4 Spots Perfect for Cherry Blossom Viewing in Japan’s Kansai Region

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  • Are you getting ready and planning your trip for the upcoming spring season? Spring is when colors come into play, flowers bloom, and for some, a season that symbolizes new beginnings. Do you know where to go?

    Japan is a very famous destination during this time of year as Japanese spring is synonymous with cherry blossoms, or more commonly known as “sakura.” The fleeting beauty of the flowers of the Japanese cherry tree, which lasts for two to three weeks and usually starts during the third week of March through the month of April, tends to attract not only foreign visitors but also the locals. The traditional Japanese custom of flower viewing called “hanami” is one of the much-awaited events in the country.

    If you are planning to visit the Kansai region during this season, here are the best spots to fully enjoy and appreciate cherry blossoms!

    1. Kyoto Gyoen National Garden

    Author’s photo

    Just a short walk from the main entrance of the Kyoto Imperial Palace, the former residence of the Imperial Family before being moved to Tokyo, is the magnificent Kyoto Gyoen National Garden.

    The garden is so big that it can cater hundreds of people. During spring, parkgoers can be seen doing hanami, having a picnic, and simply adoring the beauty of the cherry blossoms. There are many Japanese cherry trees surrounding the area! Families can also let their kids fill the air with laughter at the nicely placed playground in the area.

    Aside from cherry blossoms, you can also see plum blossoms surrounding the castle area. The colors are just so wonderful that it’s hard to take your eyes off them!

    Kyoto Gyoen National Garden Website

    2. Himeji Park

    Author’s photo

    Surrounding the entrance of Himeji Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are a bunch of cherry blossom trees that cross each other’s branches. It’s really romantic to walk between these magnificent trees, even if you’re traveling alone.

    Since the park is big, you and your friends or family can play games like badminton in the middle grounds. Or you can simply sit in one place with your special someone.

    Himeji Park Website *Automatic translation available

    3. Nadamaruyama Park

    Author’s photo

    If you want to view cherry blossoms away from large crowds, there is this small park near the Nada Dorm area. It also has a small playground for kids.

    Since the park is meant for residents around the area, hanami here is peaceful and quiet, which would make you appreciate the beauty and serenity of your surroundings more.

    Nadamaruyama Park Website

    4. Kobe University

    Author’s photo

    Kobe University is one of the most famous universities in Japan. Located on a mountain near Rokko Station on the Hankyu Railway Kobe Line, a lot of Japanese cherry trees cover the wide university grounds.

    Simply passing by the beautiful flowers of the trees along the walkway is a dazzling sight, especially when the flowers are falling.

    Kobe University Website

    There are many other destinations in Japan recommended for hanami. In fact, every year, Japan releases a forecast on the best time to visit different cities and witness the full bloom of the cherry blossoms. Regardless of where in Japan you will stay, seeing this flower that blooms once a year and in a very short period of time is something you would not want to miss!

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