Family Travel Guide: Spring Cherry Blossom Season In Japan

by | Jan 25, 2024 | Destinations

Spring is a magical time of year in Japan, as the cherry blossom trees burst into bloom, creating a breathtaking sight. Families looking to experience this natural beauty can plan a trip to Japan during the spring cherry blossom season. With its rich culture, delicious food, and stunning scenery, Japan is a wonderful destination for families to explore together.

For families planning a trip to Japan during the spring cherry blossom season, there are several things to keep in mind. First and foremost, it's important to plan ahead and book accommodations and transportation well in advance, as this is a popular time of year for tourists. It's also important to keep in mind that the cherry blossom season varies depending on the location in Japan, so families should research the best times to visit based on their travel itinerary. Additionally, families should be prepared for crowds, as many people flock to Japan during this time of year to witness the cherry blossoms in full bloom.

Best Times to Visit for Cherry Blossoms

Spring is the best time to visit Japan to see the cherry blossoms. The cherry blossom season typically begins in late March to early April in most parts of Japan, but the exact timing varies depending on the location and weather conditions.

To get the most out of your cherry blossom viewing experience, it's important to plan your trip carefully. The following table shows the estimated peak bloom dates for some of the most popular cherry blossom spots in Japan:

Location Estimated Peak Bloom Date
Tokyo Late March to early April
Kyoto Late March to early April
Osaka Late March to early April
Nara Late March to early April
Hiroshima Early to mid-April
Fukuoka Late March to early April

It's worth noting that the peak bloom date can vary from year to year, and even within the same year, depending on the weather conditions. It's always a good idea to check the local weather forecast and cherry blossom reports before planning your trip.

If you're looking to avoid the crowds, consider visiting some of the lesser-known cherry blossom spots, such as Himeji Castle or Mount Yoshino. These locations may not have as many cherry trees as the popular spots, but they offer a more peaceful and intimate viewing experience.

In summary, the best time to visit Japan for cherry blossoms is from late March to early April, but the exact timing varies depending on the location and weather conditions. Be sure to plan your trip carefully and check the local weather forecast and cherry blossom reports before you go.

Top Cherry Blossom Spots in Japan

Japan is renowned for its stunning cherry blossom season, and it's no surprise that many families choose to visit during this time. Here are some of the top cherry blossom spots in Japan that are perfect for families to enjoy.


In Tokyo, families can enjoy the cherry blossoms at popular spots such as Ueno Park, Shinjuku Gyoen, and Yoyogi Park. Ueno Park is particularly popular, with over 1,000 cherry trees lining the paths. Families can also enjoy cherry blossom viewing from a boat on the Chidorigafuchi moat.


Kyoto is another popular destination for cherry blossom viewing. Families can visit the famous Philosopher's Path, which is lined with cherry trees and offers a peaceful and scenic walk. Maruyama Park is also a great spot, with a large weeping cherry tree that is illuminated at night.


Osaka is home to the Osaka Castle Park, which is a popular cherry blossom spot for families. The park has over 4,000 cherry trees, and visitors can enjoy the blossoms while strolling around the castle grounds. Families can also visit the Expo '70 Commemorative Park, which has over 5,000 cherry trees and offers a variety of activities for children.


Hokkaido is a less crowded but equally stunning cherry blossom destination. Families can visit Goryokaku Park, which has over 1,000 cherry trees and is especially beautiful during the evening illuminations. Families can also enjoy cherry blossom viewing while taking a ride on the Hakodate Ropeway, which offers breathtaking views of the city and the cherry blossoms.

Overall, Japan offers a wide range of cherry blossom spots that are perfect for families to enjoy. Whether you're in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, or Hokkaido, there are plenty of opportunities to experience the beauty of Japan's cherry blossoms.

Planning Your Trip


When planning a family trip to Japan during the spring cherry blossom season, it is important to consider the budget. Japan can be quite expensive, so it is recommended to plan ahead and set a realistic budget. Some expenses to consider include airfare, accommodations, transportation, food, and activities. It is also important to factor in the cost of purchasing a Japan Rail Pass, which can save money on transportation.


