Best Sakura (Cherry Blossom) Festival in Japan

What is Sakura festival (cherry blossom festival)?

Sakura festival (cherry blossom festival) is also referred to as hanami in Japan.
It is a huge spring event in Japan.

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People have cherry blossom festival several times per year.
They gather with their friends, coworkers, and families under or near sakura (cherry blossom).
The whole point of Sakura festivals is to just enjoy drinking and eating outside.

This is a very nice excuse to meet up with old friends too.

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When are the dates for sakura (cherry blossom) season?

Sakura festival usually happens between in the middle of March and at the beginning of April in Tokyo.
That means in southern part it might starts and ends earlier.
On the other hand, in the northern area, like Hokkaido, its period is later.

So the sakura (cherry blossom) usually lasts for two weeks.
This short lives of the sakura give Japanese an impression of how transiently beautiful life is.

History of Sakura (Cherry Blossom) Festival

The origin of the Sakura festival, called “hanami”, dates back to the 8th century.
Back then, it was an event only for the nobles.
Only around 300 years ago, when it was the Edo era, did it become an event to the normal people too.

In the Edo era, the cherry blossoms in Ueno Park was with the best reputation in all over Edo, which is now Tokyo.
As a matter of fact, this park still attracts many people for the Sakura festival destination during the season.
This is actually one of the best places in Tokyo (maybe in Japan too!).

Some people know that you can see Sakura, cherry blossom, in Washington DC, the United States. These cherry blossoms were sent from Japan in 1912 as a proof of the friendships.

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Where are the best spots??

There are many places all over Japan where you can get to see Sakura, cherry blossoms.
I don’t dare to say which is the best place, sorry!
Instead, here are the places that you can enjoy sakura!

Goryokaku – Hakodate in Hokkaido

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Hirosaki city in Aomori Prefecture

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Shinjuku-gyoen, Shinjuku in Tokyo

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Nowadays, people even enjoy sakura, cherry blossom, at night with light up

photo credit: かがみ~ 弘前公園 via photopin (license)

photo credit: HAMACHI! Sakura night walkers Classic Chrome via photopin (license)

Sakura festival can be still beautiful even when they are falling off.

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