Throughout the ages spring has been welcomed in Japan with joy and celebration. Since as long ago as the Nara Period, Japan residents have recognized the beginning of the rice-planting season with parties and offerings. This tradition has not changed.
Where to See Cherry Blossoms in Yokohama
Cherry blossoms (sakura) are the ubiquitous symbol of spring in Japan, and Yokohama is one of the best places to view the gorgeous flowers. Multiple parks and venues throughout the city burst with colorful blooms during late March and early April.
Sankeien Garden is easily the most recognizable cherry blossom destination in Yokohama. The vast traditional Japanese garden is home to several historical houses and buildings, including a three-story pagoda relocated from Kyoto, providing the perfect backdrop for the abundance of cherry blossoms.
For a more urban atmosphere, head to the exciting Minato Mirai 21 district where the main road is lined with 150 cherry trees. For a more natural experience, stroll along the 3.5km walking path along the Ooka River underneath the canopy of about 500 cherry trees. Even though it is one of the largest parks in Yokohama, Negishi Forest Park is relatively unknown. Popular with horse lovers thanks to the Equine Museum and Pony Centre, the park also boasts about 350 cherry trees.
Where to See Other Spring Flowers in Yokohama
Spring isn’t just about cherry blossoms. Yokohama Harbor is a gorgeous sight in its own right and during the spring the scenery is enriched with the color and beauty of seasonal flowers. Yokohama Park, the first Western-style park in Japan, comes alive with a bounty of about 70 varieties tulips every April – with approximately 140,000 bulbs in total.
Located right in front of Yokohama Port, Yamashita Park was the first seaside park in Japan. The park includes a rose garden where approximately 400 plants of 60 varieties are cared for in flower beds. Opened in 1962, Harbor View Park was built on the former site of British soldiers’ barracks, and offers a perfect view of Yokohama Bay Bridge. A greening project was completed in 2016, and a British-style garden has various roses and flowers in bloom throughout all four seasons.
Where to Enjoy Spring Festivities in Yokohama
Spring isn’t just about flowers either, as some of Yokohama’s famous entertainment and commercial districts light up with activity during the season. A lively neighborhood in the heart of Yokohama, Noge has virtually been untouched by the modern progress ongoing along Yokohama’s portside. There are no skyscrapers or bright lights, just small bars, jazz clubs and cafés that still resemble Japan’s Showa Era of the 1940s and ‘50s. During spring visitors can wander between establishments, enjoying street performances and traditional festivals.
Isezaki-cho, located in Yokohama’s Naka-ku, is a bustling hub of culture, entertainment and shopping. Here you’ll find an eclectic mix of Japanese confection shops, the latest fashion and some fantastic street art. Take a stroll down Isezaki Mall’s tree-lined avenue and enjoy its cosmopolitan mix of old and new. Enjoy works of art dotted along the street, attend one of the free weekly entertainment events or do some people watching from one of the many benches along the way.
Learn more about the wonders of Yokohama during any season at yokohamajapan.com