There are various types of accommodations available in Japan, including hotels, ryokans (traditional Japanese inns), and guesthouses. It is recommended to book accommodations in advance, especially during peak cherry blossom season. Some popular areas to stay in during this time include Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka.


Japan has an extensive and efficient transportation system, including trains, buses, and subways. It is recommended to purchase a Japan Rail Pass, which allows unlimited travel on most trains operated by Japan Railways. It is also important to note that Japan drives on the left side of the road, so renting a car may not be the best option for all travelers.

Cultural Etiquette

When traveling to Japan, it is important to be aware of cultural etiquette. This includes removing shoes before entering a home or temple, bowing as a sign of respect, and using chopsticks properly. It is also important to be mindful of noise levels and to avoid littering. Learning a few key phrases in Japanese, such as "hello" and "thank you," can also be helpful in showing respect for the local culture.

Family-Friendly Activities

Spring cherry blossom season in Japan is not just about admiring the beautiful flowers. Families can enjoy a variety of activities that cater to all ages. Here are some family-friendly activities to consider during your trip.

Picnicking Under Sakura

One of the most popular activities during cherry blossom season is picnicking under the sakura trees. Families can enjoy a relaxing afternoon in the park, surrounded by the beautiful blossoms. Some parks even have designated picnic areas with tables and benches. Don't forget to bring a blanket and some snacks to enjoy with your loved ones.

Cultural Festivals and Events

Spring cherry blossom season is also a time for many cultural festivals and events. Families can experience traditional Japanese culture through performances, food, and games. Some popular festivals include the Sakura Matsuri in Tokyo and the Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival in Aomori. Check local event calendars to see what's happening during your visit.

Parks and Recreation

Japan has many parks and recreation areas that are perfect for families. In addition to cherry blossom viewing, many parks offer playgrounds, bike rentals, and boat rides. Some popular parks include Ueno Park in Tokyo and Maruyama Park in Kyoto. Take a stroll through the park and enjoy the scenery with your family.

Overall, spring cherry blossom season in Japan offers a variety of family-friendly activities. Whether you're picnicking under the sakura trees or experiencing traditional Japanese culture at a festival, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

Safety and Health Considerations

When traveling to Japan during the spring cherry blossom season, there are a few safety and health considerations to keep in mind. Here are some tips to ensure a safe and healthy trip:

  • Allergies: If you have allergies, be aware that the pollen from cherry blossoms can cause hay fever symptoms. It is recommended to bring allergy medication and wear a mask to avoid inhaling the pollen.
  • Weather: Spring weather in Japan can be unpredictable, so it is important to pack for all types of weather. Bring layers and waterproof clothing in case of rain.
  • Sun Protection: The sun can be strong during the spring season, so it is important to wear sunscreen and a hat to protect your skin.
  • Food and Water: Japan is known for its delicious food, but it is important to be cautious when trying new dishes. Make sure to drink bottled water and avoid eating raw or undercooked food to prevent foodborne illnesses.
  • Emergency Services: It is always a good idea to have the contact information for emergency services, such as the police and ambulance, in case of an emergency.

By following these safety and health tips, travelers can enjoy a worry-free trip to Japan during the spring cherry blossom season.

Packing Essentials for Spring Weather

Spring in Japan can be unpredictable, with temperatures ranging from cool to warm and occasional rain showers. It's essential to pack the right items for a comfortable and enjoyable trip. Here are some packing essentials to consider:


Layers are key for spring weather in Japan. A lightweight jacket or sweater is essential for cooler days, and a rain jacket or umbrella is a must for unexpected showers. Comfortable walking shoes are also a must, as there will be plenty of walking involved in exploring the cherry blossoms.


Don't forget to pack a hat and sunglasses to protect against the sun, which can be quite strong during the day. A scarf or shawl can also be useful for chilly mornings and evenings.


