In Travel Tips on Wednesday 17th Apr, 2019

Pro-traveller tips for getting the most out of Japan’s cherry blossom season

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Every spring, travellers from around the world visit Japan to catch a glimpse of stunning cherry blossoms such as this one. Source: Getty

The appearance of cherry blossoms, known locally as sakura, is an annual spectacle in Japan that’s beloved by travellers from around the world.

But timing a trip to coincide with cherry blossom viewing season is no easy task because the stunning blooms’ arrival is dictated by the weather, so Victor Law, inflight service manager at international airline Cathay Pacific, shared his best-kept secrets for visiting Japan during this time with Travel at 60.

Law says the best time to see cherry blossoms in full bloom is typically March to April, although he cautions that the dates of blooming do change somewhat according to weather conditions each year. The Japan National Tourism Organisation website is a fantastic resource, though, to stay up-to-date with season predictions.

“My top tip is to check the local weather website for cherry blossoms before you go,” Law advises.

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While going in peak cherry blossom season can be a particularly busy time to visit Japan, it is worth the opportunity to see the scenery come alive with vibrant shades of pink. You might like to make your way to one of the many parks and gardens, pack a picnic lunch and mingle with the locals and other tourists who spend their time outside to take in as much of the beautiful landscapes as possible.

If you want to experience the full cherry blossom atmosphere, however, Law says Ueno Park, located in central Tokyo, is one of the best. “People gather around, sitting, socialising and singing while enjoying the cherry blossoms and the atmosphere,” he says.

The other place that’s beloved by cherry blossom fans is the Kiyomizu-dera temple in Kyoto. The UNESCO World Heritage site is one of Kyoto’s leading cherry blossom spots, with nearly 1,500 mountain cherry and somei yoshino trees.

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“Walking [among] the temples provides another unique atmosphere to enjoy as well,” he says, adding that a special night-time illumination is provided so visitors can still enjoy the blossoms after dark.

Have you been to Japan during cherry blossom season? Where did you go to see them in bloom?

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