Planning your cherry blossom Japan adventure: 5 beautiful viewing spots

SHIRAKAWAGO. Like going back in time. Photo provided by Irene Maligat

SHIRAKAWAGO. Like going back in time.

Photo provided by Irene Maligat

For my recent birthday weekend, I had the opportunity to visit central Japan. Most blogs I’ve read would visit Tokyo, Kyoto, or Osaka for cherry blossoms (Sakura) viewing but central Japan has great viewing places as well.

GATHER 'ROUND. Tsuruma Park, one of many beautiful sakura viewing spots in Japan. Photo provided by Irene Maligat

GATHER 'ROUND. Tsuruma Park, one of many beautiful sakura viewing spots in Japan.

Photo provided by Irene Maligat

I've written a budget guide to planning your cherry blossom adventure here, so click on that link if you'd like to see the price breakdown of my trip and other tips for a budget-friendly trip.

If your flight is arriving in Nagoya or anywhere in central Japan, here are some Cherry blossom spots you can visit: 

1. Yamazakigawa Riverside, Nagoya 

Photo provided by Irene Maligat

Often included in lists of top cherry blossom viewing spots in Japan, the riverside is truly an amazing sight! With its river and falling petals on roads and side steps plus the cold weather, cherry blossom viewing here is a breathtaking experience.

Photo provided by Irene Maligat
Photo provided by Irene Maligat
Photo provided by Irene Maligat

The river is lined by hundreds of sakura trees for almost 1 kilometer. Walking the pathways or road at the sides, you will see a mix of first blooms (pink trees) and full blooms (white trees). You will not run out of angles to take photos here. Free Admission. 

How to get to Yamazakigawa Riverside: Ride the Nagoya Subway Meijo Line to Mizuho-Undojo-Higashi Station and walk 10 minutes from there. It is just past the 2 big sports stadiums. 

2. Tsuruma Park, Nagoya

Photo provided by Irene Maligat

One of the most popular parks in Nagoya is the Tsuruma park. A vast space of green lined with so many Sakura trees with pink and white petals falling, who wouldn’t want to chill at this park?

Photo provided by Irene Maligat
Photo provided by Irene Maligat

There are a lot of food trucks and stalls around. Just bring a mat with you to sit on. During hanami season, there are a lot of viewing parties at this park. Free Admission.

How to get to Tsuruma Park: Ride the Nagoya Subway Tsurumai Line to Tsurumai Koen station. Use exit #4 and the park is a 30 second walk from there.

3. Takayama 

Photo provided by Irene Maligat

At the Nakabashi Bridge, one of the famous landmarks or icons of Takayama, you can find Cherry blossom trees blooming at the sides.

You can also find trees at Miyagawa Ryokuchi park or Enakogawa river which are 15-20 minutes walk from Takayama station. While viewing the Sakura trees, you can try Hida beef specialties at Old Town or morning markets. Free Admission. 

How to get to Takayama: Ride a highway bus from any prefecture to the Takayama Nohi bus center or ride a JR train to JR Takayama station.

4. Shirakawago

Photo provided by Irene Maligat

Famous for its UNESCO world heritage site of grass farm houses, historic villages, and winter illumination events, Shirakawago can also be your go to place for cherry blossom spots.

Photo provided by Irene Maligat

 

Photo provided by Irene Maligat

There are sakura trees around the site, not as many, but equally beautiful as those found at Yamazakigawa River or Tsuruma park. Free Admission. 

How to get to Shirakawago: Ride a highway bus operated by Gifu or Nohi Bus. 

5. Nagoya Castle

Photo provided by Irene Maligat

One of the most popular tourist destinations and local favorites is the Nagoya castle. The castle is surrounded by different varieties of cherry trees. You can find them lined up at different structures or pathways.

Photo provided by Irene Maligat
Photo provided by Irene Maligat
Photo provided by Irene Maligat

It was fun trying to angle the Sakura trees with the castle to capture a good photo. There are also food trucks around and benches where you can sit or eat. Admission is ¥500.

How to get to Nagoya Castle: Ride the Nagoya Subway Meijo Line to Shiyakusho station. The castle is just a few minutes walk from there. It is also a 30-40 minutes walk from Sakae area or Nagoya station. 

Try to arrive at the Hanami spots 1 week before or after the bloom forecast. To check the bloom forecast of Cherry Blossoms (Sakura) in Japan, visit this link right here.

Cherry blossoms, for the Japanese, symbolize a time of renewal and reflection. It is no wonder the Japanese celebrate these blooms by having hanami parties. Its beauty is something to truly watch out for and its significance is something to be inspired by.

Have a wonderful time! – Rappler.com