The sakura season is not too far away!
Every Spring, tons of locals and tourists alike flood Japan to see the cherry blossoms reach full bloom. According to the official forecast from Japan Meteorological Corporation, the sakura season of 2019 will start mid-February in southern Japan and move northwards, hitting Kyoto and Tokyo around late March, and the northernmost regions by early May.
As the full bloom only lasts about a week, you have to fight through huge crowds at for a place to relax and take good photos. So skip the most popular viewing spots this year; hidden across Japan (even in Tokyo and Kyoto), are lesser-known but no less scenic spots full of the pink and white beauties. Even better, you have the peace and space to admire them and even picnic under the trees.
1. Along Zenpukuji River, Tokyo
A gem in bustling Tokyo known mostly among locals, the Zenpukuji River Green Park is a beautiful place with some 700 cherry trees lining the long river. From late March to early April, the 10km-long river is a pink wonderland amid the lush greenery. Take a stroll along the walkway to view the blossoms hanging low and forming a tunnel – a supremely picturesque sight! Besides the Green Park, the river also leads to Wadabori Park, which has a gorgeous baseball field, so you have lots of open green space to relax or play sports with your loved ones under the soft glow of cherry blossoms.