Japan’s April Flowers: Cherry Blossoms, Tulips, and Pink Moss

When it comes to the spring season in Japan, cherry blossoms quickly pop up into one’s mind. However, the incredibly diverse country holds many other flowers that deserve just as much attention, if not more.

April Flowers of Japan

The official start of spring in Japan occurs during the month of March and lasts until May. To fully enjoy the vibrant colors offered by the Japan’s numerous gardens and parks, tourists are highly encouraged to travel to the country during the month of April when most of its spring flowers are in full bloom.

In line with that, tourists should take note of the following guidelines regarding the blooming periods of the various flowers prior to planning their tour:

  • Ume (Plum Blossoms) – typically blooms from mid-February to the end of March

  • Sakura (Cherry Blossoms) – typically blooms from the end of March to the first week of May

  • Tulips – typically blooms from the end of March to the first week of May

  • Shibazakura (Pink Moss) – typically blooms from the start of April to the end of May

  • Fuji (Wisteria/Wisterium) – typically blooms during the month of May (check Kameido Shrine and Ashikaga Flower Park)

  • Bara (Roses) – typically blooms from mid-May to mid-June, and again from the end of August to the start of October (check Gora Park)

  • Ajisai (Hydrangea) – typically blooms from the start of June to mid-July (check Meigetsuin Temple and Hase Temple)

  • Hanashobu (Irises) – typically blooms from mid-June to the start of July (check Makino Botanical Garden)

  • Himawari (Sunflowers) – typically blooms from the end of June to the start of August (check Furano Flower Fields)

  • Lavender – typically blooms from mid-June to the start of August (check Tambara Flower Park)

  • Koyo (Autumn Colors) – typically seen from mid-September to the start of December

Cherry blossoms, tulips, and pink moss serve as the most popular spring flowers of Japan and bloom quite lovely during the month of April at Tokyo, Tonami, and Fujigoko, respectively.

Viewing Cherry Blossoms (Sakura) in Japan

The cherry blossom season of Japan actually differs from region to region. By the book, southern areas with a milder climate often have cherry blossoms that bloom by January, while other places located up North such as Hokkaido have to wait until May to see their trees bloom.

For the cities of Osaka, Kyoto, and Tokyo that are located between the two extremes, the blossoms of cherry trees typically start to open as soon as the month of April begins. It is important to note that the cherry blossom season is quite short, usually just two weeks.

The blossoms reach mankai (full bloom) about a week after kaika (first opening) and last for another week before they start to naturally fall off the trees.

2017 Cherry Blossoms Season

  • Sapporo, Japan – Kakai by May 3; Mankai by May 7

  • Hakodate, Japan – Kakai by April 30; Mankai by May 4

  • Hirosaki, Japan – Kakai by April 23; Mankai by April 28

  • Sendai, Japan – Kakai by April 11; Mankai by April 16

  • Tokyo, Japan – Kakai by March 26; Mankai by April 3

  • Yokohama, Japan – Kakai by March 26; Mankai by April 3

  • Nagoya, Japan – Kakai by March 26; Mankai by April 3

  • Matsumoto, Japan – Kakai by April 10; Mankai by April 15

  • Takayama, Japan – Kakai by April 15; Mankai by April 20

  • Kanazawa, Japan – Kakai by April 4; Mankai by April 10

  • Kyoto, Japan – Kakai by March 28; Mankai by April 5

  • Osaka, Japan – Kakai by March 28; Mankai by April 5

  • Nara, Japan – Kakai by March 29; Mankai by April 5

  • Kobe, Japan – Kakai by March 28; Mankai by April 5

  • Hiroshima, Japan – Kakai by March 27; Mankai by April 4

  • Takamatsu, Japan – Kakai by March 28; Mankai by April 5

  • Matsuyama, Japan – Kakai by March 25; Mankai by April 4

  • Fukuoka, Japan – Kakai by March 25; Mankai by April 1

  • Kumamoto, Japan – Kakai by March 23; Mankai by April 1

  • Kagoshima, Japan – Kakai by March 26; Mankai by April 4

Must-Visit Places for Cherry Blossom Viewing

  • Hirosaki Castle Park

The Hirosaki Castle Park is among Tohoku’s best places for cherry blossom viewing (hanami). It is also a great place to get a glimpse of old Japan, as it houses the castle that once served as the residence of the Tsugaru Family, a ruling clan of the Tohoku Region during ancient times.

