Spring in Japan is a time to enjoy nature and the passage of time, marked by the arrival of cherry blossoms or “sakura.” One of the most cherished traditions during this season is hanami, the act of enjoying the beauty of cherry blossoms with family, friends or colleagues. Whether it’s a quiet picnic with family, a lively celebration with friends or a peaceful moment of reflection among colleagues, hanami is a great way to celebrate the beauty of spring under the cherry blossoms, which serve as a reminder of life’s fleeting nature. In this guide, you will learn about how to properly experience hanami in Japan to help you fully immerse yourself in this quintessential Japanese experience. To have convenient access to parks and gardens where you can enjoy hanami, why not stay at one of our hotels located in Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, Sapporo, Otaru, Kyoto and Kawasaki? We look forward to having you with us!

Photo by Raita Futo

Pick the Right Timing

Cherry blossoms, with their delicate beauty, bloom for a brief moment, typically lasting only a couple of weeks. To ensure you don’t miss this beautiful spectacle, it’s essential to keep a close watch on the sakura forecast, also known as “sakura-zensen.” This forecast provides invaluable insights into the blooming dates of cherry blossoms across various regions of Japan, allowing you to plan your hanami outings with precision so you can see the sakura at full bloom. The peak of the sakura in Tokyo in 2024 will be on March 25th according to this year’s forecast.

Read more:
The Ultimate Cherry Blossom Guide: Forecast and Top Viewing Spots in Every Region!

Choose the Perfect Spot

Selecting the perfect location is a vital part of the hanami experience. Fortunately, Japan boasts an abundance of picturesque gardens and parks ideal for hanami gatherings. Each venue offers its own special charm and ambiance. From Tokyo’s iconic Yoyogi Park, where groups of cherry trees create a mesmerizing canopy of pink and white blooms, to Kyoto’s enchanting Maruyama Park, renowned for its majestic cherry blossoms illuminated by traditional lanterns during the evening, you will find a place to celebrate spring in every city. Whether you’re seeking a bustling urban oasis or a secluded natural retreat, you will find a hanami spot perfect for you, your family, friends and colleagues.

Read more:
Every Cherry Blossom Festival in and around Tokyo in 2024
Best Cherry Blossom Spots in Yanesen
Top Cherry Blossom Spots Near Azabujuban
Best Cherry Blossom Spots Near Shibuya
Top Cherry Blossom Illuminations in Kyoto
Top Secret Cherry Blossom Spots in Kyoto: Part 1
Top Secret Cherry Blossom Spots in Kyoto: Part 2

Photo by mahohn

Prepare Your Picnic

No hanami is complete without food! As you prepare for your hanami experience, consider packing some of your favorite snacks, from savory delights like onigiri and sushi to crispy fried chicken and seasonal sweets. You can pick up the snacks you need from a local convenience store or pack your own picnic food. To ensure maximum comfort during your picnic, don’t forget to purchase a tarp to sit on and claim your spot beneath the sakura. You can purchase them from Don Quixote or a 100 yen shop.

Photo by Khánh Hmoong

Capture the Moment

Cherry blossoms symbolize the ephemeral beauty of life. As you immerse yourself in the quiet beauty of hanami, seize the opportunity to immortalize this fleeting moment through the lens of your camera or phone. Capture these precious moments with your family, friends or colleagues as you celebrate the changing of seasons. These photographs will serve as a timeless reminder of your time in Japan and the people you shared those experiences with.

Photo by Meredith P.

Respect Nature and Others

Finally, while celebrating the cherry blossoms is fun, don’t forget to take care of the environment. Tread lightly and avoid causing any harm to the delicate cherry trees or disturbing the pristine flowerbeds. Additionally, maintain the cleanliness of the area by disposing of any trash in designated bins and adhering to park regulations diligently. Remember to be mindful of noise levels, ensuring that your enjoyment doesn’t infringe upon the peaceful atmosphere for others. Lastly, in crowded areas, be mindful of personal space and avoid overcrowding popular spots, allowing everyone the opportunity to savor the magic of hanami in tranquility.

If you’re interested in staying at one of our hotels conveniently located near many beautiful cherry blossom spots, click here to learn more.