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18 early cherry blossoms in Japan Sakura in February & March

18 early cherry blossoms in Japan: Sakura in February & March

Want to beat the crowd and see early cherry blossoms earlier on in the year? You might not know this, but there are cherry blossoms that are in full bloom from January to March every year. To visit these blooming flowers, there are many spectacular spots where you can enjoy the bright pink cherry blossoms accompanied by yellow nanohana. Let’s take a look at 18 best cherry blossom spots for early hanami! 


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Find out more about types of cherry blossoms, Spring in Japan here: What to do in Spring, Where to go in spring, Wisteria in Japan, Spring Date ideas, What to do eat in spring, Where to see cherry blossom in Tokyo and Cherry blossom festivals.

Early Cherry Blossoms in Japan

1. 河津川 Kawazu River [Shizuoka Prefecture]- Kawazu cherry blossoms were discovered here in Kawazu Town, Izu

The blooming time of cherry blossoms varies greatly depending on the variety. Among the more than 600 types of cherry blossoms, Kawazu cherry blossoms are one of the earliest ones, beginning to bloom around February. 

It is here in Kawazu Town on the Izu Peninsula that these Kawazu cherry blossoms were discovered. The seedlings were found by chance around 1955. They were then raised and bloomed for the first time in 1966. It was named Kawazu Sakura in 1974.

There are about 850 cherry blossom trees along the Kawazu River that runs through the town. There is a total number of 8,000 trees in the town. The “Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival” is held in February every year.

[Best time to see] Early Feb to early March

2. 朝比奈川 Asahina River [Shizuoka Prefecture]- Pink flowers that decorate the road. Vivid contrast with nanohana 

Along the banks of the Asahina River that flows through Yaizu City, there are about 200 rows of Kawazu cherry blossom trees. With a total length of about 2 kilometers, this area is known as “Yamanote Sakura”.

The cherry blossoms here have been cultivated by local volunteers since 1997, and it has a beautiful contrast with the yellow nanohana, making it a scenic walkway.

The “Yamanote Sakura Festival” is held in late February every year. Make sure to check the official website for more information.

[Best time to see] Mid-Feb to mid-March

3. 佐鳴湖公園 Lake Sanaru Park [Shizuoka Prefecture]- Announcing the arrival of spring to Lake Sanaru, an oasis of water and greenery

Lake Sanaru Park is located to the west of Hamamatsu city. Around the lake, there is a 6 kilometers walkway around the lake, where you can meet the huge amount of nature with the seasonal flowers and wild birds.

Kawazu cherry blossoms here begin to bloom in February every year. The best spots to see cherry blossoms are near the Sakashita parking lot on the west bank, around the clock tower near the pond, and around the parking lot of the rowing yard.

There are many types of cherry blossom trees here, like Yoshino cherry trees, Oshima cherry trees, Yae cherry trees and weeping cherry trees. You can enjoy cherry blossoms here until late spring.

[Best time to see] End of Feb to mid-March

4. 下賀茂温泉 Shimogamo Onsen [Shizuoka Prefecture]- Approximately 800 early-blooming cherry blossoms decorate the hot spring town

Shimogamo Onsen is near the southern tip of the Izu Peninsula. Although it is near the sea, it is a hot spring town with a mountainous atmosphere. Ryokan are lined up along the river, and steam rises from here and there.

Along the Aono River that runs through this hot spring town, there are about 800 trees lined with Kawazu cherry blossoms that extend 4.2 kilometers. The cherry blossom here begin to bloom in early February, and the contrast with nanohana is wonderful.

Along with the blooming of cherry blossoms, the “Festival of cherry blossom and rapa flowers in Southern Izu” is held every year.

[Best time to see] Early Feb to early March

5. 糸川遊歩道 Itokawa Path [Shizuoka Prefecture]- “Super” early blooming cherry blossoms that color the hot spring town that begins to bloom in January

Atami is a hot spring paradise where the steam of “Atami seven hot springs” rises in the cityscape of the slope. There is a very early blooming cherry blossom that begins to bloom in mid-January, and it is called “Atami Sakura”.

Atami cherry blossoms are said to be an Indian variety brought in by Italians in 1871. According to recent analysis, it is presumed to be a mating of kanhi zakura and yama zakura You can often see it around Atami.

The best place to see cherry blossoms here is the path along Itagawa, which runs through the town. The area blooms pretty flowers while it is still cold. Feel the arrival of early spring while walking around in a yukata.

[Best time to see] Mid-January to Mid-February

6. 香貫公園 Kanuki Park [Shizuoka Prefecture]- Enjoy early-blooming cherry blossom while walking along the Kano River

Kanuki Park is located on the south side of the pedestrian-only “Ayumi Bridge” near the Numazu City Hall. Together with the adjacent Hachiman Shrine, it is a place of relaxation in the city with lots of greenery.

