Cherry Blossom 2018 – When & Where to Visit

Cherry Blossom 2018 – When & Where to Visit

Hanami—the act of cherry blossom viewing—is an extremely popular activity in Japan that both locals and tourists enjoy during cherry blossom season every year. For a short week or two every year, sakura trees blossom and Japan is transformed into a visually arresting sea of pink.

Cherry blossoms usually come hand in hand with the beautiful historical sites of Japan. You can enjoy hanami at historical sites such as shrines and memorials or in one of Japan’s many parks. Take a stroll in the parks, or have a picnic under one of the many sakura trees; spring in Japan is an extremely wonderful time.


When does the Cherry Blossom season start in Japan?

The sakura average blooming time can vary widely based on the geographical location within the country. Areas with milder winter climates produce earlier bloom times. Blooms usually open first in the southern region, and blooming progresses northward. Okinawa, for example, almost always produces the first blooms. Wind, rain, and temperature can cause the blossoms to appear either earlier or later than average and can lengthen or shorten the blooming season.

Throughout most of Japan, looming typically occurs in late March and early April. Some areas may produce blooms as early as January. The emergence of the first blossoms is called kaika – this emergence of flowers in usually what is indicated by the bloom forecasts. The peak, or mankai – the time when the most trees are in full bloom – occurs within about one week of emergence. In some years, the season extends into the month of May in the northern regions.

Cherry Blossom 2018 – When & Where to Visit
It is worth the travel to Japan just to experience this annual event. Today, we share the Cherry Blossom Forecast for 2018 and where you can view them at 10 of the most popular cities and spots in Japan.


#1 FUKUOKA

Fukuoka is one of Japan’s most populated cities and a popular tourist destination in Japan. Fukuoka sits on one of the most scenic islands of Japan, Kyushu. Every year, Hanami greets Fukuoka with beautiful pink blossoms.

Best places in Fukuoka to view cherry blossoms:
1. Fukuoka Castle | Maizuru Park – Over a thousand trees line the ruins of Fukuokoa castle. This is the ideal place to go for a romantic stroll while viewing these gorgeous blossoms.

2. Uminonakamichi Seaside Park – An estimated two thousand cherry blossom trees are planted at the Uminonakamichi Seaside Park.

3. Atago Shrine – Hanami with a view. The shrine sits atop a hill overlooking Hakata Bay.

Optimal viewing period: 01 April 1 to 07 April 2018
Approximate blooming start date: 25 March 2018




Cherry Blossom 2018 – When & Where to Visit

#2 FUKUSHIMA

Fukushima might not be the top destination choice for travellers when they visit Japan but Fukushima is more stunning than you know. Hot springs, volcanic landscapes, and hiking trails are aplenty.

Best places in Fukushima to view cherry blossoms:
1. Hanamiyama Park – There is probably only one spot in Fukushima worth visiting during cherry blossom and it is Hanamiyama Park. Rated as one of the best Hanami destinations in Japan, be greeted by a stunning display of trees with different hues of pale and dark pinks.

Optimal viewing period: 08 April to 14 April 2018
Approximate blooming start date: 06 April 2018



#3 HOKKAIDO

As one of Japan’s most popular islands, Hokkaido sits on the north with a cooler climate. Hokkaido is famed for the ski resorts, onsen and exceptionally fresh seafood.

Best places in Hokkaido to view cherry blossoms:
1. Maruyama Park | Hokkaido Shrine – The park is filled with endless cherry blossom trees. However, the path towards the Hokkaido Shrine in the park is probably the most scenic spot for photography and hanami for many trees line the walkway.

2. Moerenuma Park – This is not just any other park. Moerenuma Park was designed by the artist Isamu Noguchi and it is a masterpiece in its own rights. Cherry blossom trees bloom all around the park.

Optimal viewing period: 29 April to 04 May 2018
Approximate blooming start date: 27 April 2018




Cherry Blossom 2018 – When & Where to Visit

#4 HIROSHIMA

After the events of World War II, Hiroshima has definitely picked itself up and got back on track. Now, Hiroshima is one of the most-visited cities in all of Japan.

