Are you planning a trip to Japan in 2024? Are you wondering when and where to experience the mesmerizing Cherry Blossom Festival? Today, in our blog, we discuss the Sakura festival and why you must be there.

The Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival is a breathtaking spectacle that draws visitors from around the globe. Sakura festivals are unique because their timing depends on when the trees bloom. In addition, flowering occurs for a very short time — a maximum of two weeks. Therefore, to have time to prepare, use this article's advice.

We will figure out what nuances you need to know to prepare for the trip thoroughly, adjust the mood and camera, and get the most out of the cherry blossoms. You'll also find some bonus tips for post-processing your bloom shots using Luminar for iPad. Find out where the cherry blossom festival takes place in Japan, when the cherry blossom season begins, and the most scenic spots to soak up the beauty of this iconic natural phenomenon. Prepare to plan an unforgettable trip amidst the stunning Japanese cherry blossoms in 2024!

The Sakura PhenomenaJapan Cherry Blossom Festival 2024: A Detailed Guide | Skylum Blog(2)

Sakura is the name of Japanese cherry trees. With the warmth of spring, they bloom profusely with satiate or pale pink small flowers, creating stunning landscapes around rivers, along streets and inside parks. The Japanese devote a lot of folk art to these amazing trees because they have long been a symbol of Japan. Therefore, the Hanami Cherry Blossom Festival is celebrated throughout the country during flowering. 

Hanami is a folk tradition of the cherry blossom festival dedicated to honoring the beauty of this tree. The celebration involves holding parties under the ephemeral sakura trees when they bloom. These parties can occur during the day or at night (yozakura). Countless people and foreign guests celebrate and often travel by train to all the important places in the country to enjoy the beauty of the trees against the background of the amazing nature of Japan.

With the spread of these trees around the world, the holiday was adopted by other countries. Although the Japanese tradition is called hanami, the name Sakura Matsuri Festival is found both in Japan and abroad, which translates as "cherry blossom occasion". These fragile cherry trees could be even in your country and your city. Take advantage of the opportunity to contemplate their flowering and use this time for creative opportunities. 

However, no matter how beautiful the cherry blossoms in a park near you are, this action is different from the scale that awaits viewers in Japan. So, let's reveal where and when you need to go.

When is Cherry Blossom Season in Japan?

Japan Cherry Blossom Festival 2024: A Detailed Guide | Skylum Blog(3)

The most important question before us is when does cherry blossom season start? After all, flowering is short-lived, and you want to see it in full bloom. Unfortunately, there is no clear answer. Festivals depend on the flowering cycle of trees and the climate and weather conditions, which can differ from year to year. But this adds even more charm and interest to the festival. 

Usually, sakura opens its flowers in the spring from March to May. Trees wake up from sleep earlier in warm conditions; therefore, they often bloom as early as January on the subtropical island of Okinawa. Japan's climate is milder, and it is closer to the north. So you can go there later to see the pink trees. Although cherry blossoms cannot be predicted with 100% certainty, the JNTO forecast map provides data on the expected course of the blossoms. 

With this in mind, you can follow the cherry blossoms as they go north and catch them along this 'flower migration.' Next, we will tell you about the most popular places and when they are usually filled with flowering trees.

Where is the Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan?

Where exactly should you go for impressions and amazing pictures? In general, there are more than 100 places where the Sakura Festival takes place in Japan. We have researched the top most popular of them, which will be easier for you as a tourist to get to and which will surprise and fascinate guests with their beauty and scale.

1. Tokyo. Ueno Cherry Blossom Festival

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Period: the end of March — the beginning of April.

The annual cherry blossom festival in Ueno Park attracts more and more tourists yearly. Visitors can enjoy various exciting activities every day and every night during the celebration. The festival features a lively line-up of traditional Japanese performances, such as the Daikoku-mai and Kotobuki-ji shi folk dances, performed in colourful costumes to the rhythm of traditional Japanese music. You can observe the paper lanterns that decorate the entire park in the evening. It is a paradise on earth for photographers. Just imagine what colourful photos you can take in a few days of celebration. 

In addition to the park, you can explore the best photo spots in Tokyo to gain impressions and take many amazing photos. After all, Japan's culture, architecture, and nature are markedly different from other countries and continents. While in Tokyo, remember to visit the Meguro River. Over half a mile of its two banks are decorated with blooming cherry trees and paper lanterns.