About 20 Kawazu cherry trees are planted here, and they start to bloom from the end of January to the beginning of February every year. This is an early-blooming cherry blossom spot that can be easily visited by nearby residents. On a sunny day, you might want to take a leisurely stroll along the pathway of the Kano River that runs right next to you.

[Best time to see] End of Jan to Early Feb

7. 恋人岬 Lover’s Cape [Shizuoka Prefecture]- Nishiizu is the only place you can see Toi sakura bloom in the cold season

At Toi Onsen in Nishiizu, there are cherry blossoms that begin to bloom in January during the cold season. It is a cherry tree called Toi Sakura, with the original species found in 1958.

The Toi Cherry Blossom Festival is held from late January to early February every year. The highlights are Matsubara Park, the main venue, and Maruyama Sports Park. Especially recommended is “Lover’s Cape”, which is also known as a scenic spot where you can see Mt. Fuji.

Lover’s Cape is a spot where love comes to fruition when you call the name of your favorite person while ringing the bell of love three times. In front of the promenade heading in the direction of the bell, go down the south slope and you will meet the tunnel of Toi cherry blossoms that covers the walking path.

[Best time to see] Late Jan to early Feb

8. 聖崎公園 Hijirisaki Park [Aichi Prefecture]- Kawazu cherry blossoms that announce the arrival of spring in a park overlooking the sea

Hijirisaki Park is a park by the sea at the tip of the Chita Peninsula. It is said that Kobo Daishi, who visited from Mikawa for training in 814 landed here on a ship.

There are 50 to 60 Kawazu cherry blossoms here, and they start to bloom from the end of February every year. The view on a sunny and clear day is superb! 

[Best time to see] End of Feb to early March

9. 西平畑公園 Nishihirabatake Park [Kanagawa Prefecture]- A magnificent view that extends far beyond the cherry blossoms

Nishihirabatake Park is a park that spreads out on the slope of Mt. Matsuda overlooking the Ashigara Plain and Sagami Bay. It is known by the name of “Matsudayama Herb Garden”.

Many Kawazu cherry blossoms are planted along the pathway in the park, and pink flowers begin to bloom in early February. It is close to Mt. Fuji, and you take in the spectacular views of Mt. Fuji over cherry blossoms.

Every year, the Matsuda Cherry Blossom Festival is held from the beginning of February.

[Best time to see] Early Feb to early March

10. 三浦海岸 Miura Beach [Kanagawa Prefecture]- Early-blooming cherry blossoms along the train line that runs from the station to the park

Many Kawazu cherry blossoms are planted along the Keikyu Line from Miurakaigan Station to Komatsugaike Park, and will be in full bloom from mid-February.

The cherry blossoms welcome you right after you leave Miurakaigan Station. The distance to Komatsugaike Park is a little over 1 kilometer. You will feel like you are walking under the cherry blossoms all the time, and the nanohana under your feet are also beautiful.

A great photospot is for you to take a picture with the train from the overpass.

[Best time to see] Mid-Feb to early March

11. 道の駅みょうぎ Roadside Station Myogi [Gunma Prefecture]- You can enjoy Mt. Myogi along with early blooming cherry blossoms

Roadside Station Myogi is a roadside station near the entrance to Mt. Myogi, welcoming many hikers. 

Even at the station, which has an altitude of about 420m, the cherry blossoms surround the area. The early blooming Kawazu cherry blossoms will bloom in early March.

About 60 Kawazu cherry blossoms are planted in the station, and they are lined up on the eastern slope of the parking lot. Seeing the cherry blossom bloom all at once is spectacular.

[Best time to see] Early to mid-March

12. 城山歴史公園 Shiroyama Historical Park [Yamaguchi Prefecture]- A painting-like view of the Seto Inland Sea and cherry blossoms

Shiroyama Historical Park is a park overlooking Kaminoseki Town, Yamaguchi Prefecture. From the Northern and Southern Dynasties to the Warring States period, this was a sea castle of the Setouchi Suigun.

About 180 Kawazu cherry blossoms and about 3000 early-blooming daffodils are planted here, and it will be in full bloom from mid-February. The sight of the calm sea and the island floating over the cherry blossoms is unique to the Seto Inland Sea.

Most of the cherry blossom trees are surrounded by grass areas, so you can spread your lunch and enjoy cherry blossom viewing.

[Best time to see] Mid-Feb to early March

13. 笠戸島 Kasado Island [Yamaguchi Prefecture]- Cherry blossom pink colour the Seto Inland Sea in early spring

Kasado Island is in the southeastern part of Yamaguchi Prefecture, off the coast of Kudamatsu City. It is connected to the Honshu side by the Kasado Bridge, so you can easily cross it. There are national lodgings and a family travel village, and in the summer, it is crowded with people coming for the beaches.

