2024 Hokkaido Cherry Blossom Guide: Japan Late Sakura Season

Last Updated: May 29,2024

If you miss the Tokyo Cherry Blossoms viewing in March, then the Hokkaido Cherry Blossom in May is your great alternative during your trip to Japan. Hokkaido's Sakura is not as popular as Tokyo's cherry blossom season, and instead of being crowded with people, you can feel the romantic atmosphere that Japanese cherry blossoms bring to people. When people think of Hokkaido, they think of skiing and hot springs. In fact, Hokkaido has many natural scenery spots to view Japanese cherry blossoms in spring and foliage in fall. In this article, we have selected some representative spots to see Sakura in Hokkaido and Tohoku, and welcome to fill out this form if you need any help in making the itinerary for your cherry blossom tour to Hokkaido and Tohoku.

Table of Contents

1. Hokkaido Cherry Blossom Time Forecast 2024

2. Ways to Participate in the Hokkaido Sakura Season

3. Best Cherry Blossoms Spots in Hokkaido

3.1 Famous Attractions for Sakura Viewing in Sapporo

3.2 Must-visit Cherry Blossoms Spots in Hakodate

3.3 Cannot-Miss Sakura Spots in Otaru

3.4 Other Places to See Sakura in Hokkaido

4. Hokkaido's Sakura Alternative: Shibazakura

1. 2024 Cherry Blossoms Season Forecast for Hokkaido and Tohoku

Cherry blossoms are the national flower of Japan. When can you see Sakura in Hokkaido? From the middle of March, cherry blossoms will bloom in order from Western Japan to Eastern Japan. Generally, Tokyo cherry blossoms bloom around March 25. In Kansai, Osaka cherry blossom date and Kyoto Sakura time, and Nara cherry blossom viewing is on March 26. In the southern part of the Tohoku region, it is in early April, and in Hokkaido at the beginning of May. Based on the forecasts announced by the Japan Meteorological Society in previous years, the following is a forecast of the blooming time for each region in the Tohoku area and Hokkaido in the 2024 cherry blossoms season in Japan. In short, late April to early May is the best time to visit Hokkaido for cherry blossoms viewing.

Hokkaido Cherry Blossom Forecast 2024

LocationPredicted Flowering DatePredicted Full Bloom Date
HakodateApril 29May 2
SapporoApril 30May 3
MuroranMay 3May 9

Tohoku Cherry Blossom Forecast 2024

LocationPredicted Flowering DatePredicted Full Bloom Date
AomoriApril 22April 27
AkitaApril 17April 22
MoriokaApril 20April 24
SendaiApril 10April 14
YamagataApril 14April 18
FukushimaApril 8April 13

Please keep in mind that this is just the Sakura forecast according to the cherry blossoms season information of the previous years, please check the related resources such as the Japan Meteorological Bureau to confirm the final cherry blossom dates in 2024.

Hokkaido Sakura Season

2. How to Participate in the Hokkaido Sakura Season Celebration

For the Hokkaido Cherry blossom season, people celebrate it with various activities as follows, just enjoy the beauty and serenity of the Sakura season in Hokkaido.

1) Having a Hanami picnic under the cherry blossom trees is a traditional way to enjoy the blossoms.

2) Enjoy the Sakura festivals and illuminations that also showcase the beauty of the season.

3) Take strolls in famous viewing spots like Maruyama Park, Goryokaku Park, and Moerenuma Park, etc.

4) Experience traditional activities like tea ceremonies and calligraphy classes.

5) Capture the most beautiful moment of the weeping cherry tree with a camera or smartphone.

6) Taste the delicious sakura-themed food or snacks in street stands or restaurants.

7) Buy cherry-themed special local products if you like.

8) Go hiking to explore the captivating natural scene while appreciating the charming pink cherry blossoms.

3. Best Cherry Blossoms Spots in Hokkaido

Where are the cherry blossoms in Hokkaido? There are so many Sakura spots to view cherry blossoms in Hokkaido, if you take a visit to Sapporo, you can admire the cherry blossom in Hokkaido Shrine, if you go to Hakodate, Goryokaku Park should be your top one place for Hakodate Sakura viewing, and Matsumae Park is a favorite spot for Matsumae cherry blossom season. Here we are to list the Sakura spots in Hokkaido and Tohoku.