Best places in Hiroshima to view cherry blossoms:
1. Hiroshima Peace Park – Built in memoriam of those who passed on during the atomic bombing in the war, Hiroshima Peace Park is probably the most visited park in the prefecture. Cherry blossom trees are aplenty and they are scattered all around the park.

2. Hiroshima Castle – Japan is known for their historical castles. The castles are at their most beautiful during Hanami as the cherry blossom trees surround it.

Optimal viewing period: 04 April  to 10 April 2018
Approximate blooming start date: 27 March 2018



Cherry Blossom 2018 – When & Where to Visit



#5 KANAZAWA

Kanazawa is the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture. It sits on Japan’s central Honshu Island. Kanazawa is best known for their arts and heritage with many art museums and regional handicrafts all around.

Best places in Kanazawa to view cherry blossoms:
1. Kenrokuen Garden – This garden is a must-visit spot if you are ever in Kanazawa. This landscape garden is popular with both tourists and locals due to the abundance of sakura trees.

2. Kanazawa Castle – When in Kanazawa, you have to see the amazing Kanazawa Castle. During cherry blossom season, the area “springs” to life.

Optimal viewing period
: 08 April to 14 April 2018
Approximate blooming start date: 05 April 2018



#6 KOBE

Kobe beef is the world’s most highly-coveted beef and it hails from the Kobe region. Kobe sits on Osaka Bay and the city is the origin of one of the most ridiculously marbled beef that melts in your mouth. Besides the food, Kobe has scenic mountains that make for great photography opportunities, especially in Spring.

Best places in Kobe to view cherry blossoms:
1. Egeyama Park – With a view of the Kobe skyline, Egeyama Park is the perfect spot to have a picnic with your friends and family during the cherry blossom season.

2. Gokoku Shrine – The shrines are constructed in honour of war heroes, hence the area surrounding the shrine is very tranquil and relaxing as many head there for some peace and self-reflection. Sakura in full bloom at the shrine is a sight you do not want to miss.

Optimal viewing period: 07 April 7 to 13 April 2018
Approximate blooming start date: 01 April 2018



Cherry Blossom 2018 – When & Where to Visit

#7 KYOTO

Kyoto was once the capital of Japan and is still one of the most visited cities in Japan for it is home to an abundance of classical Buddhist temples, imperial palaces, and gardens.

Best places in Kyoto to view cherry blossoms:

1. Philosopher’s Path – This is one of the best and top-rated hanami spots in all of Japan. Hundreds of trees line the path that connects Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion) with the vicinity of Nanzenji.

2. Maruyama Park – This is the most popular park in Kyoto for hanami. The park sits next to the Yasaka Shrine and it is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike to enjoy the blossoming of sakura.

Optimal viewing period: 05 April to 11 April 2018
Approximate blooming start date: 31 March 2018



#8 NARA

When you think of Nara, you think of the adorable free-roaming deer in Nara Park and many historical sites. Nara was Japan’s capital in the 8th century, hence it is home to rich culture and history.

Best places in Nara to view cherry blossoms:
1. Nara Park – Of course, you have to visit the popular Nara Park. Almost two thousand trees are planted inside the park while approximately a thousand deer roam. It is a sight to behold, especially in Spring.

2. Koriyama Castle Ruins – Since Nara is known for their rich history, you must visit the Koriyama Castle Ruins too.

Optimal viewing period: 06 April to 12 April 2018
Approximate blooming start date: 03 April 2018




#9 OSAKA

Osaka brims with life and is well-known for their amazing street food, culture and most importantly, scenic locations.

Best places in Osaka to view cherry blossoms:
1. Kema Sakuranomiya Park – Only here will you find five thousand cherry blossom trees scattered around. Yes, FIVE THOUSAND! It is truly a sight to behold as there is double, if not triple the number of sakura trees than any other destination in Japan!

2. Osaka Castle – The Osaka Castle is synonymous with the city’s branding. Cherry blossom trees are scattered all around the park and the sheer beauty of pinks and whites against the magnificent castle is something you have to see to believe.

Optimal viewing period: 05 April to 11 April 2018
Approximate blooming start date: 01 April 2018




Cherry Blossom 2018 – When & Where to Visit

#10 TOKYO

As the capital city of Japan, Tokyo is a fast-paced city that is the perfect balance of modern and traditional. There is so much to do in Tokyo, and hanami is one of them during Spring. Our first experience with hanami was in Tokyo and the beautiful sights will forever be etched in our memories.

