Travel agency Club Tourism recently released its list of the most in-demand sakura spots in eastern and western Japan for 2024. Takato Joshi Park in Nagano Prefecture ranked number one for the former, with Mount Yoshino in Nara Prefecture topping the list for the latter. It is based on the highest number of reservations for sakura-related tours on the company website. It offers 124 in total, which all take place between March 1 and May 10.  

Top 5 In-Demand Sakura Spots for Eastern Japan 

Described as having the “best cherry blossoms under heaven,” Takato Joshi Park in Nagano boasts over 1,500 sakura trees of the dark pink variety. The colorful trees were reportedly planted on the former castle grounds in the 1870s when the park was first opened to the public.

Just behind Takato Joshi Park on the list is Kakunodate in Akita Prefecture, a former castle town known for its samurai district and hundreds of shidarezakura (weeping cherry trees).

Making up the top five are Miharu Takizakura, an ancient cherry tree in Fukushima Prefecture, Hirosaki Park in Aomori Prefecture, which boasts one of the few Japanese castles that remains to this day in its original structure, and Kamakura in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan’s first capital built by the samurai class.  

popular cherry blossom places

Top 5 In-Demand Sakura Spots for Western Japan  

Moving to the west of Japan, there’s no prize for guessing which place tops the list. Mount Yoshino in Nara Prefecture has been the most well-known sakura viewing spot in Japan for centuries. Covered by approximately 30,000 cherry trees, which stretch for around 8 kilometers, the views are stunning, but be prepared to wait in line.

Hyogo Prefecture’s Himeji Castle, which featured in the James Bond movie, You Only Live Twice, is second on the list, ahead of Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima Prefecture, which is known for its floating torii. The sacred site of Mount Koya in northern Wakayama Prefecture is in fourth. Daigozakura, an impressive-looking 1,000-year-old tree that stands alone atop a hill in northwestern Okayama Prefecture, is fifth. 

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