Mention Spring in Japan and most people immediately think of the cherry blossom (sakura in Japanese). Often however their thoughts don’t go much further.
Today I was going to talk about the cherry blossom because it is so beautiful. However, the cherry blossom season doesn't last for the whole of Spring (Haru) and there much more to enjoy too. As the title of this blog suggests, I'm going to talk about spring in Japan - when to go and what else to do in Spring in addition to seeing the cherry blossom.
When To Go to Japan for the Spring
Spring is considered by the Japanese as the first of the four seasons. So when is the spring in Japan? Perhaps it is reasonable to consider spring is the start of the cherry blossom season.
The peak of the spring cherry blossom season is earlier in the south (Okinawa) where flowers open in mid/late January peaking early February.
In Tokyo however the spring cherry blossom season is from late March to early April. Even more further North (Sapporo), the season starts in the first week of May. There is another factor to consider if you want to see these magnificent trees in flower, and that is the duration of the flowering season. From first opening to peak in the south it is about two weeks, whereas in Sapporo is just 3-4 days and its all over. It is a national event each year as the news follows the blossom's progress South to North and reports on the relative performance each year.
Things to Do in Springtime in Japan
If you are into the beauty of nature, then a Japanese spring is going to make you feel ecstatic.
The famous flowers in Spring also include the plum blossom (flowering just before the cherry blossom), the masses of tulips start to show their paces in April along with the thousands of Azaleas.
In May it is the time for the magnificent Wisteria. There are also wild flowers and coloured mosses too. You may decide to head to the mountain areas as well because they are so pristine in Spring and the rivers and streams burble along carrying the melted snow and ice.
Spring is when many of the Japanese gardens are at their finest. Perhaps it is because all the winter dressing and protection for the plants and trees is collected and there has been some extra attention or the new leaves are shooting everywhere, a sign of rejuvenation that we all love to see.
Festivals in Japan in Spring
Japan is a country of festivals, and the pick of festivals in Spring could well be the Kamakura or Takayama festivals, both of which are in April.
But then again I had better mention the Asakusa Sanja Matsuri festival in Tokyo in May , oh and the….... festival and … Well you got the message.
Why not check out a Spring Cherry Blossom tour with Journey To The East now?