Pack sunscreen and lip balm to protect against the sun, and bring a small bottle of hand sanitizer for when hand washing isn't available. It's also a good idea to bring a small first aid kit with essentials such as band-aids and pain relievers.


Japan uses 100V outlets, so make sure to bring a universal adapter if you plan on using electronic devices. Don't forget to bring a camera or smartphone to capture the beautiful cherry blossoms.

By packing these essentials, travelers can enjoy a comfortable and stress-free trip to Japan during the spring cherry blossom season.

Photography Tips for Capturing Sakura

Spring in Japan is a magical time, with cherry blossom trees in full bloom. Capturing the beauty of these pink flowers can be a challenge, but with a few photography tips, anyone can take stunning photos. Here are some tips for capturing sakura:

  • Use a tripod: To capture the delicate details of the cherry blossoms, use a tripod to keep your camera steady. This will help prevent blurry photos and ensure a sharp image.
  • Shoot in the golden hour: The golden hour, which is the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset, is the best time to shoot cherry blossoms. The soft light during this time will give your photos a warm and dreamy look.
  • Experiment with angles: Don't be afraid to experiment with different angles when taking photos of cherry blossoms. Try shooting from below to capture the flowers against the blue sky, or from above to get a bird's-eye view.
  • Use a shallow depth of field: To make the cherry blossoms stand out in your photos, use a shallow depth of field. This will blur the background and make the flowers pop.
  • Look for reflections: Cherry blossoms look stunning when reflected in water. Look for ponds, rivers, or any other bodies of water to capture the beauty of the sakura reflected in the water.

By following these photography tips, anyone can capture the beauty of cherry blossom season in Japan.

Japanese Cuisine Guide

Street Food

One of the best ways to experience Japanese cuisine during the cherry blossom season is by indulging in street food. Street vendors offer a wide range of delicious and affordable snacks that are perfect for a quick bite while exploring the beautiful cherry blossom sights. Some popular street food options include takoyaki (octopus balls), yakitori (grilled chicken skewers), and okonomiyaki (savory pancakes).

Family Restaurants

For a more formal dining experience, family restaurants are a great option for families traveling with children. These restaurants offer a variety of Japanese dishes that cater to both adults and children. Some of the most popular family restaurant chains in Japan include Saizeriya, Gusto, and Jonathan's. These restaurants offer a casual atmosphere and affordable prices, making them perfect for families on a budget.

Cherry Blossom Inspired Dishes

During the cherry blossom season, many restaurants in Japan offer special dishes inspired by the beautiful pink flowers. Some popular dishes include sakura mochi (sweet rice cake filled with sweet red bean paste and wrapped in a cherry blossom leaf), sakura soba (buckwheat noodles with cherry blossom petals), and sakura tempura (fried shrimp and vegetables with cherry blossom petals). These dishes not only taste delicious but also provide a unique cultural experience for travelers.

Overall, Japan offers a wide range of culinary experiences during the cherry blossom season. From street food to family restaurants to cherry blossom inspired dishes, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Souvenir Shopping

Japan is known for its unique and high-quality souvenirs, and the cherry blossom season is the perfect time to buy them. Visitors can find a wide range of souvenirs, from traditional Japanese crafts to modern gadgets and accessories.

One popular souvenir is the "sakura" (cherry blossom) themed items such as keychains, phone cases, and stationery. These items are usually decorated with delicate cherry blossom designs, making them a perfect souvenir to remember the spring season in Japan.

For those who are looking for traditional Japanese crafts, there are many options available. Visitors can find beautiful pottery, lacquerware, and textiles that are made by skilled artisans. These items are not only beautiful but also functional, making them a great addition to any home.

Food is also an essential part of souvenir shopping in Japan. Visitors can find a wide range of snacks and sweets that are unique to Japan, such as "sakura mochi" (cherry blossom flavored rice cake) and "senbei" (rice crackers). These items make great gifts for friends and family back home.

