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Kyushu’s Top 8 Cherry Blossom Spots: Enjoy Hanami in Japan!

In spring of Japan when the season of sakura cherry blossom is near, we become curious of sakura blooming forecast. This time I am introducing famous places for sakura in Kyushu, prefecture by prefecture, where the flower blooms earlier in Japan. Please enjoy beautiful sakura that are no less splendid than those at famous places in Honshu. Title Photo by flickr


1. Maizuru Park (Fukuoka)


Maizuru Park was established around the ruins of Fukuoka Castle for local people’s recreation. When spring arrives sakura on approximately 1000 trees decorate the park to the delight of visitors.

During Fukuoka Castle Sakura Festival, which is held this season every year, areas that are usually closed at night becomes open to the public and flower viewing visitors throng to admire the illuminated blossoms at night.

<Fukuoka Castle Sakura Festival>
Period:  March 25 to April 9, 2017
Website, Map


2. Mifuneyama Garden (Saga)


Mifuneyama Garden was the first nationally registered monument in Saga Prefecture, and it is a historic garden with a 172-year history since its opening.

In the garden of 495,000 square meters 2000 cherry trees were planted including species of cherry trees such as Somei Yoshino and Oshimazakura as well as multi-petal cherry blossoms called Yaezakura. The garden provides the largest area of illuminated sakura in Kyushu and you can enjoy a fantastic night viewing that can be seen in no other places.

Cherry blossom season is followed by azalea, large wisteria, and then comes spring maple. This is indeed a paradise of flowers where you can enjoy beautiful flowers across the season.

<Flower Festival>
Period:  March 17 to May 7, 2017
Website, Map

Related Articles: Get Your Yukata ON! Summer Mode ON! And Head Off To The Tanabata Festival!


3. Omura Park (Nagasaki)


Omura Park is known as one of the top 100 places for sakura in Japan, and flowers bloom in profusion on 2000 cherry trees every year when spring comes.

Approximately 300 trees among them are “Omurazakura”, a nationally designated natural monument. Compared to other common cherry blossoms, Omurazakura has many more petals numbering from 60 to even 200, and its beauty is exceptional.

<Omura Flower Festival>
Period:  March 25 to June 20, 2017
Website, Map


4. Kumamoto Castle (Kumamoto)


The most popular spot for cherry blossom viewing in Kumamoto prefecture is Kumamoto Castle without doubt.

Some areas are still cordoned off due to the effects of the Kumamoto Earthquake which occurred in 2016.  We may not be able to enjoy cherry blossom viewing as before, but certain areas are opened on April 1, 2 and 9 in 2017.

However as we cannot enjoy a party with picnic on the ground, please enjoy sakura while on foot.

<Kumamoto Castle>
Period:  Miyukizaka slope is open on April 1, 2 and 9.
Website, Map


5. Eboshi Park (Oita)


Eboshi Park is one of the most famous places for cherry blossoms in Oita Prefecture with its ‘Botan Zakura’ double cherry blossoms. In this park, these double cherry blossoms are at their best between the middle of April to the beginning of May, after flowers of Somei Yoshino have fallen away.

Please take a look at the gorgeous sight of double cherry blossoms with their vivid pink flowers on 500 trees decorating Mt. Eboshi.

<Botan Zakura Festival at Mt. Eboshidake>
Period:  April 17 to 24, 2017. Event is held only on April 17.
Website, Map


6. Nobeokajosi Park (Miyazaki)


This park was developed on the site of Nobeoka Castle. When spring arrives, sakura bloom on 300 trees and brush the park with vivid color of spring. Please enjoy the coming of spring in this historic park. Map


7. Maruyama Park (Kagoshima)


Maruyama Park was established as a part of projects commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Meiji period, and being one of the largest parks in the prefecture it is favored by local citizens.

Sakura bloom on approximately 6000 trees in and around the park when spring arrives, and many visitors throng from within or outside of the prefecture hoping to catch the sight of the flowers.

Being well equipped with dining and recreational facilities, this place is perfect for a spring outing and highly recommended. Map


8. Nakijin Castle Ruins (Okinawa)


Okinawa Prefecture is the southernmost prefecture in Japan and the season for sakura viewing arrives from January to February, one step ahead of the rest of the nation, and the season has already passed in 2017. Their common cherry trees are called “Higanzakura” (campanulata, winter cherry tree), unlike the varieties seen in Kyushu and Honshu.

Every year in the cherry blossom season of Okinawa, Nakijin Castle Sakura Festival is held and lustrous flowers of higanzakura greet many tourists with a world heritage site in the back. Map


When the cherry blossom season comes around in spring, many Japanese people become fidgety. Talking with family or friends to decide which place to view sakura this year is one of the pleasures in spring, while keeping track of sakura blooming forecasts.

If you are sightseeing in Japan during the cherry blossom season, please enjoy spring in Japan at one of the famous sakura spots introduced here, following the sakura blooming forecasts.

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About the author

Favorite genres are various aspects of Japanese otaku culture. Having been away from Japan for some time, there are many scenes where Azuki realizes the differences between international culture and Japanese culture. Through her own experience and knowledge, she hopes to deliver useful information to the international community who are interested in Japan.

View all articles by Azuki