Best places in Tokyo to view cherry blossoms:
1. Shinjuku Gyoen – Arguably the best park in Tokyo for hanami, Shinjuku Gyoen should be on everyone’s itinerary. The huge park is filled with trees of pink and white cherry blossoms and locals enjoy a good picnic under the many cherry blossom trees.

2. Ueno Park – Ueno Park is bustling with life during Spring for it is another great spot in Tokyo for hanami. Over a thousand trees line the park and people hold “hanami parties” to celebrate this annual occasion.

3. Chidorigafushi – This is our favourite part of Tokyo during the cherry blossom season. Rent a boat and row down the river with sakura trees lining both sides. There is also a long pedestrian path with thousands of sakura trees. In other words, plenty of photo opportunities and surreal moments!

Optimal viewing period:
29 March  to 04 April 2018
Approximate blooming start date: 21 March 2018



Cherry Blossom 2018 – When & Where to Visit

Note: The above dates are an approximation based on the past five years’ cherry blossoms periods. It is hard to predict the exact days as weather forecasts are ever-changing. It is, however, important to book your air tickets and accommodation months in advance to avoid exorbitant peak period prices and to secure your necessary rooms and hotel stays.


xoxo, Blair



131 LOVES AND COMMENTS:

  1. Sooooo informative. Definately i will bookmark this and tagging my sister. She went to japan laat year and missed the season cause she didn't do enough research :D

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  2. I wish I will visit Japan again this year and I pray that the dates will coincide with the dates of the cherry blossoming! Lets pray for me ok

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    1. I will pray for you dear! So that you can have an awesome hanami, and don't forget to share us your awesome stories, lah :D

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  3. I never visit during Cherry Blossom. Many people. If got chance this year I may try to go somewhere for this. Kanazawa is a nice place.

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  4. What an informative list! I am keeping this in view, since I don't think I will be going to Japan this year, but then again, who can tell? The year is still 11 months long.

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    1. Absolutely right :D But hey, who knows, you might be invited to Japan this season.

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  5. I always wanted to go to Fukushima. It is such a beautiful place to visit.

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  6. My goodness, is tis the perfect guide or what? I would love to see Hiroshima and of course Cherry Blossoms in Osaka. They are so beautiful.

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  7. What a great in informative post! I love Japan and Sakura's and I'd love to visit during the cherry blossom blooming time some year. And actually, me and my fiancée are both born spring so this could make an excellent douple B-day trip! :)

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    1. It could be a romantic sakura trip for both of you!

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  8. Those flowers are so pretty. They remind me of spring.

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  9. Wow! What a resource heavy post. It's so great. I'm hoping to go with my husband next year and will certainly save this information!

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  10. Those all look like such beautiful places to see cherry blossoms. These pictures make me long for springtime!

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    1. Thank you Crystal! Hope you can visit Japan even summer.

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  11. I've seen these beauties before and they're truly a sight everyone needs to see in person!!

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  12. I'm currently saving up to visit Japan and really hope I'll get to see some cherry blossom! Thanks for the guide

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    1. Wow that will be great! You could also save up for the Japan Olympics on 2020!

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  13. I have always thought that Japan is beautiful, especially because of the contrast between rural and urban Japan. I would love to go to Fukuoka Castle in Maizuru Park to see over one thousand trees and also the beautiful cherry blossoms x

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    1. You know what Ana, the Japan life will also suits for you! You are so fashionable, and I believe Japan is one of the place you must visit. Add Harajuku to your itinerary.

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  14. I first heard about this last year and I have to admit I would absolutely LOVE to visit in cherry blossom season, everything looks so beautiful.

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  15. Sakura! Cherry blossom trees are enchanting and beautiful! I wish I could also visit Japan soon, in season, to see them with my own eyes.

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  16. What an experience this would be!!! I have seem them in bloom in DC but to go to a bigger area and see them everywhere would be a great experience.

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  17. Thanks for creating this list. Cherry Blossoms are so beautiful! I would love to visit some of these locations in person.