When shopping for souvenirs, visitors should keep in mind that many stores offer tax-free shopping for tourists. To be eligible for tax-free shopping, visitors need to show their passport and spend a certain amount at the store. It's also important to note that some items, such as food and alcohol, may have restrictions on bringing them back to certain countries. Visitors should check the customs regulations of their home country before making any purchases.

Overall, souvenir shopping in Japan during the cherry blossom season is a fun and exciting experience. Visitors can find unique and high-quality items that are perfect for remembering their trip to Japan.

Navigating Language Barriers

Travelling to a foreign country can be daunting, especially when the language spoken is unfamiliar. In Japan, English is not widely spoken, making communication a challenge for tourists. However, there are ways to navigate language barriers and enjoy a smooth trip.

One of the easiest ways to overcome language barriers is to learn some basic Japanese phrases. Simple greetings such as "Konnichiwa" (hello) and "Arigatou gozaimasu" (thank you) can go a long way in showing respect and building rapport with locals. Additionally, carrying a pocket-size phrasebook or downloading a translation app on your phone can be helpful when communicating with locals.

Another way to navigate language barriers is to use visual aids. Pointing to pictures on a menu or map can help communicate your needs without relying on language. Using gestures and body language can also be effective in conveying your message.

Finally, it's always a good idea to ask for help when needed. Many Japanese people are friendly and eager to assist tourists, even if they don't speak English. Hotel staff, tourist information centers, and police stations are good places to seek help and information.

By following these tips, tourists can overcome language barriers and enjoy a stress-free trip to Japan during the spring cherry blossom season.

Mobile Connectivity and Apps

Travelers visiting Japan during the spring cherry blossom season can stay connected with their loved ones and navigate their way around the country with ease using mobile connectivity and apps.

Japan has a reliable and extensive mobile network, with major carriers such as NTT Docomo, Softbank, and au offering prepaid SIM cards and rental Wi-Fi devices for tourists. These options provide unlimited data usage and high-speed internet access, allowing travelers to use various apps and stay connected with their friends and family back home.

For navigation, Google Maps is a popular choice among tourists. It provides real-time traffic updates and public transportation information, making it easy for travelers to get around the city. Additionally, Hyperdia is a useful app for planning train routes and schedules. It provides accurate and up-to-date information on train times, fares, and transfers.

For those who want to learn more about Japan's culture and attractions, the Japan Official Travel App is a must-have. It provides information on popular tourist spots, events, and local cuisine. It also offers a translation feature, making it easier for travelers to communicate with locals who may not speak English.

Overall, mobile connectivity and apps can enhance the travel experience for visitors to Japan during the spring cherry blossom season. With a reliable network and useful apps, travelers can stay connected, navigate their way around the country, and learn more about Japan's rich culture and attractions.

Emergency Information and Resources

No one wants to think about emergencies while on vacation, but it's always better to be prepared. Here are some important resources to keep in mind while traveling during cherry blossom season in Japan.

Emergency Services

In case of an emergency, dial 110 for police, 119 for ambulance or fire department. English-speaking operators are available.

Medical Facilities

Japan has a high standard of medical care, but it can be expensive. It is recommended to have travel insurance that covers medical expenses. Here are some English-speaking medical facilities in Tokyo:

Natural Disasters

Japan is prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes, typhoons, and tsunamis. It is important to stay informed and follow the instructions of local authorities. The Japan Meteorological Agency provides up-to-date information on weather and earthquakes (

Lost or Stolen Items

In case of lost or stolen items, contact the nearest police station and file a report. English-speaking officers are available. It is also recommended to contact your embassy or consulate for assistance.

Consular Services

Embassies and consulates provide a range of services to their citizens, including assistance in case of emergencies, lost or stolen passports, and legal issues. Here are some English-speaking embassies and consulates in Tokyo:

Remember to keep important documents such as passports and travel insurance information in a safe place, and have a plan in case of emergency.