If chasing the cherry blossom is on your 2018 to-do list, then let us help you figure out where and when, so you can easily find out how much. Whether it’s stunning Japan, spectacular Taiwan, or splendid Korea on your mind (or all three!), here’s what to expect.
Sakura spotting in Japan can be extremely rewarding, especially if you choose your cities and spots wisely. Typically, cherry blossoms make an appearance around the country in late March and carry on through the month of April; however, there are certain parts of the country that welcome the bloom as early as late January and as late as the beginning of May. Though the official dates for Japan’s sakura viewing are not out as yet, here is a forecast for 2018 based on previous dates.
Mid-January in Okinawa
Best sakura viewing spots in Okinawa: Nago Castle Park, Nakijin Castle, Yogi Park
End-March to beginning April in Tokyo, Fukuoka, Matsuyama, Yokohama, Fuji Five Lakes and Kumamoto
Best sakura viewing spots in Tokyo: Ueno Onshi Park, Shinjuku Gyoen, Sumida Park, Koganei Park, Inokashira Park, and Yoyogi Park.
Best sakura viewing spots in Fukuoka: San Hou Park, Fukuoka Castle, Atago Shrine, Uminonakamichi Seaside Park, and Nishi Park.
Best sakura spots in Fuji Five Lakes: Kawaguchi Lake
Beginning to mid-April in Hiroshima, Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Kobe, Fukushima, Kanazawa, Sendai and Nagoya
Best sakura viewing spots in Hiroshima: Hiroshima Peace Park, Hiroshima Castle, Shukkeien Garden, and Miyajima.
Best sakura viewing spots in Kyoto: Maruyama Park, Philosopher’s Path, Kyoto Gosho, Shirakawa, Arashiyama, and Daigoji Temple.
Best sakura viewing spots in Osaka: Kema Sakuranomiya Park, Osaka Mint Bureau, and Osaka Castle Park.
Best sakura viewing spots in Nara: Nara Park, Mount Yoshino, and Koriyama Castle Park.
Best sakura viewing spots in Kobe: Gokoku Shrine, Egeyama Park
Best sakura viewing spots in Fukushima: Miharu Shidarezakura, Kasumiga Castle Park, and Hanamiyama Park.
Late April in Aomori
Best sakura viewing spots in Aomori: Ashino National Park, Hirosaki Park
End-April to beginning May in Hokkaido, Hakudate, Sapporo
Best sakura viewing spots in Hokkaido: Hakodate’s Goryokaku, Matsumae Castle, Odori Park, and Moerenuma Park.
How much will it cost you?
A return flight from Singapore to Tokyo will usually cost around S$700+ on average.
Best time to book: If you’re planning to go in April, the sooner the better!
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Budget sakura viewing on the cards? Taiwan it is! Taiwan’s cherry blossom season spans three months, from February to mid-April, and makes for absolutely beautiful sights given the country’s mountainous landscape dotted with temples and hot springs.
Early to mid-February in Nantou County
Best sakura viewing spots in Nantou County: Sun Moon Lake area
Mid-February in Taipei and around
Best sakura viewing spots in Taipei: Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Bihu Park, and Songzhih Park.
Best sakura viewing spots around Taipei: Wulai Hot Springs, Yangmingshan National Park, and Wu’s Ancestral Shrine.
Mid-February to mid-March in New Taipei City
Best sakura viewing spots in New Taipei City: Zhonghe District; Sanzhi and the Cherry Blossom Avenue in Shuangzi; Tianyuan Temple in Tamsui District; and North Sea Jishi Temple.
Late-February to mid-March in Yilan County
Best sakura viewing spots in Yilan County: Ren Shan Park and Fushan Park
Early March in Taichung City
Best sakura viewing spots in Taichung City: Wuling Farm, Dongshi Forest Park
Early-March to mid-April in Alishan
Best sakura viewing spots in Alishan: Alishan Forest Recreational Area in Chiayi County, Alishan Youth Activity Centre, and Zhaoping Park
How much will it cost you?
A return flight from Singapore to Taipei in March will usually cost around S$400+ on average.
Cost of 3-star accommodation in Taipei in mid-March is roughly S$50-S$150 per night, on Agoda.com.
3. South Korea
South Korea’s sakura splash begins end-March and carries on till mid-April. Every year, hordes of tourists head to the country to get their cherry blossom fix. Here is a guide to the when and where in South Korea, for all things pink.
Mid to end-March in Jeju Island
Best sakura viewing spots in Jeju Island: Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival, Seogwipo
End-March to early April in Busan, Gyeongsangnam-do, Daegu, Jeolla Province and Gwanju
Best sakura viewing spots in Busan and Gyeongsangnam-do: Jinhae Gunhangje Cherry Blossom Festival, Hwagae Cherry Blossoms Festival, Gyeonghwa Station, Jungwon Rotary, Ecological Park in Naesu-myeon, Jehwangsan Park, and Korea Naval Academy.
Best sakura viewing spots in Gwangju: Bamboo Forest, Juknokwon, Outside Gwangju National Museum, Sajik Park.
Best sakura viewing spots in Daegu: Yongyeonsa Temple Cherry Blossom Street, Suseong Lake, Seongseo Campus of Keimyung University, Duryu Park, and Jijeo-dong Cherry Blossom Tunnel.
Best sakura viewing spots in Jeolla Province: Seomjingang Riverside Cherry Flower Festival, Wolmyeong Dong Park, Boseong Daewonsa Temple, Seomjingang Cherry Blossom Road, Hwagae Market, and Ssanggyesa Temple.
Early April in Gyeongju
Best sakura viewing spots in Gyeonju: Bomunho Lake, Dongbu Historic Site & Bomun Tourist Complex, and Bomun Lakeside Stage.
Early to mid-April in Seoul, Gangwon-do
Best sakura viewing spots in Seoul: Yeouido Spring Flower Festival, Yeouiseo-ro Street, Seokchon Lake, Outside Kyung Hee University, Seoul Forest, Seoul Grand Park, Changdeokgung Palace, Deoksugung Palace, Unhyeongung Palace, Changgyeonggung Palace, and Gyeongbokgung Palace.
Best sakura viewing spots in Gangwon-do: Gyeongpodae Cherry Blossom Festival at the Gyeongpodae Pavilion and lake, Gyeongpoho Lake, and Nami Island.
Mid-April in Incheon
Best sakura viewing spots in Incheon: Incheon Grand Park Cherry Blossom Festival at Incheon Grand Park, Jayu Park.
How much will it cost you?
A return flight from Singapore to Seoul in April will usually cost around S$700+ on average.
Cost of 3-star accommodation in Seoul in mid-March is roughly S$50-S$120 per night, on Agoda.com
Disclaimer: These dates are approximates based on previous years. With constantly evolving weather patterns, it is difficult to give exact full bloom dates.