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Plan a Japan Cherry Blossom Trip 2025, Dates and Avoid Crowds

By Vicky LengUpdated Mar. 28, 2024

Admiring the beautiful cherry blossom is definitely the top thing to do when you plan a trip to Japan in spring. Cherry blossom can be found almost everywhere in Japan. Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka are the top recommended places to see cherry blossom, as they are the most popular destinations for first-time travelers.

March to May is the peak cherry blossom season in Japan, which is especially beautiful when cherry trees reach full bloom in late March to early April. This makes Japan a perfect destination to spend your spring vacation or Easter Holiday. Okinawa in January and Hokkaido in May are regionally different blooming times.

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Weather and Forecast for Cherry Blossom Season in Japan

  • Average temperatures for March to May: 10–18°C (50–64°F)
  • Average rainfall: 120 mm (5 inches) — moderate
  • Suggested clothing: T-shirt, jacket, thin coat, light trousers
Japan cherry blossom forecast for 2024

In general, the best time to see cherry blossom is from late March to early April (lasting around 10 days for each location). Southern, central, and northern Japan have different climates, so blooming times vary, starting in January on the southern island of Okinawa and lasting until May on the northern island of Hokkaido.

If this is your first time to Japan, Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka are recommended as they're conveniently connected via Shinkansen (high-speed railway). Hotels around popular attractions are always booked up quickly, contact us at least 3 months in advance to have the best chance of room availability and choice.

Cherry blossoms in Japan reach their full bloom usually a week after they start opening. The timing of the best cherry blossoms may vary by a few days depending on the weather each year, but the overall flowering time is similar from year to year. 

Cherry blossoms will be blooming around the same time as usual, but in some areas, blossoms may appear a few days earlier or later.  It is expected that the forecasted time for Japan's cherry blossoms in 2025 will be similar.

Top 3 Japan Cherry Blossom Itineraries

Days Cost Japan Cherry Blossom Itinerary
7-Day US$2,999 Tokyo – Mount Fuji – Kyoto 
10-Day US$4,999 Tokyo – Mount Fuji – Kyoto – Osaka 
14-Day US$6,999 Tokyo – Mount Fuji– Yokohama – Kyoto – Hiroshima – Osaka

Due to high demand during the cherry blossom season, the prices of hotels and services are usually one to two times higher than in other seasons in Japan. A well-planned mini-group tour (4–7 people) is a cost-smart choice offering a better experience than big-group tours. Benefits include:

  • The most competitive price without a big-coach-tour feel
  • The best destination connections to maximize your time and comfort
  • If your personal group booking reaches a minimum of 4 people, you can experience the personalized of a private tour at no additional cost!
  • Cancellations received up to 3 weeks before departure are covered by our 100% refund promise.

Below we have outlined three cherry blossom tour itineraries, based on 7, 10, and 14 days of touring and hand-picked experiences, allowing you to immerse yourself in the best of Japanese scenery during the pleasant weather of spring.

1) 7-Day Cherry Blossom Itinerary: Essence of Japan

  •  Tokyo – Kawaguchiko (Mount Fuji) – Kyoto – Nara
Japan tour route map

7 days in Japan is just enough to explore the highlights in Tokyo and Kyoto. With this 7-day itinerary, you can admire the cherry blossom at well-selected locations in these cities, breath in the fresh air of springtime nature, and experience unique activities for beautiful memories that will last for a lifetime.

3 nights in Tokyo: Wander through oldest Sensoji Temple to experience the Edo (1603–1868) vibe, and engage in authentic activities such as sushi making to enrich your trip in Tokyo. Take a day trip to Kawaguchiko, the best place to visit Mount Fuji, to capture picturesque views of Mount Fuji and charming cherry blossoms in one frame.

3 nights in Kyoto: Stay at a traditional ryokan to experience Japanese accommodation, meander around the Fushimi Inari Shrine to see thousands of orange-red torii gate, take a rickshaw to visit the lush bamboo groves in Arashiyama, and feed deer in Nara.

2) 10-Day Japan Cherry Blossom Itinerary: the Most Chosen

  • Tokyo – Kawaguchiko (Mount Fuji) – Kyoto – Nara – Osaka
Japan tour route map
  • 3 nights in Tokyo
  • 3 nights in Kyoto
  • 3 nights in Osaka

This 10-day itinerary is based on the 7-day itinerary with the addition of the city of Osaka. It's perfect for first-time visitors who want to cover the main highlights of Japan's "Golden Triangle" cities: Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka.

Osaka is a flourishing port city in central Japan, with a perfect blend of traditional and contemporary culture. You can explore medieval Osaka Castle, which will be surrounded by beautiful cherry blossoms, immerse yourself in authentic ukiyo-e printmaking to create a unique souvenir, and savor delicious street food like takoyaki (octopus balls) in the bustling Dotonbori district.

3) 14-Day Japan Cherry Blossom Itinerary: Explore the Highlights More Deeply at a Relaxed Pace

  •  Tokyo – Kawaguchiko (Mount Fuji) – Yokohama – Kyoto – Nara – Hiroshima – Osaka
Japan tour route map
  • 5 nights in Tokyo
  • 4 nights in Kyoto
  • 1 night in Hiroshima
  • 3 nights in Osaka

This 14-day itinerary adds the two popular cities of Yokohama and Hiroshima to the 10-day itinerary, offering you a chance to explore Japan's second largest city by cycling and visit historical sites that mark the tragedy and chastened revival following the WWII atomic bombs.

Yokohama is located about 30 minutes from Tokyo by road. It is the most suitable area for cycling in Japan with specially-designed biking routes.

