fuji in all its glory, especially on a clear day.
  • Shiraito Falls: This plunging waterfall (at a height of 150m) gets its water directly from Mount Fuji, and is often referred to as the most beautiful waterfall in Japan. Located within the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, it is surrounded by verdant trees. Its sheer beauty makes you feel connected to nature.
Lake Ashi Japan
  • Lake Ashi: Take in the stunning views of Mount Fuji as you take a boat cruise atop the sapphire waters of Lake Ashi. You can also see the striking red torii to the Hakone Shrine. During spring, the area is surrounded by cherry blossoms, creating an incredibly magical experience.
  • Mount Fuji Fifth Station: The fifth (and last) station on the southern slope of Mount Fuji, this is the closest station to the summit. Visitors often start the hike to the peak of Mount Fuji from here, taking about 4-8 hours for the ascent. As the highest station on this route, it also gives you an awe-inspiring view of the volcano.

Plan Your Visit

Best time to visit
Food & drinks
Must Do
best time to see cherry blossoms

The best time to visit and admire the cherry blossoms is between March and April. It is within this period that the flowers’ bloom cycle takes place. While the Kawazu cherry blossoms starts blooming earlier (around February), they only bloom fully by March.

cherry blossom food

When admiring the cherry blossoms, try out cherry blossom-flavoured food such as:

  • Sakura mochi: A traditional sweet flavoured with salted cherry blossom petals.
  • Sakura yokan: Another traditional Japanese sweet, it consists of jellied sakura-an paste.
  • Sakura macarons and cakes: These western dishes are reimagined with the unconventional, yet delicious cherry blossom.
  • Sakura sake: This sakura-flavoured rice wine emits a delicate fragrance and tastes just as subtle.
  • Sakura cha / Sakura yu: Enjoy sakura-flavoured tea, made with cherry blossoms pickled in salt.
where to stay in tokyo

There are numerous accommodation options available in Tokyo, which is typically where most tourists stay and see the cherry blossoms at. Additionally, Tokyo is close to the Shizuoka prefecture, which is where a lot of people head to see the Kawazuzakura. 

It is recommended that you stay in Shinjuku when in Tokyo. Not only is it one of the best places to stay in the city, with a lot of different accommodation options, it is also close to Shinjuku station, which has great connectivity to the rest of the region. 

Other great places to stay at include Ginza, Hamamatsucho, Hibiya, Roppongi, Shibuya, and Shinagawa. Tokyo is a large city, so ensure wherever you stay is close to a subway or railway station for easy access.

sakura souvenirs

During cherry blossom season, one will find a number of cherry blossom-themed souvenirs and limited edition products to purchase. Starbucks rolls out sakura-themed tumblers and mugs, and Kit-Kat, Coca Cola, and Pepsi release sakura-flavoured products.

Other sakura-themed things you can purchase include kokeshi dolls, pens, chopsticks, bento boxes, stationary, sweets, tea, accessories, and jewellery.

cherry blossom season japan

Here are some attractions to visit and experiences to enjoy when visiting Japan to see the cherry blossoms bloom:

  • Enjoy hanami (cherry blossom viewing) picnic under the beautiful canopy of sakura trees. 
  • Gorge on sakura-flavoured foods and drinks.
  • Explore Izu Peninsula and admire the Kawazuzakura cherry blossoms.
  • Head to Mount Fuji Five Stations to look at the stunning scenery.
  • Visit the plunging Shiraito Falls.
  • Go strawberry picking.
  • Indulge in a traditional tea ceremony under the lovely cherry trees.

Visitor Tips

  • While there are many different types of cherry blossoms that bloom at different times of the year, the most famous is the Kawazuzakura, which blooms in the Shizuoka Prefecture. It typically starts to bloom by the end of February, so plan your trip to Japan at a time when you can view these cherry blossoms. 
  • The Izu Peninsula, home of Kawazuzakura, also hosts an annual Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival, where you can try street food, buy souvenirs, and enjoy the beautiful flowers. The festival is scheduled to begin on February 10, 2021, but the date may change. 
  • If you want to check out cherry blossoms in the cities, Tokyo and Kyoto offer the best views. Note that these cherry blossoms only bloom for a fortnight. But for an unbeatable view, take a day trip to Shizuoka Prefecture and see the cherry blossoms framing the mighty Mount Fuji.
  • Stay safe by keeping your mask on at all times and carrying your own hand sanitizer.
  • Spring in Japan tends to be a little chilly, so carry along a light jacket.
  • Be prepared to share this experience with thousands of people, as the blooming of the cherry blossoms is a magical sight that many people want to admire.
  • Some of the best places to admire the cherry blossoms across the country include Kawazu, Izu Peninsula; Ueno Park and Chidorigafuchi in Tokyo; Philosopher’s Path and Maruyama Park in Kyoto; Kema Sakuranomiya Park and Osaka Castle in Osaka; and Nara Park in Nara.

All Your Questions About Cherry Blossom Tours Answered

Are cherry blossom tour tickets available online?

Yes, cherry blossom tour tickets can be purchased online. It is actually recommended that you purchase your cherry blossom tour tickets online and in advance to secure your visit on the day of your preference.

Can I take a guided Japan cherry blossom tour?

Yes. There are several guided cherry blossom tours from Tokyo that take you to different parts of the country to see the flowers in full bloom.

What is the best day tour from Tokyo to see cherry blossoms?

The best day tours are combo tours as they include a variety of other experiences such as strawberry picking, ziplining, and the Mishima Skywalk.

Whatare the ticket options available for Japanese cherry blossom tours?

You can take your pick from a wide range of options, such as guided tours, park entry tickets (non-guided), and combo tours. The benefit offered by guided and combo tours is an English-speaking guide and the inclusion of transfers in your ticket. Combo tours, in addition, take you to more experiences in the surrounding area after the cherry blossom viewing.

What happens if I need to cancel my Japan cherry blossom tour tickets?

This depends on the tour — some allow you to cancel 24 hours in advance, some require a week’s notice, and some cannot be cancelled or rescheduled. It is highly advisable to check the cancellation policy before booking your tickets.

How long are my Japan cherry blossom tour tickets valid for?

Your cherry blossom Japan tour tickets are valid for the date selected when booking the ticket.

Should I purchase my tickets to see cherry blossoms in advance?

It is recommended that you purchase your cherry blossom tour tickets in advance to get the date of your choosing.

What language is the Japan cherry blossom guided tour conducted in?

Guided cherry blossom tours in Japan are typically conducted in English.

When does the cherry blossom season in Japan start?

The best time to see cherry blossoms is during the bloom season, which falls between March and April.

How long does a cherry blossom tour in Japan take?

While this depends on the tour chosen, an average cherry blossom tour from Tokyo takes about half a day (12 hours) including transfer time.