About 2,600 trees of different kinds can be seen at the park, some of which are a hundred years of age. The cherry blossom season of the Hirosaki Castle Park typically lasts from late-April to late-May.

Hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, daily

Admission Fee: 510 yen per person

Address: 1 Shimoshiroganecho, Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture, Japan 036-8551

  • Kakunodate

Kakunodate is an old samurai district that features tons of shidarezakura (weeping cherry trees). The blossoms of these trees start to bloom by April and usually last until the end of May. A 2-kilometer walking path along the HInokinari River serves as the best place for tourists to appreciate the nice contrast of the pink cherry blossoms against the dark walls of the former samurai houses.

Address: Kakunodatemachi, Semboku, Akita Prefecture, Japan 014-0300

  • Ueno Park

Ueno Park stands as the most popular cherry blossom park of Japan. The park houses about a thousand cherry trees (mountain cherry trees and somei-yoshino cherry trees), which are beautifully illuminated at night.

Hours: 5:00 AM – 11:00 PM, daily

Admission Fee: No admission fee

Address: Uenokoen, Taito, Tokyo Prefecture, Japan 110-0007

Viewing Tulips in Japan

Tulip fields or tulip gardens are often associated with Netherlands and are one of the reasons why tourists from all over the world visit the country. Interestingly, Japan houses several parks that are just as beautiful as those of Netherlands, if not more.

These tulips are especially vivid during the spring season, particularly from mid-April all the way to the first or second week of May.


The small town of Biei is composed of stunning vast fields and rolling hills that make it an incredibly relaxing and pleasant place to visit. Visitors are encouraged to drive or bike around the area to be able to fully appreciate its many trees and flower fields.

Two areas known as Patchwork Road and Panorama Road make up the northern and southern sections of the town, respectively. Highlights of Patchwork Road include a row of popular trees that have been used for commercials, the Hokusei Hill Observatory, and the Zerebu Hill, while highlights of the Panorama Road include the Shikisai Hill, the Kanno Farm, and the Takushinkan (exhibition hall).

Hours: 8:30 AM – 6:00 PM, daily

Admission Fee: No admission fee

Address: Bieicho, Kamikawagun, Hokkaido, Japan

Boso Flower Line

The Boso Flower is located at the southern station of the Boso Peninsula. This 45-kilometer long lane stretches from Chikura to Tateyama, just by the seaside of the peninsula. The road is lined with various flower parks and farms filled with a wide variety of spring flowers.

Some of the places that can be found along the Boso Flower Line which tourists should take note of include:

  • Senda Flower Field

Known for: Various flowers, flower picking, flower shops

Hours: Varies from store to store

Admission Fee: No admission fee

Address: Tateyama, Chiba Prefecture, Japan 294-0001

  • Shiramazu Flower Field

Known for: Various flowers, flower shops

Hours: Varies from store to store

Admission Fee: No admission fee

Address: Tateyama, Chiba Prefecture, Japan 294-0001

  • Tateyama Aloha Garden

Known for: Tropical plants, small zoo, observation tower

Hours: 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM, daily

Admission Fee: 1,300 yen per person

Address: Tateyama, Chiba Prefecture, Japan 294-0001

  • Tateyama Family Park

Known for: Poppy fields, flower picking, putter golf

Hours: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM, daily

Admission Fee: 550 yen per person

Address: Tateyama, Chiba Prefecture, Japan 294-0001

Tonami Tulip Park

The Tonami Tulip Park, as its name implies, houses a wide array of colorful tulips that are strategically scattered across a massive flowerbed. There are several viewing platforms located in the vicinity which are elevated to provide visitors with a pleasant bird’s eye view of the entire park, one of which is designed in the shape of a tulip.

Other notable points of interest within the park include the Tulip Aroma Garden, the Tonami Tulip Gallery (Tulip Shikisaikan), and a lovely pond. An annual festival known as the Tonami Tulip Fair is hosted by the park from late-April to early-May.

