Spring

Top 10 Beautiful Spring Flower Festivals in Japan

Maggie

Writer

You know, when spring arrives in Japan, all the beautiful flowers start blooming and everything gets colorful outside. Cherry blossoms are one of the famous and well-known flowers in Japan that both residents and tourists are excited to see. There are many cherry blossom festivals around Japan, but there are also festivals that show gorgeous flowers like plum blossoms, moss phlox, wisteria, and iris. I’m going to share the best flower festivals around Japan, so you can enjoy beautiful flowers while you are in Japan during the spring.


How to Choose Flower Festivals?

As soon as spring arrives, colorful flowers bloom everywhere in Japan. While it is great to see those flowers, you can enjoy it in Japanese traditional way such as Hanami for cherry blossoms. Also, there are different places that you can choose to see the best view of the flowers. Do a little bit of research before you arrive at the festivals.

Hanami

The literal translation of Hanami is flower viewing. But it is more than just viewing spring flowers. It is a long-standing Japanese tradition of welcoming spring as well as appreciating the temporal beauty of nature. People gather and have a picnic under blooming cherry trees and enjoy spring food such as Japanese sweets and drinks including sake with friends and families. The tradition is believed to have started in the Nara period (710-784) and until today, Japanese people continue the tradition.

Contents

Tokyo Area

-Ume (Japanese plum) Blossoms Festival at Yushima Tenjin in Tokyo

-Ayame (Iris) Festival at Suigo Sawara Ayame Park in Chiba

-Ota City Moss Phlox Festival in Gunma

Central Japan

-Sakura Yukiyanagi (Cherry Blossom & Spiraea thunbergii) Festival in Aichi

-Fuji Shibazakura (Phlox moss) Festival in Yamanashi

Northern Japan

-Sapporo Lilac Festival in Hokkaido

-Cherry Blossom & Rape Blossom Festival in Akita

Southern Japan

-Tulip festival in Oita

-Fukuoka Castle Sakura (Cherry Blossom) Festival in Fukuoka

-Not a Festival but a Must See Flower Garden, Kawachi Fujien (Wisteria Garden)

Closing Remarks

Tokyo Area

Ume (Japanese Plum) Blossom Festival at Yushima Tenjin (temple) in Tokyo

「© TCVB」

Around 300 plum trees are planted in the yard of Yushima Tenjin in Tokyo and most of them are a type of “Shiro-Kaga” – a single layer white flower. In addition, you can see about ten types of blossoms such as pink and double-layered. I suggest you join a traditional tea ceremony in the yard, which usually takes place on Sundays. Dances wearing kimono and music using Japanese traditional instruments are scheduled during the festival.

Date & Access

Dates: February 8th to March 8th every year

Access:

Yushima Tenjin is located within a two-minute walk from Yushima station on Metro Chiyoda-line. You can also walk from Ueno and Okachimachi area. You can walk from Okachimachi station of JR Yamanote line (8 minutes), Ueno-Okachimachi station of Oedo line (5 minutes) and Ueno-hirokouji station of Ginza line (5 minutes).

For more info, please check the following article
URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/2078/

Ayame (Iris) Festival at Suigo Sawara Ayame Park in Chiba

You will enjoy over 1.5 million Irises of 400 kinds during the Ayame festival at Suigo Sawara Ayame Park. Wedding ceremonies are held in the garden during the festival. You might see a Sappa boat which carries couples of newlyweds to their happiness. Sappa boat is an old-style Japanese boat that was used in the Edo period for transportation or shipping in the river. You can also ride Sappa boat with an additional fee. The festival includes a tea ceremony, Sawara music and much more.

Date & Access

Dates: Between May and June every year

Access:

By train – After reaching Sawara station by JR Narita line, 5- or 7 -minute walk from Suigosawara Ayame Park (or Aquatic Botanical Garden) Bus Stop* During the festival. Sawara city offers you free shuttle bus from Sawara station to the park.
By car – 30 minute-ride from SawaraKatori IC (junction) or Taiei IC (junction) in Higashi-Kanto Expressway* You do not need to pay the fare for the parking lot since it is complimentary. The lot can fit 500 cars.

