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.
7. Shukkeien Garden, Hiroshima
Immerse yourself in a sea of cherry blossoms among other natural beauties in Shukkeien Garden. Not too far away from the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, where big crowds flock to hanami, lies this very well-maintained miniature landscape garden built around a big pond. Designated as a National Site of Scenic Beauty in 1940, the garden is a green paradise dotted by pink cherry blossoms around late March, perfect for a romantic date or to just take a break from the city. Visit on weekdays for even more privacy and quiet. During the sakura season, the garden stays opens till late and the cherry trees all light up, creating a magical atmosphere that you can’t find in the daytime.