Hours: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM, daily

Admission Fee: 1,000 yen per person (During the Tonami Tulip Fair)

Address: 100-1 Nakamura, Tonami, Toyama Prefecture, Japan 939-1381

Nabana no Sato

Nabana no Sato can be located within the vicinity of the Nagashima Resort in Mie, Japan. It is situated about fifteen minutes away (by bus) from the resort’s Nagashima Spaland and is known for hosting some of the best flower festivals and illumination festivals in Japan.

Hours: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM, irregular schedule

Admission Fee: 1,600 yen per person (During the spring and autumn seasons); 1,000 yen per person (During the summer season); 2,300 yen per person (During the winter season/winter illumination event)

Address: 270 Komae Urushibata, Nagashimacho, Kuwana, Mie Prefecture, Japan 511-1144

Huis Ten Bosch

Huis Ten Bosch, also known as Hausu Ten Bosu, is a Dutch-themed park in the prefecture of Nagasaki. It is aptly named after a member of the Dutch Royal Family and features iconic windmills, breathtaking gardens, stunning architecture, and beautiful canals, all of which contribute to the park’s palpable European ambiance.

One of the things that greatly attract tourists to the park is its seasonal flowers scattered across the complex, particularly its colorful tulips and rose flowers. Other attractions of the Huis Ten Bosch include the Theme Park Zone and the Harbor Zone which house various amusement rides, museums, and building replicas.

Hours: 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM, daily

Admission Fee: 6,700 yen per person (Entrance to the park and unlimited access to nearly all attractions); 4,200 yen per person (Entrance to the park only); 300 – 1,000 yen per person (Price range for access to each attraction at the park)

Address: Hausutenbosumachi, Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan 859-3243

Kamiyubetsu Tulip Park

The Kamiyubetsu Tulip park can be located in the town of Yubetsu in Hokkaido, Japan. It houses an estimated total of 1.2 million tulips of at least a hundred different kinds. According to records, the park is considered to be Japan’s largest tulip park and is among Hokkaido’s list of must-visit tourist attractions.

A festival known as the Kamiyubetsu Tulip Festival is held at the park every year, from May to June.

Hours: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM, daily

Admission Fee: 500 yen per person (Adult); 250 yen per person (Child)

Address: Tondenshigaichi, Yubetsucho, Monbetsugun, Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan 099-6501

Viewing Pink Moss (Shibazakura) in Japan

yangkee [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Shibazakura, also known as Pink Moss, is a type of flower that grows in thick volumes, making fields seem as though they have been covered with a fluffy pink carpet. The petals of pink moss look very similar to that of cherry blossoms and may also come in other colors such as light purple and white.

In contrast, Japan also houses a particular park known as the Hitachi Seaside Park which features large expanses covered in nemophila, a blue flower that grows in the same way as pink moss.

Similar to tulips, shibazakura start to bloom by mid-April and can last up to the end of May.

Fuji Shibazakura Matsuri

The Fuji Shibazakura Matsuri is an annual festival held in Fuji Five Lakes. It typically runs from mid-April to the start of June and is considered to be the best way to appreciate pink moss.

An estimated total of eight hundred thousand shibazakura stalks of at least five different kinds are put on display in the area, with Mount Fuji standing tall in the background. Various food and souvenir stalls can be found at the festival, some of which sell potted pink moss for tourists to take home.

Given the growing popularity of the Fuji Shibazakura Festival, tourists are advised to avoid taking a trip to the area on weekends or holidays. Early mornings serve as the best times to check out the festival in terms of Mount Fuji’s visibility, lighting for photos, and lack of congestion.

Hours: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, daily (From April 15, 2017 to May 28, 2017)

Admission Fee: 600 yen per person

Address: 212 Motosu, Fujikawaguchiko, Minamitsurugun, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan 401-0337

Hitsujiyama Park

The Hitsujiyama Park, or Hitsujiyama Koen of Chichibu, Japan offers visitors with a stunning hill covered with shibazakura that come in different shades of pink, white, and purple. These flowers have been smartly planted across the area to create large, colorful patterns.

Hitsujiyama Park’s pink moss hill can be found at its southern portion which typically welcomes in significantly more visitors during the months of April and May.

Hours: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, daily

Admission Fee: 300 yen per person (During peak seasons)

Address: 6360 Oyama, Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture, Japan 368-0023