Cherry blossoms normally begin blooming in late March to April. Accross the country, the cherry blossoms reach their peak and fall in April. Can’t make it at this time? No worries! Cherry blossoms in Sapporo start to bloom at the end of April to beginning of May. You will stiil have a chance to go cherry blossoms viewing, if you visit Sapporo at this time.
Hokkaido Shrine is known as one of the best cherry blossoms viewing spots in Sapporo. Located in Maruyama area which is just three stops west of Odori(center of Sapporo). There are about 1400 cherry trees are planted such as sargent cherry, yoshino cherry and double cherry. Besides cherries, about 280 plum trees are also grown in the precinct. It is rare that cherry blossoms and plum blossoms are blooming at the same time.
There are unique souvenirs using plums and cherry blossoms. ‘Jingu no ume’ is a plum wine which made from plums in the presinct. It is sweet and easy to drink. In addition, cherry blossoms tea is also popular in this season. It is called Sakurayu which is a hot drink with salted cherry blossoms, black soy beans and konbu in it. It has a very authentic taste of Japan with a subtle flowery scent and flavor.
Maruyama park is located just next to Hokkaido shrine. This huge 60,000-square meter area contains many kinds of trees including oak, magnolia, cherry, maple.It is a also famous cherry blossoms spot in Sapporo. In early May, the park fills with visitors who come to see the blooming of the cherry trees. The park takes on a party atomosphere, with groups pf people sitting on ground eating lunch boxes or BBQing. Only this season BBQs are allowed in the park. If you hard to prepare BBQ grill, you can rent one at park management office.