//Japan’s Cherry Blossom Forecast 2018 Part I – Kumamoto, Fukuoka, Hiroshima
Japan Cherry Blossom Forecast 2018 Part 1

Japan’s Cherry Blossom Forecast 2018 Part I – Kumamoto, Fukuoka, Hiroshima

Planning a trip to experience the amazing scenery of blooming sakura’s blanketing the entire city? Well, this is the post you shouldn’t miss out because we know it is pretty tricky to time your Japan trip to coincide with the sakura blooming season as they are subjected to several natural factors such as unpredictable weather & rainfall.

Even follow an upward shift from south to north of the archipelago, cherry blossoms in different part of the city peak at different times. So we’re here to minimize your frustration for planning your Sakura trip by following this handy Japan’s cherry blossoms forecast 2018 based on different prefectures and knowing the city’s best spots for Hanami (cherry blossom viewing).

Japan Cherry Blossom Forecast 2018 Map by Big Pocket 17

Japan Cherry Blossom Forecast 2018 Map

Kumamoto, 熊本市

 

Suizenji Koen, Japan

Suizenji Koen, Japan

Suizenji Garden (水前寺成趣園, Suizenji Jōjuen) is a spacious, Japanese style landscape garden in Kumamoto, best enjoyed by strolling along a circular path. It was built by the Hosokawa family in the 17th century. The garden reproduces the 53 post stations of the Tokaido, the important road, which connected Edo with Kyoto during the Edo Period, in miniature form, including a small Mt. Fuji.

Cherry Blossom Season (Hanami Season): 31 March – 6 April

How to get there: 30 minutes tram ride from JR Kumamoto Station and get off at the “Suizenji Koen” tram stop.

Hours & Fees

Hours: 7:30 to 18:00 (March to October) | 8:30 to 17:00 (November to February) *Admission ends 30 minutes before closing

Admission: 400 yen (approx. RM15)

 

Kumamoto Castle, Japan

Kumamoto Castle, Japan

Note: Kumamoto Castle suffered serious damage due to the Earthquake in April 2016 and the inner ground has been closed to the public indefinitely until further notice. However, if your trip happened to be in Kumamoto feel free to pay a visit around the edges of the castle.

Kumamoto Castle (熊本城, Kumamotojō) is one of the most impressive castles in Japan. With large castle grounds and a variety of buildings, Kumamoto Castle offers its visitors one of the complete castle experiences in Japan. Only a few structures have survived the centuries since the castle’s construction in 1607. The castle keep and most other buildings are modern reconstructions, but the reconstructions are mostly of a high quality and new buildings are continually being added. With about 800 cherry trees, the castle becomes a popular cherry blossom spot usually in late March and early April.

Cherry Blossom Season (Hanami Season): 31 March – 6 April

How to get there: 10 minutes tram ride from Kumamoto Station

Hours & Fees

Closed: Closed due to earthquake damage until further notice

Fukuoka, 福岡市

 

Fukuoka Castle (Maizuru Park), Japan

Fukuoka Castle (Maizuru Park), Japan

The ruins of Fukuoka Castle (福岡城跡, Fukuokajōato) is located in the middle of the city in Maizuru Park, named after the castle’s alias, Maizuru Castle. During the Edo Period (1603-1867), Fukuoka Castle used to be the largest castle on Kyushu, but it was almost completely torn down after the Meiji Restoration as an unwanted symbol of the feudal past. Todays only ruined walls and a few turrets remain, and the park attracts visitors with walking trails and a few lookout points together with a spectacular view from the observation platform.

Cherry Blossom Season (Hanami Season): 31 March – 7 April

How to get there: 5-10 minute walk south of Ohori Koen Station

Hours & Fees

Hour: Always Open

Admission: Free (paid during the evening cherry blossom illumination event)

 

Uminonakamichi Seaside Park Fukuoka, Japan

Uminonakamichi Seaside Park, Japan

Uminonakamichi Seaside Park (海の中道海浜公園, Uminonakamichi Kaihin Kōen), is a sprawling, family-oriented public park located on a narrow peninsula across the bay from central Fukuoka. The park is made up of several different areas including flower gardens, playgrounds, an amusement park with a ferris wheel, sports fields, a Marine World Uminonakamichi aquarium, a zoo and large open spaces and lawns perfect for picnicking. Due to the park size rent bicycles (400 yen for three hours) is ideal for getting around the park.

Cherry Blossom Season (Hanami Season): 31 March – 7 April

How to get there: JR Kashii Line to Uminonakamichi Station, alternatively take the ferry ride from Momochi Seaside Park (1030 yen one way ~ approx. RM37).