For more info, please check the following article

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/1722/

Ota City Moss Phlox Festival in Gunma

Image courtesy of ググっとぐんま

Gunma is not so popular destination for foreigners compared to Tokyo, Osaka, and Okinawa. Gunma Prefecture is located in the north Kanto area, above Saitama Prefecture. It is surrounded by mountains. At Ota City Moss Phlox Festival you can enjoy flowers including moss phlox, cherry blossoms, Iceland poppy, and more. There are flowers everywhere. Don’t forget to look down and up and bring your camera!

Date & Access

Dates: April to May

Access:

By Train –  use Ryomo Train of the Tobu Railway and get off at Yabutsuka Station. After that, you can take a taxi to Yabutsuka Park which takes 15 minutes. Or you can get on Tobu Kiryu Railway and go to Jiroenbashi Station. From the station, you can walk to the park in 30 minutes. By Car- If you have your own car, you can also drive to the park using a highway. Ota Kiryu Inter-change and Ota Yabutsuka Inter-change on the North Kanto highway are convenient to go to the park.

For more info, please check the following article

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/4716/

Central Japan

Sakura Yukiyanagi (Cherry Blossom & Spiraea thunbergii) Festival in Aichi

Sakura Yukiyanagi festival takes place near Katahara Onsen (hot springs) area in Aichi. While you enjoy the view of ten thousand of Spiraea thunbergii and over a hundred cherry blossom trees at the festival, you can also enjoy dance and music performances by locals. There are food stands to keep you full but they also distribute tonjiru (pork vegetable soup) for free. Also, there will be a flea market to find great souvenirs!

Date & Access

Date: April 1st every year

Access:

By train – 20 minutes by walk from Mikawa Kashima station, Meitetsu Gamagori line.By car – 40 minutes by car from Otowa Gamagori interchange on Tomei highway.

For more info, please check the following article

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/4792/

Fuji Shibazakura (Moss Phlox) Festival in Yamanashi

Enjoy the contrast of pink flowers and the blue sky in the mountains with a view of Mt. Fuji! The festival is located 3 km away from Lake Motosuko within Fuji 5 Lakes (Fujigoko) site. 800,000 pink moss flowers are planted on a vast territory close to Mt.Fuji. At the festival, 5 different colors of phlox moss create colorful pink carpets in various designs. During the festival, there will be a food festival set on the site, offering delicious local street food and drinks.

Date & Access

Dates: Mid-April till the end of May

Access:

Direct bus “Shibazakura Liner” is available from Lake Kawaguchi (30 mins)

For more info, please check the following article

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/events/fuji-shibazakura-festival

Northern Japan

Sapporo Lilac Festival in Hokkaido

You can enjoy a lot of lilacs blossoming brilliantly at several venues during the festival. Blossoming lilacs add color to the city. When you see these flowers for the first time, you will be fascinated at how beautiful the flower is. During the festival, you can join the workshops and learn things like origami and tea ceremony. On top of being able to eat delicious food in Hokkaido from street stands, you can enjoy local wines as well!

Date & Access

Dates: Mid- to end of May every year

Access:

From Sapporo station, about 15-minute walk. For more info, check here

For more info, please check the following article

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/2662/

Cherry Blossoms & Rape Blossoms Festival in Akita

The “Nanohana (Rape blossoms) and Sakura (Cherry blossoms) road” is a must-visit location during the festival. The road stretches roughly for 11 kilometers long with a gorgeous view of cherry blossoms and rape blossoms. On the rape blossom field, you can get on a mini steam train and get an up-close view of the flowers. Several events will take place during this festival like a flea market, free rape blossom picking, a tour in Ogata town and many more. There will be plenty of food stands along the road so you can enjoy local food as well.

Date & Access

Dates: End of April till the beginning of May

Access:

The best way to get there is by car. Otherwise, head to JR Hachirogata station and take a taxi to the main site of the festival. It should be about a 20-minute ride. Also, there is a shuttle bus running between the station and the main site. For more info, check here

For more info, please check the following article

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/4115/

Tulip Festival in Oita

The tulip festival is held in Ogata-machi which is chosen as one of the best rural landscapes of Japan. The festival is one of the regional revitalization events which is using empty paddy fields. More than 500,000 tulips are blooming and 100,000 people visit there to see the beautiful scenery every spring. While you are there, you should visit Harajiri Falls.

