7 Places To See Cherry Blossoms In Japan Away From The Crowds

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.

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Photo: Snake Cats / Flickr

3. Shinnyo-do Temple, Kyoto

Sitting on top of the Yoshida-yama Hill is Shinnyo-do Temple, a beautiful structure dating all the way back to the 10th century. It is more popular during autumn, when the many Japanese maple trees fill the space with a vibrant mix of green, red and yellow. But the temple’s main hall and gate, surrounded by big cherry trees, are no less delightful during spring. The sakura-viewing crowds in Kyoto tend to skip this place because it requires a bit of walking from the nearest bus-stops (on the Kyoto city bus #5 or #17). But the quiet and tranquil enjoyment of cherry blossoms right in front of the three-storied pagoda is so worth it. In the gardens around the buildings, there’s ample space to wander and relax under the trees.

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