In Japan, March is the favorite time of the year for many locals. After a long wait, they can finally do hanami: admiring the fleeting blooming of the thousands and thousands of cherry trees that ornate the whole country.
If you are in Hiroshima, you will have plenty of cherry blossom viewing points to choose from, including one of the most famous spots of all Japan, Miyajima Island, with its shrine and torii gate built above the water and thousands of cherry trees all around. A truly unique place!
- Every year, thousands of tourists visit Japan just to admire the blooming of the cherry trees.
- Hanami, the custom of appreciating the view of the cherry blossoms, is more than 1,000 years old.
- Locals love to have picnics under the cherry trees and spend the day immersed in nature.
- One of the favored places for hanami in Hiroshima is Miyajima Island.
- As this is one of the most crowded periods of the year, careful planning is vital.
Cherry Blossom in Hiroshima
Admiring the cherry blossoms is an important part of Japanese culture. It is a way to appreciate the transience of life and to try to reconnect with nature. Hiroshima is one of the best cities where to do so; it has plenty of parks, and Miyajima, the small island just in front of the city, is truly a unique spot for cherry blossom viewing.
In Japanese, enjoying the cherry blossoms is known as hanami (literally flower viewing). Nowadays, people will do hanami by having a picnic or a party under the trees, so to fully appreciate their beauty. Strolling around the parks, sitting under the trees or visiting the temple grounds where the trees are planted, is a perfect way to do hanami.
Best Time to See the Cherry Blossom in Hiroshima
In Hiroshima you will have the chance to admire the cherry blossom for about three weeks, from the last week of March until the middle of April. The peak is usually around 1st April.
Unfortunately, the cherry trees are known to be unpredictable and ephemeral. Sometimes they bloom all at once - a true spectacle to behold and most of the time the blossoms last for a week or so. If you happen to visit Hiroshima for just a couple of days, it may be tricky to catch the blooming. So, if they are your main reason for the visit, you should try to spend at least one full week in town.
Doing hanami is pretty straightforward. You just have to relax and try to enjoy the beauty of the pink sea that colors the Japanese sky. Locals love to head to the major parks of the city to have a picnic or to join one of the many parties. If you plan to have a picnic under the cherry trees, it is strongly recommended to reserve a spot beforehand by putting down your picnic mat.
Once there, you can eat, drink and admire the petals. Just remember that there is an etiquette to follow, an etiquette ruled by one simple principle: respect. When choosing where to have your picnic, be sure it is an authorized spot. Place your blanket away from the roots of the cherry tree and respect other people's space. Be polite and try to not occupy unnecessarily large space.
Do not touch the tree and do not ever break a branch or a flower off to bring home as a souvenir. The trees are meant to be appreciated by everyone. When the picnic is over, clean up after yourself and try not to leave traces of your passage. Keep the noise down and respect everyone around you.
Best Hiroshima Cherry Blossom Spots
In Hiroshima there are plenty of places to do hanami, but we think that some of the best are the Hiroshima Peace Park, important both for hanami and for its historical significance; Hijiyama Park, built on a hilltop and thus offering a stunning view of the whole city; and, of course, the island of Miyajima, famous all over the world for its "floating" gate and shrine.
Hiroshima Peace Park
The peace memorial park is one of the most important places of the city, built to remember the victims of the bombing. The park itself is huge, more than 120,000 square meters and it houses more than 300 cherry trees. Therefore it is one of the best spots in Hiroshima where to wander and do hanami. Its trees and walking paths offer a glaring contrast to the surrounding downtown area.
This castle, also known as Carp Castle, is an example of a castle built on a plain, and not on top of a hill. It is surrounded by a moat, and the whole complex has been reconstructed after the 1945 bombing, using original methods and materials.
You will find more than 450 cherry trees there, and the best viewing spots are to be found around the castle keep.
In the heart of the city you will find this lovely Japanese garden and its 200 cherry trees, where you can stroll around or have a picnic on one of the many lawn areas dedicated to cherry blossom viewing parties.
Within the garden, you will find miniatures of mountains and forests, and a huge variety of other natural formations, made by skillful cultivation of the land. You can explore the garden, following the path that connects the different spots, and you can also admire the landscape and the cherry trees from one of the many teahouses scattered inside the area.
Hijiyama Park is a huge forested city park placed on a hill. From this park, you hence will be able to admire more than one thousand cherry trees, while having the opportunity to have a breathtaking view of the whole city of Hiroshima.
As said, there are numerous cherry trees, mostly planted in small pockets spread around the park, and you will find plenty of locals holding cherry blossom viewing parties beneath them.
Just outside Hiroshima you will find Miyajima, a small island mostly known for its torii gate, which appears to be floating in the sea when the tide is high. Another popular attraction is the shrine built above the water. Around the shrine and along the many walking trails of the island you will find more than 1300 cherry trees.
This island for sure is a unique spot to do hanami!
What You Should Know before Visiting Hiroshima during Cherry Blossom Season
As many other Japanese cities during this period of the year, also Hiroshima sees tons of tourists arriving for hanami. We strongly recommend you book your accommodation at least a couple of months in advance. If you make a last-minute decision, your choices will be very limited, and you will have to pay a lot more than you would otherwise.
The cherry blossoms are important to everyone living in Japan, and so expect tons of locals moving around the country. Book train tickets in advance and remember that most places will be crowded. If you wish to do hanami in a famous location, be sure to head there early in the morning so as to reserve your spot.
See Cherry Blossom with Asia Highlights
We bet that you cannot wait to sit under a pink cherry tree and enjoy this unique sight so unique that every year more and more tourists visit Japan just because of that. Asia Highlights can help you to fulfill your dreams. We will tailor your trip to your needs and desires, and you will only have to worry about finding the best cherry blossom viewing spots.