Date & Access

Dates: First Saturday through the third Sunday of April

Access:

The best way to get there is by car. Park your car at the Michi no Eki parking area which is right next to the tulip fields. However, the parking area is closed on Saturday and Sunday during the tulip festival, so you park your car at an Ogata park and take a shuttle bus to get there on weekends. From the nearest train station, Ogata station of JR Hohi mainline, there is a shuttle service. For more info, check here

For more info, please check the following article

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/2807/

Fukuoka Castle Sakura (Cherry Blossoms) Festival in Fukuoka

Image courtesy of Fukuoka City

More than 1,000 cherry trees blooming around Fukuoka Castle Ruins and the castle walls are fantastically lit up during the festival. A special Illumination of the historical sites: Sakuraen Garden, Base of the Main Tower, Tamon Turret and Otakayashiki Ruins between 18:00 – 22:00. A variety of gourmet food stalls and 90 food trucks will all get together. You can enjoy tasting different kinds of food from famous café, Italian restaurants, Izakaya taverns, etc. in the city.

Date & Access

Dates: end of March – the beginning of April

Access:

8 mins walk from Akasaka or Ohori Park subway station

 

For more info, please check the following article

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/1691/

Not a Festival but a Must See Flower Garden, Kawachi Fujien (Wisteria Garden)

You might’ve seen the photo of this garden online among lists of the most beautiful places to visit. It is known for about 150 different wisteria flowering plants and colors of blue, white, purple, violet-blue and pink.  The garden also features wisteria trees that are more than 100 years old. During the Wisteria season, make sure to pre-book your tickets online to avoid being turned away at the gates. You can purchase your tickets through ticket machines at convenience stores such as 7-eleven and Family Mart.

Date & Access

Date: Late April to mid-May depending on the weather each year

Access:

The best way to reach Kawachi Fujien is to take a train to JR Yahata Station from Kokura Station or Hakata station. From there, there’s a shuttle bus that takes you directly to the entrance.

For more info, check here URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/4160/

Closing Remarks

Flowers play a much more important role than just viewing in Japan. In Japan, people enjoy four seasons by looking at nature and appreciating each season. During springtime, the school year ends and it is considered the season of new beginning each year. Flowers are given as a gift with Hanakotoba (a Japanese form of the language of flowers). Instead of picking the flowers by its look, people look up the meaning of the flower to express themselves or make the flower more meaningful. Before you visit any park or festival to enjoy beautiful flowers in Japan, look up the meaning of flowers you would like to watch. You would see the flowers from a different perspective.

If you would like to see one of these scenic flower festivals together with a friendly local guide, please check the banner below!

Enjoy Sakura in Japan!

Cherry blossoms are an essential part of Japanese culture. And, viewing cherry blossoms (Hanami) is very popular in Japan during the spring. This is because cherry blossoms, which the Japanese call “Sakura” are stunning at this season.

If you are planning to visit Japan this spring and want to discover more cherry blossoms spots in Kyoto area, please check the following article. It’s covering the best Hanami spots in the old capital and provides you with the essential information, so you can get the most from your Sakura trip!

Here’s the link. URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/2566/ 

Osaka is very close to Kyoto. It will be a miss if you don’t visit Osaka to see cherry blossoms when you are in the Kansai area in spring. Please check the following article to find out the best cherry blossoms viewing spots in Osaka and Kansai!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/events/osaka-kansai-cherry-blossoms-spots-sakura-festivals-feel-spring 

Kyoto and Osaka have many beautiful spots to see Cherry blossoms. However, other areas also have excellent places for hanami. Tokyo features many of those spots as well! If you are in Tokyo around spring and looking for a place to see cherry blossoms, Why don’t you check the following article?

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/1805/

Would You Like to Know How to Enjoy a Japanese Festival Even More?

A lot of people when they get to a Matsuri for the first time feel a bit lost. They confuse about what is happening around. If you are new to Japanese Festivals or just want to know an alternative way of how you can enjoy these events, the following article will provide you with a set of helpful tips on how to choose a proper festival and activities you should definitely try there. Please don`t hesitate to take a look at it!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/5363/

Maggie

Hi! I am Maggie. I love traveling and telling people about cool things happening in Japan. Hope the article helps with your trip to Japan!

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