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  18. So gorgeous! I would love to see a cherry blossom tree in person. Thank you for these list of places. I hope to make it one day.

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    1. Your lovely daughter will enjoy the season as well, then take her to Harajuku for kawaii stuffs :D

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  19. Such pretty sights everywhere! One of my blogger friends been to Kyoto recently and since I saw her pics and instastories am all ready to go :D

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    1. Thanks for appreciating Japan! Kyoto is one of the oldest city, and you must visit it as well.

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  20. ahhhh... many of my friends going but me already been tied up with lots of events.. i wanna go so badly

    Racheal

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  21. I have been wanting to take an experience of Japan's Cherry Blossom festival. I hope someday I get to visit this country.

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    1. Oh you should also take note the Japan 2020 Olympics! That is one of the best time to visit Japan.

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  22. OMG such beautiful places to see. Those Cherry blossom trees are gorgeous.Love seeing different cultures.

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  23. The cherry blossoms look so beautiful, I would love to visit all these places.

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  24. oh my this looks and sounds amazing its a place I would love to visit myself such beautiful pictures

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    1. Truly it is! I know there are also cherry blossoms in other countries. But nothing is more special than spending a picnic-experience under the cheery blossom trees in Japan.

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  25. I have been to Tokyo and I have seen real cherry blossoms. I'm curious though if it is the same in other parts of Japan. I want to visit Kobe, Osaka, Nara and Hiroshima.

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    1. You better try in Kobe, Osaka, Nara and Hiroshima, because there places have much beautiful cherry blossoms than in the city. You will feel a certain "magic" as the local says.

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  26. I absolutely ADORE the smell of cherry blossoms. I assumed they would only be from one area, but is nice to see that I can go to several different locations to enjoy them!

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  27. As big as the cherry blossom is in Washington, DC, I am surprised to not see it on the list!! But, it'd be nice to visit where they actually originate.

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    1. Washington isn't included coz this blog is focusing on Asia. :D

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  28. wow!I love to see cherry blossoms on my real eyes one day.These pictures make me so excited.Beautiful and pretty pink views from Japan...

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  29. Wow, so beautiful! I had no idea that people from all over traveled to view these!

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    1. Yeah, Japan is one of the best place to visit, to experience the old world and the new!

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  30. Cherry Blossoms are so pretty. I just wish they stayed on the trees longer. It's such a beautiful sight when they're in bloom.

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    1. I agree. But having it on a limited time makes these cherry blossoms more special.

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  31. Cherry Blossom is one of my favorite scents! Also, I've always wanted to go to Tokyo ever since I was a little girl. Needing to add seeing the cherry blossoming to my bucket list. Thanks for the informative post.

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  32. Oh my! Your photos are gorgeous. I would most like to visit Hokkaido for the resorts and fresh seafood and Kanazawa for the arts.

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    1. hey! Hope you can make it this year in Hokkaido :D Enjoy!

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  33. These are my new favorite trees. So pretty. Great for pictures too. Gotta visit Japan ;)

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  34. Oh, you have been there! I was about to load a Nat Geo book about Cherry Blossom. I wounder if festival get better with years....

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  35. It really looks a nice place to visit and I would love to see cherry blossoms in person.

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    1. Oh hope you can make it this season! Bring your kid :D

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  36. This is an amazing list of places to see the blossoms. After living in Japan for 3 years, cherry blossom season is perhaps one of the things I miss most!

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    1. It is such a beauty, and I love reading Japanese folklore while enjoying the view.

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  37. Blair, this guide is wonderfully detailed. I love Cherry blossoms and wish I could join you in Japan. Your photos are a pallet for the eyes! Thank you!! Evelyn, PathofPresence.com

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    1. Hello Evelyn,

      Hope you can visit Japan soon! Or better save your trip for Japan 2020 Olympics!

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  38. I can't wait to visit Japan and see the Cherry Blossoms.

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  39. Nature at it's finest! I love cherry blossom trees, they are so beautiful!

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    1. I agree!

      Also during this season, many are making their engagement proposals and its so romantic!

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  40. These are great cherry blossom places to visit. I love these tips in your post, and I love Japan. Thanks for sharing.