10 Top Tokyo Photography Locations: Gems You Can't Miss

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2. Chuo, Osaka. Osaka Castle Park Cherry Blossom Festival

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Period: late March — the middle of April.

Osaka Castle Park has picturesque gardens and stunning views of the historic castle. A major attraction here is the Nishinomaru Garden, home to approximately 300 Yoshino cherry trees, Japan's most common variety of cherry blossoms. At night, the cherry trees are illuminated with soft glowing lights, creating a romantic and magical atmosphere that will take your breath away. Night photos will be no less magical than daytime photos.

3. Kitakami City, Iwate Prefecture. Kitakami Tenshochi Cherry Blossom Festival

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Period: middle — late April.

Rows of cherry blossom trees create a breathtaking 2-kilometre tunnel of pink and white flowers. Here, you can also enjoy a variety of cultural performances and events, watch the night illuminations that create a magical atmosphere, and take unique shots of it all.

4. Hakodate City, Hokkaido. Goryokaku Cherry Blossom Festival

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Period: end of April — middle-May.

The Cherry Blossom Festival at Goryokaku Park is a must-see event for visitors to Japan during the spring season. It is an extraordinary sight of almost 1,500 cherry blossom trees lit up at night. Goryokaku Park, where the festival is held, is also a historical site home to Japan's largest fort. The star-shaped ruins of the castle will add atmosphere to your photos. We recommend visiting the nearby Goryokaku Tower, which is 107 metres high. Its observation deck offers an indescribable view of a sea of pink cherry blossoms and a star-shaped fort. Be sure to bring an extra memory card to capture every memorable moment!

5. Yoshino, Nara Prefecture. Mount Yoshino Cherry Blossom Festival

Japan Cherry Blossom Festival 2024: A Detailed Guide | Skylum Blog(8)

Period: the end of March — middle April.

With the onset of cherry blossom season, the slopes of Kamisenbon, Shimosenbon and Nakasenbon Parks turn into an ocean of delicate cherry blossoms. About 30,000 trees covered with flowers create a fascinating sight that will not leave you indifferent. At night, the blooms are illuminated by lanterns in a dazzling palette of colours, creating a truly unforgettable atmosphere. You can photograph wild mountain landscapes drowning in pink flowers, and this adventure will surely be spectacular.

These are just a few locations that will take your breath away with the beauty of these amazing trees. But do more research to plan an itinerary that takes you through different parks and places of interest. Make a checklist for travelling so you remember to bring the camera and its necessary attributes. We wish you an exciting trip and more unique pictures. How about the secrets to processing these photos? We have some tips for you. Save them for the future to emphasise the beauty of images from a trip to Japan.

Post-processing with LuminarJapan Cherry Blossom Festival 2024: A Detailed Guide | Skylum Blog(9)

Discover the brand-new Luminar for iPad, perfect for quick and easy travel photo edits. Its basic yet powerful tools let you manually tweak your shots while AI enhancements automatically boost their natural atmosphere.

With Luminar, you can improve composition, change colors, swap skies, and add magic to evening scenes in just a few clicks. What could be better for cherry blossom photography? 

It’s also great for those who love taking stunning portraits. Luminar helps you highlight facial details and make cherry blossom backgrounds pop. Plus, you can remove unwanted elements, capturing the essence of peace and charm in your photos.

Elevate Your Edits with Luminar for iPad


Bottom LineJapan Cherry Blossom Festival 2024: A Detailed Guide | Skylum Blog(10)

The Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival is an amazing event that fascinates Japanese people and tourists worldwide. It is an incredible experience for every photographer to learn about the gentle nature and unique Japanese culture. Take the opportunity to visit one or more of these beautiful festivals. You will be satisfied. Search the works of other photographers for inspiration and interesting ideas, explore the best places where the trees bloom, and go on an adventure! 

The main thing is to be open to new journeys and explorations of our beautiful world. Reveal the culture of Japan and the beauty of its symbol — sakura — in your photos and share this magic of spring with your audience.

Japan Cherry Blossom Festival 2024: A Detailed Guide | Skylum Blog(11)

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