All About Japan

Top 5 Hanami Spots in the Tokai Area

| Cherry Blossoms , Tokai Region

The Tokai area, encompassing Shizuoka, Aichi, Gifu and Mie, is a great area in which to see the beautiful cherry blossoms in spring. The cherry trees, or sakura, can be found in parks, historic temples, shrines, castles and even along rivers. The following are our five favorite spots to enjoy and admire the beautiful Tokai cherry blossoms.

5. Mitake (Tsu City, Mie)

Mitake is a tiny mountain village located in Tsu City in Mie Prefecture. The village is famous for its beautiful cherry blossoms, with around 500 cherry trees scattered around the area. One of the most picturesque spots to view them is the terraced rice fields near Shinpuku-in Temple, which are surrounded by Yama-zakura, or wild cherry trees. You can also enjoy a cherry blossom festival around the time of their peak in mid-April.

Best time to visit: April

4. Usuzumi Park (Motosu City, Gifu)

Usuzumi Park in Neo Village, Motosu City, Gifu Prefecture is home to the famous Usuzumi-zakura, one of the oldest cherry trees in Japan. The ancient tree is over 1,500 years old and is believed to have been planted by Emperor Keitai in the sixth century. This unique tree initially sprouts light pink flowers, which become white in full bloom, and turn an inky pale gray as they wither and fall to the ground. Usuzumi-zakura has officially been designated a National Treasure of Japan as well as being one of Japan’s Three Great Cherry Blossom Trees.

Best time to visit: April

3. Cherry Blossom Village (Ito City, Shizuoka)

The Cherry Blossom Village (Sakura no Sato) in Ito, on the Izu Peninsula of Shizuoka Prefecture is famous for its cherry blossoms, and is considered one of Japan’s Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots. There are around 3,000 cherry trees here, with some blooming from late March to early April, and other varieties blooming into May. You can also enjoy the cherry blossom festival from April 7 to 8.

Best time to visit: Mid-March to mid-April

2. Shinsakai River (Kakamigahara City, Gifu)

The Shinsakai River in Kakamigahara City, Gifu Prefecture is one of the Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots in Japan. The river attracts visitors from all over Japan to see its cherry tree-lined road, stretching 31 kilometers (about 19¼ miles). The beautiful banks of the river feature around 1,200 cherry trees and a festival atmosphere with many food vendors along the way, making this a fantastic hanami, or cherry blossom viewing, spot!

Best time to visit: Late March to early April

1. Tsuruma Park (Nagoya, Aichi)

Tsuruma Park in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, is regarded as the best spot in Nagoya to admire the beautiful cherry blossoms. The park, Nagoya’s oldest, features around 1,200 cherry trees and is one of the Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots in Japan. It's a popular hanami spot with food stands and plenty of space for a hanami party under the blooming cherry blossoms. You can also enjoy the wonderful cherry blossom festival held every year on April 8 in the park.

Best time to visit: Late March to early April