Top 7 Sightseeing Spots in Japan for Enjoying Spectacular Views Seen Only in Spring
If you are traveling in Japan and you are deciding what tourist spots to visit, you probably want to go to places where you can feel the season. Here are seven famous spots in Japan that are known for their gorgeous landscapes that are only seen during spring.
1. Shibazakura no Oka, Hitsujiyama Park (Saitama)
Capitalizing on the contours of the hillside slopes, this area is known as a “hana no patchwork” (patchwork of flowers) where shibazakura (moss pink) of various colors are planted. During spring, this vast area measuring about 17,600 sq.m. is covered in more than 400,000 shibazakura plants in nine colors, including pink and white.
Best time to see: Mid-April to early-May
2. Matsugasaki Park (Yamagata)
Matsugasaki Park is a park that is located on the former site of Yonezawa Castle. When spring sets in, about 250 cherry blossom trees in this park come into full bloom, including historic old trees. The surface of the water in the moat surrounding the area is dyed a lovely pink by the blooming flowers.
Best time to see: Around mid- to late-April
3. Okoshiki Kaigan (Kumamoto)
Okoshiki Seashore is a scenic spot that is included in Japan’s 100 Most Beautiful Beaches and Japan’s 100 Most Beautiful Sunsets. Aside from the magical views in the evening, this spot is also known for the superb view on a clear day of Mt. Unzen-Fugen in Nagasaki on the opposite shore, across Ariake Sea. Ariake Sea also has the biggest tidal range in Japan. It is famous for the beautifully curved ripples created by the wind and waves that appear on the sandy shore when the tide is out. And when spring comes, this place becomes even more gorgeous with the addition of nanohana (rapeseed flowers) blooming against the backdrop of the mysterious tideland.
4. Kominato Railway (Chiba)
Kominato Railway is a local line in Chiba that runs between Goi Station in Ichihara-shi and Kazusa-Nakano Station in Otaki-shi. It is famous for the picturesque scenery of cherry blossoms and rapeseed flowers in many spots along the route during spring, including around Itabu Station. It also operates Satoyama Torokko Train, which, with no windowpane, is open-sided.
Best time to see: Around mid-March to mid-April
5. Mt. Yoshino (Nara)
Mt. Yoshino is widely known as Japan’s representative spot for viewing beautiful cherry blossoms. Here, around 30,000 trees of about 200 types of cherry blossoms fill four areas – the foot, middle, top and back of the mountain, creating a spectacular sight! There is a great viewing spot in each area, but they have come to collectively be known as “hitome senbon”, which means “a place where you can see 1,000 cherry blossom trees at a glance”. This term was born from the fact that standing on any of the viewing spots will let you see so many cherry blossom trees that they would not fit in your field of vision.
Best time to see: Around early- to mid-April
6. Mifuneyama Rakuen (Saga)
Mifuneyama Rakuen (a registered monument in Japan) is a huge garden boasting an area of about 500,000 sq m. There is a wide array of flowers planted in the park, and they successively blossom during spring, creating a spectacle that actually looks like a relay of flowers. The first flowers that bloom are the approximately 2,000 cherry blossom trees, followed by around 200,000 azalea plants, and then by the 170-year-old wisteria trees. All these flowers have their unique beauty that attract many visitors into the garden. Further, the Hana Matsuri (Floral Festival) is also held during the peak viewing season each year. Visitors also get to enjoy illumination display.
“Sakura” (cherry blossom) period: March 16, 2018 (Fri) – April 8, 2018 (Sun)
“Sakura” garden admission fee: Adult: 600 JPY, Child: 250 JPY
"Tsutsuji" (azalea) period: April 9, 2018 (Mon) – May 6, 2018 (Sun)
"Tsutsuji” garden admission fee: Adult: 700 JPY, Child: 300 JPY
7. Shomyo Falls (Toyama)
Shomyo Falls is a famous waterfall that boasts the biggest water drop in Japan with an elevation of about 350m. The sight of the water falling in a single burst while building clouds of spray is truly thrilling. During spring, the snow at Mount Tate mountain range melts and flows into the falls, creating a second waterfall – Hannoki Falls – on the right side of Shomyo Falls. And when the water volume further increases, several small waterfalls appear around the falls.
Best time to see: Around late-April to July
Filled with days of warm sunshine, spring is the perfect season for traveling. Enjoy spring in Japan to the fullest!
*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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