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  41. Cherry blossoms are so peaceful-looking and pretty – they are perfect for taking striking photos. And, they have the sweetest fragrance – another reason why I love them.

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  42. Amazing pictures! Those cherry blossoms looks gorgeous. I hope someday I get to visit this country.

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    1. That will be fantastic and hope japan will be part of your wonderful travel memories :D

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  43. thats amazing. i already love japanese food and now I have more reasons to visit japan. So beautiful to see the entire area filled with pink.

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  44. Cherry blossom viewing seems very interesting. I would like to make it on my bucket list. Thanks for such an awesome article.

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    1. You're welcome George! Bring your family to Japan :D

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  45. Such beautiful pictures. I never knew there is an activity for cherry blossom viewing 😋 great compilation here.

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    1. Thanks dear!

      Cheery Blossom is the start of the spring, and that means many other activities to come!

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  46. Cherry blossom in Japan has been on my list for quite sometime now. Unfortunately it's in spring and probably we'll visit Japan during summer. Btw, which of the parks mentioned above is your favorite?

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  47. Cherry blossoms are so magical, almost like fairy wings floating in the air. Your post is quite informative and would really help me when I do manage to find my way to Japan.

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    1. Thank you Denny and I hope that you would enjoy your Japan stay :D

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  48. This is a good handy list of places for cherry blossoms. In fact I was searching the net for all the popular places in Japan for these places. If I am to cover all of them during one visit to Japan how many days will be needed?

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    1. if you want to really enjoy the place, I suggest you stay longer for two weeks. It will be not too enjoyable to stay for a week because of many places to see and experience.

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  49. It would be such a dream to be able to see the cherry blossom in real life! So so gorgeous!

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    1. I know right! I expect many couple coming over for vacation, and many proposals are going to happen.

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  50. Seeing the cherry blossom in person would be a dream!! So so gorgeous

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  51. Omg this is the best!! They are my favesss!! Thank you for this list!

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  52. I have heard so much about Japan and I think it is a very beautiful country. Hope to visit the place some day. The cherry blossoms look gorgeous.

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  53. Seeing sakura or cherry blossoms is a dream for me. I hope to visit Japan soon in their season :)

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  54. Cherry blossoms are my favorite kind of flower. I love how you take us on a trip through cherry blossoms! SO COOL!

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    1. You're welcome Danielle, and hope you could visit as well!

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  55. Japan is definitely one of those places I cannot wait to visit. I'm attracted to the culture and the country areas outside the city. Wonderful information!

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    1. And it is also a good place to capture many fresh ideas. Japan seems a different world for many.

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  56. I remember seeing pictures like these all over instagram and thinking they were fake or photoshopped. It's so cool to learn the background of it. And your pictures are beautiful

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  57. I miss seeing cherry blossom now in Tokyo after reading your post! Those cherry blossom is simply so dreamy and pretty.

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    1. I agree. Oh you might want to visit Tokyo on your anniversary :D

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  58. Honestly I love the Cherry Blossoms in Japan, I wish we had more of these darling trees here in the UK.

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    1. Well this will be your opportunity to spend hanami season in japan :D

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  59. Such a great and informative post. I didn't know about so many of these things before. loved the photos. ty :)

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  60. Jelousnya l tengok cherry blossom...rasa nak pergi sana///

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  61. Interesting topic, I enjoy reading the story, thanks for sharing :)

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  62. I experienced Hanami Festival when I was in Ibaraki Japan last 2009. It is one of my unforgettable places I have ever been. I can't wait to return with my family this year.

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  63. I have always wanted to do a photoshoot with Cherry blossoms. They are just so beautiful.

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    1. Oh you must have it! And you will see many couples doing it for their pre-wedding shoot or engagement / proposals :D
      A romantic season to fall in-love.

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  64. oh my gosh, my brother use to live here and tell us all about it. I know that he loved it. wish I had seen it when he was there.

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    1. You can still have many opportunities to visit Japan. Bring your family!

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  65. I would really love to visit Japan in cherry blossom season, my friends goes to Japan often and tells me how beautiful it is. So many places to visit, how long would you need to explore all these places at once?

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    1. I would advice you stay at least a week. Or if you can, you can have two weeks!

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