The Japanese cherry blossom or Sakura are the symbols of springtime in Japan and it has long been adored by people across the globe. “Hanami” (Japanese: the act of cherry blossom viewing) has become a very popular activity in Japan for both locals and tourists during the spring season. So, are you ready to fly to Japan for these stunning white or pink flowers?
Photo credit: GaijinPot Blog
Generally, the cherry blossom trees blooming time can vary widely based on the geographical location within the country. Blooms usually open first in the southern region and blooming progresses northward, but the average time for appearing cherry blossom may vary depending on the weather conditions.
Today, we share the 2018 cherry blossom forecast and best viewing spots in Hokkaido with you!
Hokkaido (Sapporo): Cherry Blossoms Start from Early May
2017: First day of blossoms (28-04-2017), Full bloom (03-05-2017)
2018: First day of blossoms -Early May (01-05-2018), Full bloom (estimated day): Early May (03 to 10 May)
Hokkaido is Japan’s most popular islands, and because it’s the northernmost island in Japan, it has the latest cherry blossom season. If you are planning to see the “Hanami” in Hokkaido, don’t miss out these popular sakura viewing spots.
Matsumae Park, Matsumae
Photo credit: good-hokkaido
Matsumae Park is known for Matsumae Castle, and this place is so famous for its cherry blossoms! Here reside about 250 species growing on about ten thousand cherry trees. Each species bloom according to their own cycle, so visitors are given a whole month for viewing the cherry trees here, starting from the end of April until mid of May.
Address: Matsushiro, Matsumae, Matsumae District, Hokkaido
By public transportation: From JR Kikonai Station, take a bus bound for Matsumae and get off at Matsushiro (bus takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes). The park is about seven minutes on foot from the bus stop.
Phone: 0139-42-2726 (Matsumae Tourist Association)
Shizunai Nijukken Highway, Hidaka
Photo credit: Japanphototrip
The cherry blossoms along Shizunai Nijukken Road are often said to be the best row of cherry trees in Japan, you’ll be so enjoyed with a seven-kilometer span of cherry trees. This spot is on the list of Japan’s Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots and also part of the Hokkaido Heritage site.
Address: Shizunaimizono・Shizunaitahara, Shinhidaka, Hidaka District, Hokkaido
Directions by car: From the Hidaka-Mombetsu Interchange of the Hidaka Expressway, follow National Route 235 for one hour
Phone: 0146-42-1000 (Shinhidaka Tourist Association)
5. Maruyama Park (Sapp
Goryokaku Tower, Hakodate
Photo credit: Worldation.com
Goryokaku Tower is located in Hakodate, this park is a famous observatory in Hokkaido. The cherry blossoms at Gorykaku consist of about 1600 Yoshino cherry trees, their small pale flowers are a rarity in Hokkaido.
From the tower, you can look out over star-shaped Goryokaku park with stunning cherry blossoms view, at that time, the entire landscape is painted pink.
Address: Goryokaku Park, Goryokaku, Hakodate, Hokkaido
Hours: 5 AM to 7 PM (April to October), 5 AM to 6 PM (November to March)
Moerenuma Park, Sapporo
Photo credit: Naverまとめ
Moerenuma Park is located in Sapporo, there is an area called “Sakura Forest” in the park, it’s the place where 2,300 trees spread out over 130,000 square meters. It is one of the largest numbers of cherry blossom trees in Hokkaido!
The Moerenuma park was designed by the famous interior designer, Isamu Noguchi. Even the facilities and playground equipment in the park look like works of contemporary art, if you visit with your family, children would be happy at this place with unexpected playground equipment.
Address Moerenuma-koen 1-1, Higashi-ku, Sapporo
Hours 7:00-22:00 (Park entrance closed at 21:00)
Telephone 011-790-1231 (Japanese only)