We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

First time in Japan.

Cambridge, United...
Level Contributor
78 posts
Save Topic
First time in Japan.

Hi

My partner and I am planning a trip to Japan next year in Spring. We are in very initial stages of planning the trip. We will be there for 15 days( we can add or subtract one or 2 days). Not booked the flights so still can play around the dates.

Right now I know about the major cities like Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka and to do day trips from there or may be staying near by places like Nara Park .Would love to have an authentic Onsen experience.

I still have no idea how to divide the time between them. Also I have to see that there is an option to fly out from Osaka or it will be better to backtrack to Tokyo ( flight savings).

I know that there is no forecast of Sakura bloom until before few months. I have thought of two options either to come in first week of April and if lucky can enjoy the cherry blossom or to delay it for a week (around 10th April) to enjoy whatever Sakura is left. Also We would love to see Shibazakura at Mt. Fuji, Azaleas, Nemophilia at Hitachi seaside park, Wisteria at Ashigaka ( near to Tokyo)or Kawachi Fuji gardens( which I am assuming is a day trip option from Kyoto or Hiroshima).

I am an amateur photographer so would love the capture Japan in Spring. Because the Easter holiday here in UK is from 19th to 22nd April so it would be better to include them during our trip to Japan.

Also would definitely like to avoid Golden week which I read is from 29th April next year.

Any thoughts, any ideas please advice us.. We would really appreciate it.

Thanks a lot.

Edited: 06 August 2018, 22:31
6 replies to this topic
Level Contributor
3,711 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: First time in Japan.

Wisteria and Shibazalura are usually in season in late April-early May, which coincides with the Japanese Golden Week, although global warming has probably taken effect with the cherry blossom and others peaking a week or so earlier this year.

"Whatever cherry blossom is left" doesn't sound right when there are places that are among the best (if not the best) in Tohoku Region and southern Holkaido that have the peak in mid to late April and as late as early May.

Edited: 06 August 2018, 23:24
Level Contributor
3,711 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: First time in Japan.

Therefore, I suggest that you consider seeing the last cherry blossom around Kanto Region (at Gongendo, in Kumagaya, or Nikko), then move on to Tohoku Region to see their peak (on Hanamiyama, along Shiroishi River, at Aizu Wakamatsu Castle, in the Yamagata Basin, along the coasts of Matsushima, and as far north as Kitakami Tenshochi, Kakunodate, Hirosaki, and Hakodate). On your return to Tokyo in late April, you can check out the wisteria in Ashikaga Flower Park and Shibazakura in Motosuko. Many people miss out the wisteria in the garden of Kasuga Taisha Shrine in Nara City as they are reluctant to pay the additional entrance fee :-).

That would mean missing out the cherry blossom in Tokyo and Kyoto (although you might get some late bloomer types), but the two cities do not necessarily have the best spots for viewing.

Edited: 06 August 2018, 23:37
Level Contributor
3,711 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: First time in Japan.

If you have doubts about recommended places like Hanamiyama or Miharu no Takizakura, please browse YouTube. I have my own photos on Flickr but I'm fiddling on iPod and can't post the link.

Edited: 06 August 2018, 23:41
Level Contributor
3,711 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: First time in Japan.

Oshino Hakkai village between Kawaguchiko and Yamanakako has some good cherry blossom which usually peaks about the same time as Shibazakura in Motosuko in the Fuji Five Lakes area.

Cambridge, United...
Level Contributor
78 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: First time in Japan.

Thanks a lot for all your suggestions. Yeah I read all about Sakura bloom was earlier this year ..I think I would look to book tickets between 10th -15th April.

I can do that the areas you mentioned . Can they be done as a day trips from Tokyo or do you advise them to stay in the area. They are like 2 hours be train.. . I still hope to see some Sakura around Tokyo ( Kitanomaru Park ) or Kyoto though. Would I still be able to see Nemophilia around 24th-25th April) and If I remember it right. There are tulips also in the same park.

How should I plan my itinerary around it then..May be initially 3 days in Tokyo, I have read people recommended Hakone for Onsen . Is it a day experience or should we spend some nights in there. Kyoto 5 nights, Osaka for 2 nights. Spending rest of the time near Tokyo to explore areas like lake Kawaguchiko ..Is Shirakawa-go /Hakuba worth going?

Thanks a lot once again..

Cambridge, United...
Level Contributor
78 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: First time in Japan.

I will check out your images on Flickr.. is this your profile name on Flickr too. Thanks a lot.

Reply to: First time in Japan.
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted