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Cherry Blossom viewing in rural Japan.

Cherry Blossom season starts in the early spring in Japan. Visitors can be sure to be treated to some spectacular views of the Sakura ( さくら), or Cherry Blossoms across Japan. Hanami (花見) flower viewing, is the term used to well view the flowers across Japan. Typically the blossoms go into bloom in the south and make their way north.

Some of the best places to see the blossoms in full bloom is Hirosaki Castle in the Aomori Prefecture. It is a stunning three-story castle built by the Tsugaru clan in 1611, with a fortified moat, castle gates, and corner turrets. It is home to several other festivals throughout the year as well as the world famous Cherry Blossom festival. It has blooms of over 2500 trees, enticing visitors with cherry blossom tunnels, petal filled moats where leisure row boats cut the water and plenty of space to enjoy a picnic lunch with friends and family. The festival is held annually from the end of April to early May when the blossoms are usually in bloom.

The Kintai-kyo Bridge, a special bridge that spans 5 arches and lies below Iwakuni Castle and Kikko Park in Iwakuni are sure to impress visitors and attracts visitors from all over Japan. This location has blooms, mankai, a little bit earlier in the year since it is further south than Hirosaki. There are about 3000 cherry trees planted along the river and spread out in Kikko Park. It is a wonderful place to walk along the riverside, bridge or enjoy a picnic in Kikko Park. Additionally, there are riverboat cruises for about ¥500 (About $4.51) for a 20-minute cruise. If you prefer to view the cherry blossoms in the evening the entire area is lit by lanterns to create a truly unique atmospheric experience

To add to the fun the newly renovated White Snake Museum is sure to entertain guests. There are interactive exhibits and games that can be enjoyed by all ages.

This is my short but sweet sharing of two wonderful places to partake in Hanami while visiting Japan in the spring! If this post inspired you let's talk about planning your next vacation. I would love to make a trip to Japan one you'll talk about for years to come!

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