Kawazu cherry blossoms have been planted here since 2006, and now there are about 500 trees. A great spot to visit when you come here is the Hinamatsuri, which is set up near the three-way junction near the National Dormitory Ojo. The contrast between the pink of Kawazu cherry blossoms and the blue of the sea is vivid.

There are many Kawazu cherry blossoms in the nearby Kasado Island Family Travel Village as well, which brightly colourss the still cold early spring of Setouchi.

[Best time to see] Mid-Feb to mid-March

14. 親水公園 Shinsui kōen [Yamaguchi Prefecture]- Early-blooming cherry blossom plaza near a lively fishing port

Station Hagi Sea Mart is in the fishing port near Hagi city area. It is a spot where you can get fresh fish and enjoy delicious food. The green space adjacent to the road station is known as the “Water Park”.

Approximately 120 Kawazu cherry blossoms are planted here, and you can enjoy cherry blossom viewing from late February. The row of cherry blossom trees lined up right next to the lively fish market is a unique atmosphere of Hagi.

[Best time to see] Late Feb to early March

15. 鎮国寺 Chinkokuji Temple [Fukuoka Prefecture]- Early-blooming cherry blossoms that announce the new year to the “Temple of Flowers and Prayer”

Zenkokuji is a temple of the Shingon sect that is said to have been built in 806 (Daido 1) by Kobo Daishi when he returned from China. Also known as the “Temple of Flowers and Prayer,” the flowers bloom every season throughout the year here.

Here, “Atami Sakura” begins to bloom in mid-January. It is considered to be one of the earliest blooming varieties in Japan. Chinkokuji is often in full bloom in early February.

[Best time to see] Mid-Jan to mid-Feb

16. 四浦半島 Youra Peninsula [Oita Prefecture]- Let’s find your favorite viewpoint of cherry blossoms and sea

Youra Peninsula is located in the southern part of Oita prefecture and protrudes toward the Bungo Channel. Approximately 3,700 Kawazu cherry trees that the locals have carefully planted are growing vigorously here.

The cherry blossoms are not concentrated on one point, but there are many attractions along the road in the Youra district on the north side of the peninsula. There are also signs for cherry blossom spots to help you navigate your way through all the different chery blossom spots. 

[Best time to see] Early Feb to late Feb

17. 八重岳 Yaedake [Okinawa Prefecture]- A tunnel of cherry blossoms leading to the summit that calls for spring “to bloom”

Yaedake in the northern part of the main island of Okinawa is a mountain with an altitude of 453.4 meters. The view is good and you can drive to the top. Approximately 7,000 kanhi-zakura (cold scarlet cherry blossoms) are planted along this road, and they begin to bloom in January every year.

Prunus campanulata is native to warm regions, and it blooms early because their mechanism that’s awoken from dormancy in autumn and winter.

The row of cherry blossom trees that stretches for about 4 kilometers along the mountain trail is spectacular. The “Motobu Yaedake Sakura Festival” is also held in late January every year.

[Best time to see] Mid-Jan to early Feb

18. 名護城公園 Nago Castle Park [Okinawa Prefecture]- January cherry blossoms that colour the view overlooking the cityscape of Nago and the sea

The vast Nago Castle Park spreads over the area of ​​Mt. Nagodake. You can drive to the observatory at the top, and from the Nakayukui Observatory, you can see a magnificent view overlooking the East China Sea.

It is said that more than 20,000 trees are planted here, and it’s be in full bloom in late January. One of the best places to check out is around “Nakayukui Square”, where the visitor center is located and “Sakura-no-en”.

[Best time to see] Late Jan to mid-Feb

Although most people associate cherry blossoms with spring, you can actually start seeing the gorgeous view of cherry blossoms from late January. Isn’t it a unique experience to admire the beauty of sakura while the weather is still cold? If you’re planing to visit one or more of these chery blossom festivals, make sure to check out the official websites to get the latest information. 

Find out more about Spring in Japan here: What to do in Spring, Where to go in spring, Wisteria in Japan, Spring Date ideas, What to do eat in spring, Where to see cherry blossom in Tokyo and Cherry blossom festivals.

Stay tuned for more information about Japan travel, Japanese culture, moving to Japan, living in Japan, Japanese language and more. 

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FLIP GUIDE TEAM

Hey friend!

Just like you, we are foreigners from all around the world.

When we first arrived in Tokyo, we all found this city to be overwhelming, not sure where to begin.

During the years that we have lived here in Japan, we have discovered and visited countless famous tourist attractions as well as unique and underground places.

We are now proud to say that we are experts of Japan and would love to share the knowledge with all of you!

 

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