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1. Karatsu Castle (Maizuru Park) (Saga Prefecture)

The former site of Karatsu Castle (built 1602) in Saga Prefecture is, unusually for Japan, in a location that juts out into the sea. The current castle tower was completed in 1966. The area surrounding the castle has been made into a park, and when the cherry blossoms reach full bloom, a wonderful scenery created by the contrast of the lovely pink blossoms and blue ocean delight visitors. The cherry trees have been planted as if to surround the castle, so they are beautiful to look at both up close and from afar.

Usual season: Late March - Early April

1. Karatsu Castle (Maizuru Park) (Saga Prefecture)

8-1 Higashi-Jonai, Karatsu-shi, Saga

2. Isshingyo No Ozakura (Kumamoto Prefecture)

This is a famous and historic cherry tree in the Minami-Aso area of Kumamoto Prefecture that is more than 400 years old. It is a large tree that is 14m high, has a trunk that is 7m in diameter, and has branches spreading 21m east to west and 26m north to south. The blossoms that bloom on the tree are pale pink in color. The tree is surrounded by fields of rape blossoms that usually bloom around the same time, so you can enjoy a fantastic scenery of delicate pink and bright yellow that seem to be competing with each other.

Usual season: Late March - Early April

2. Isshingyo No Ozakura (Kumamoto Prefecture)

3226-1 Nakamatsu, Minami-Asomura, Aso-gun, Kumamoto

3. Kikuchi Park (Kumamoto Prefecture)

This is a park where approximately 3,000 cherry trees of multiple varieties blossom. There are even rare trees that have varying flowers, some with one layer of petals, and others with multiple layers of petals. It is on a hill, and is famous as a viewpoint from which to see the city of Kikuchi. There is a large playground with a variety of athletic equipment in the park, as well as places to visit in the vicinity, such as an onsen hot spring and shrine, making it a great destination for family trips.

Usual season: Late March - Early April

3. Kikuchi Park (Kumamoto Prefecture)

Waifu, Kikuchi-shi, Kumamoto

4. The Cherry Blossoms at Kusaba River (Fukuoka Prefecture)

This is a place where rows of cherry blossoms line the banks of the clear Kusaba River for approximately 1.5km. At the height of the cherry blossom season, the area is crowded with locals and visitors gathering to enjoy it. There are rape blossoms blooming in the area, creating a rustic and peaceful scenery. It's a perfect place for a stroll. The cherry blossoms are lit up at night, so you can enjoy an elegant atmosphere, quite different from how it is during the day.

Usual season: Late March - Early April

4. The Cherry Blossoms at Kusaba River (Fukuoka Prefecture)

875 Hisamitsu, Chikuzen-machi, Asakura-gun, Fukuoka

5. Nishi Park (Fukuoka Prefecture)

This is a park that is pretty much in the center of Fukuoka City. It is the only spot in the prefecture that is among the top 100 famous spots for cherry blossoms in Japan. At its peak, the approximately 1,300 cherry trees in the park blossom beautifully. There is also a panoramic view of Hakata Bay and the islands dotted along the ocean from an observation deck in the park.

Usual season: Late March - Early April

5. Nishi Park (Fukuoka Prefecture)

Nishi Koen, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka

6. Omura Park (Futae Baba) (Nagasaki Prefecture)

This is a park that is built on the former site of Kushima Castle. It has approximately 2,000 cherry trees of 21 varieties, including Omura-zakura, which is designated as a natural monument of the country. In the spring, visitors are welcomed by the beautiful sight of the cherry trees in blossom. The trees are lit up in the evening so you can enjoy a mystic scenery of the cherry blossoms at night.

Usual season: Late March - Mid-April

6. Omura Park (Futae Baba) (Nagasaki Prefecture)

1-45-3 Kushima, Omura-shi, Nagasaki

7. Isshin-ji (Oita Prefecture)

This is a temple deep in a valley surrounded by mountains. You can see a rare sight known as a "sea of clouds" made up of cherry blossoms, by looking down on more than 15 different varieties of cherry blossoms that fill the temple grounds, some with unusual colors such as green and yellow. The petals that are blown up by the wind from the bottom of the valley are referred to as "cherry blossom tornado", and the petals that cover the ground as "cherry blossom carpet". It is a place visited by many visitors every year.

Usual season: Early - Late April
Entrance fee: 700 JPY/adult, 200 JPY/child

7. Isshin-ji (Oita Prefecture)

1305 Megusuno, Oita-shi, Oita

8. The Weeping Cherry Tree of Josen-ji (Miyazaki Prefecture)

This is a temple that is thought to have been built in the early part of the Edo Period (1603 - 1867). On the grounds, there is a weeping cherry tree that is about 300 years old, and is designated as a natural monument of the prefecture. At its height, the tree is full of light pink blossoms. This is a popular spot where many people visit every year to experience the wonderful scenery that makes one feel as if they've traveled back in time to the Edo Period.

Usual season: Late March - Early April

8. The Weeping Cherry Tree of Josen-ji (Miyazaki Prefecture)

8701 Miyanohara, Oaza Sankasho, Gokase-cho, Nishiusuki-gun, Miyazaki

9. Sengan-en (Iso Garden) (Kagoshima Prefecture)

Sengan-en is a holiday home that the daimyo (feudal lord) of the time had built in 1658. There is a Japanese garden full of seasonal flowers within the grounds which span almost 50,000 sq.m., and it is designated as a place of scenic beauty by the national government. The garden has many cherry trees of different varieties including the Kanhi-zakura, which has blossoms in the shape of hanging bells. There is much more to see on the grounds, such as the site of a reverberatory furnace​ (where cannon barrels were built), which is a World Heritage Site. There is also a souvenir shop where you can purchase Kagoshima souvenirs.

Usual season: Early - late February
Entrance fee: 1,000/adult (high school age and older), 500 JPY/elementary and junior high school age

9. Sengan-en (Iso Garden) (Kagoshima Prefecture)

9700-1 Yoshino-cho, Kagoshima-shi, Kagoshima

There are several rules you should keep in mind when going to see cherry blossoms - do not damage the cherry trees, don't save space unnecessarily, and don't get drunk, make noise or litter. There are also some places where eating and drinking and saving spots are forbidden. Be sure to follow the rules while enjoying the cherry blossoms!

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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