Hiroshima, located about 1½ hours from Osaka by Shinkansen, was the first of two Japanese cities bombed with an atomic bomb at the end of World War II. Visiting the site of the atomic bomb explosion (now radiation free) and exploring Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum is a great way to cherish post-war peace and witness the collection of items left behind after the attack.

How to Avoid the Crowds during Japan Cherry Blossom Season

Our clients in Japan during the cherry blossom season in 2024.Our clients in Japan during the cherry blossom season in 2024.

Travelling to Japan during cherry blossom season is very popular, making it the busiest time to visit. What should you do if you want to see cherry blossoms but not the crowds? Here are some suggestions:

  • Crowding is relatively low in the early morning and evening, and the cherry blossom in some scenic spots even looks good when lit up at night, such as at Chidorigafuchi in Tokyo or at Philosopher's Path in Kyoto.
  • Avoiding the popular cherry blossom attractions at weekends is another way to avoid the biggest crowds (there are more local visitors at weekends as many Japanese have a 5-day working work).
  • Traveling a week before the full bloom period is also a great way to escape the largest crowds. Ignoring the trees whose cherry blossoms have not yet fully opened, the scenery during this time is almost as stunning as it is when the blossoms are in full bloom all around.
  • The cherry blossom season varies from region to region in Japan, but most travelers choose to visit the main cities like Kyoto from late March to early April. If you want to avoid the main crowds, Hokkaido is also a good place to go for cherry blossom viewing in late April to early May.

In May, when in Hokkaido spring is just beginning, the crowds are not as big as in Kyoto and Tokyo in March/April, and there is a lot of fun to be had. For example, you could experience the natural beauty of melting glaciers and enjoy authentic, refreshing Japanese beer in Sapporo's brewery after a vernal hike.

Where's the Best Place to See the Cherry Blossom in Japan?

With over 1,000 popular spots for seeing cherry blossoms across Japan, it is tough to choose where to go. If you are travelling during late March to early April, Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka would be the perfect destinations.

Hotels around popular attractions are always booked up quickly, so we strongly recommend booking hotels and flights at least 3 months in advance.

Hokkaido would be great if you want to avoid crowds of tourists, and its ideal time is from late April to early May.

Here are some suggested best cherry blossom places:

Tokyo

boating in Chidorigafuchi Boating in Chidorigafuchi during cherry blossom season

The following three places are easily accessible and you can go to them all in one day. If you don't have much time, it is highly recommended to visit one of these three attractions. If you want to see cherry blossom lit up at night, the best place to go is Chidorigafuchi.

1) Ueno Park

Ueno Park is the most popular spot for seeing cherry blossom in Tokyo — a lively and crowded place. It has more than 1,000 cherry trees, which are spectacular when they bloom together every spring. Lay out a picnic mat under a tree and enjoy the cherry blossom fluttering down in the spring breeze, as local Japanese do while eating snacks.

2) Shinjuku Gyoen

Located in the business hub area Shinjuku, this well-designed garden is one of the largest gardens in Tokyo, and it has about 1,100 cherry trees from 65 species that blossom in spring.

Shops in the garden offer cherry-blossom-related desserts and handmade gifts during the period. It is dreamy to have a picnic on the garden's lawns and enjoy cherry blossoms in the warm spring sun.

3) Chidorigafuchi — Open in the Evening Too

Chidorigafuchi is one of the most picturesque cherry blossom spots in Tokyo. You can take pictures of the cherry blossom and the outer walls of Edo Castle, which enhance each other's beauty.

The cherry trees on either side of the road turn the road into a pink tunnel when in full bloom. Or you can take a boat ride on its lake… Boating while enjoying the cherry blossom along the shore is also a special experience.

Continue to read more details on Cherry Blossom Forecast 2025 Tokyo 

Kyoto

1) Philosopher's Path — A Footpath Lined with Cherry Blossom

Kyoto's best walking trail is a stone path along a canal lined with over 400 cherry trees. It is one of the most popular and pleasing of Kyoto's cherry blossom spots. On a fine day, each cherry blossom deserves close appreciation. If you get tired of walking, sit on a stool and look up at the pink landscape.

2) Kiyomizu Temple — an Ancient Temple with Awesome Views

As one of Kyoto's ancient shrines, Kiyomizu Temple is popular in all seasons, but especially during the cherry blossom season in spring and the red maple season in fall.

When the cherry trees are blooming, you can see a lot of girls in kimonos taking photos under the cherry trees. Don't miss an evening there during cherry blossom season, when the area is lit up magically.

3) Mount Yoshino, Nara — Great for Hiking among the Cherry Blossoms

If you want to be in right in the middle of A LOT of cherry blossom, Mt. Yoshino is the best choice. This mountain not only suitable for hiking, but is also covered with 30,000 cherry trees making the mountain into a pink paradise in spring.

The whole mountain is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are some ancient shrines and temples on the mountain, which look serene amongst the cherry blossom.

Osaka

Osaka Castle is one of 'the three famous castles of Japan', and it is top of the list of places to enjoy cherry blossom in Osaka. The square around Osaka Castle is covered with cherry trees. Not far from the square around the castle, the old town merges with modern high-rise buildings and cherry blossom — a meeting of traditional and modern, natural and manmade.

As night falls, lights illuminate the cherry blossoms and the castle, making an evening trip a delight also.

Book quickly for the last reservations in January. Just contact us for an effortlessly-tailored dream trip to Japan to see the cherry blossom in 2024.

Do I Need a Visa to Visit Japan?

Nationals of many countries are exempt from needing a visa to enter Japan, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Most travelers can stay in Japan without a visa for 90 days.

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