Hours & Fees (Uminonakamichi Seaside Park)

Hours: 9:30 to 17:30 *Hours & Closing days for specific areas of the park vary by season

Closed: December 31, January 1 & the first Monday & Tuesday of February

Admission: 410 yen (approx. RM15)

Hours & Fees (Marine World Uminonakamichi)

Hours: 9:30 to 17:30 (March to mid July & September to February) | 9:00 to 21:30 (mid July to August) | 9:30 to 21:30 (Weekends & National Holidays until mid September)

Closed: The first Monday & Tuesday of February

Admission: 2160 yen (approx. RM 78)

Hiroshima, 広島市

 

Hiroshima Peace Park, Japan

Hiroshima Peace Park, Japan

Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park (平和記念公園, Heiwa Kinen Kōen) is one of the most prominent features of the city. Even visitors not looking for it will likely stumble upon the large park of over 120,000 square meters. Its trees, lawns, and walking paths are in stark contrast to the surrounding downtown area. The A-Bomb Dome is one of the few buildings left to remain intact when the bomb exploded and is now a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE, a tangible link to Hiroshima’s unique past. There are about 300 cherry trees planted around the park especially along the river and part of the best hanami spot in Hiroshima.

Cherry Blossom Season (Hanami Season): 31 March – 7 April

How to get there: From Hiroshima Station, take tram line 2 or 6 to Genbaku-Domu Mae (原爆ドーム前) station. The ride takes 15 minutes and costs 160 yen (approx. RM6).

Hours & Fees (Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum)

Hours: 8:30 to 18:00 | 8:30 to 17:00 (December to February) | 8:30 to 19:00 (August) *Admission ends 30 minutes before closing.

Closed: December 30 to 31

Admission: 200 yen (approx. RM8)

 

Hiroshima Castle, Japan

Hiroshima Castle, Japan

Hiroshima Castle (広島城, Hiroshimajō), also called the Carp Castle, is a good example of a castle built on a plain in the center of a city as opposed to hilltop and mountaintop castles. Its main keep is five stories tall, and its grounds are surrounded by a moat. Also within the castle’s precincts are a shrine, some ruins and a few reconstructed buildings of the Ninomaru (second circle of defense) with about 450 cherry trees planted around the castle. The best cherry blossom viewing spots can be found around the castle keep.

Cherry Blossom Season (Hanami Season): 31 March – 7 April

How to get there: 10 minutes walk from Shukkeien or a 15 minutes walk from the Peace Park. Alternatively, 10 minutes walk from Kamiyacho-Nishi or Kamiyacho-Higashi tram stop 160 yen (approx. RM6) from Hiroshima Station by lines 1,2 or 6)

Hours & Fees (Main Keep)

Hours: 9:00 to 17:00 (December to February) | 9:00 to 18:00 (March to November) | 9:00 to 19:00 (During Golden Week and Obon Holiday) *Admission ends 30 minutes before closing.

Closed: December 29 to 31

Admission: 370 yen (approx. RM14)

Hours & Fees (Ninomaru)

Hours: 9:00 to 17:30 (April to September) | 9:00 to 16:30 (October to March) *Admission ends 30 minutes before closing.

Closed: December 29 to January 2

Admission: Free

 

Shukkeien Garden Hiroshima, Japan

Shukkeien Garden Hiroshima, Japan

Shukkeien’s (縮景園) as known as “shrunken-scenery garden”, which is also a good description of the garden itself. Valleys, mountains, and forests are represented in miniature in the garden’s landscapes. Through careful cultivation of the land and vegetation, the garden mimics a variety of natural formations and scenic views. Shukkeien has a long history dating back to 1620, just after the completion of Hiroshima Castle. The garden displays many features of the traditional aesthetics of Japanese gardens. Around the garden’s main pond there are a number of tea houses which offer visitors ideal views of the surrounding scenery.

Cherry Blossom Season (Hanami Season): 31 March – 7 April

How to get there: Few steps from “Shukkeien-mao” tram stop along tram line 9. Alternatively from Hiroshima Station, take tram line 1,2 or 6 to Hacchobori transfer to tram line 9 take about 15 minutes & costs 160 yen (approx. RM6) only.

Hours & Fees

Hours: 9:00 to 18:00 (April to September) | 9:00 to 17:00 (October to March) *Admission ends 30 minutes before closing.

Closed: December 29 to 31

Admission: 260 yen (approx. RM10)

Japan Cherry Blossom Forecast 2018 Part 2

Japan Cherry Blossom Forecast 2018 Part 2

If you’re still planning your trip to Japan this may come in handy for you to plan where and when to go for the best Hanami viewing during your trip.

For this post we’re focusing the best Hanami spot in 3 major cities Kumamoto, Fukuoka, and Hiroshima, if Didn’t find your destination listed above? No worry, we’re covering be sure to check out Japan Cherry Blossom Forecast 2018 Part 2 – Osaka, Kyoto, Nara & Tokyo