Cherry Blossom Season Hokkaido

3.1 Famous Attractions for Sakura Viewing in Sapporo

Maruyama Park: Sapporo's Must-see Sakura Viewing Spot

Best Viewing Time:  April 26 - May 1

Nearby Station: Maruyama-Koen Station

Address: 3 Hokkaido, Sapporo, Chuo Ward, Miyagaoka 064-0959

Opening Time: Open 24 hours

Tel: +81 11-621-0453

Is there Sakura in Sapporo? Yes, Maruyama Park is a popular place to see cherry blossoms in Sapporo. Located in the city of Sapporo, Maruyama Park is a large park covering 600,000 square meters with lush forests of Quercus serrata, Japanese balsam trees, parkas, and maple trees, which have been designated as a national natural monument. Maruyama Park, like the adjoining Hokkaido Shrine, has been a famous place for cherry blossom viewing since ancient times and is loved by the public. More than 150 cherry trees are planted in the park. During the Sapporo Sakura season, many people will come to picnic under the trees, eat snacks, drink, take photos, chat about gossip, and enjoy the Sapporo Hanami. The transportation here is very convenient, making it an ideal location for people to go to Hokkaido in May during the Sapporo cherry blossom season. It is also one of the best spots to view autumn leaves in Hokkaido from mid-October to late October.

Hokkaido Japan Cherry Blossom

Moerenuma Park: Popular Cherry Blossom Viewing Spot in Sapporo

Best Viewing Time: April 27 - May 1

Nearby Station: Kanjodor-higashi Station

Address: 1-1 Moerenumakoen, Higashi Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 007-0011

Opening Time: Closed at 10 PM

Tel: +81 11-790-1231

Located in Higashi-ku, Sapporo, Moerenuma Park was designed by world-renowned sculptor Isamu Noguchi. The park is known as "a park where nature and art merge" and has many attractions, such as Mount Moerenuma which offers a panoramic view of Sapporo from where you can view the Sapporo cherry blossom, a glass pyramid that has a strange shape, and the Sea Fountain which can spout water up to 25 meters high, etc. 1,900 cherry blossoms are planted around the area, and 126 sculptures of various shapes and colors are scattered throughout the seven sculpture zones A-G. In May every year when it is the Sakura season in Hokkaido, cherry blossoms in full bloom color the sculpture area with a touch of pink.

Hokkaido Shrine: Best Sapporo Spot to View Sakura and Plums at the Same Time

Best Viewing Time: April 26 - May 3

Address: 3 Miyagaoka, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido

Hokkaido Shrine, adjacent to Maruyama Park, has been one of the popular spots for Hanami season in Japan since the Meiji era. It was originally established as a temporary shrine to enshrine the three main gods who were responsible for the pioneering work of Hokkaido and became known as the "Sapporo Shrine" after it had grown in size. Later, as more gods were enshrined, the name was changed to Hokkaido Shrine in 1964. In addition to the long history of the shrine, the Hokkaido Shrine features the blossoming of cherry blossoms and plum blossoms, which is a rare scene throughout Japan due to the special climate, making it a great place for Japan Nature Tours in springtime to admire the beauty of the flowers in Japan. From late April every year, more than 1,400 cherry blossoms and 250 plum blossoms bloom at the same time in the shrine. During the Sapporo Japan cherry blossom period, there are also many stalls selling Sakura-themed snacks in the shrine.

Sapporo Cherry Blossom

Makomanai Park: a City Park Suitable for Hanami, Hiking and Strolling in Hokkaido

Best Viewing Time: April 25 - May 2

Nearby Station: Makomanai Station

Address: 3-1 Makomanaikoen, Minami Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 005-0017, Japan

Opening Time: Closed at 9 PM

Tel: +81 11-581-1961

Hokkaido Makomanai Park may not be as famous as Maruyama Park and Hokkaido Shrine, but it was actually the main venue park for the 1972 Sapporo Winter Olympics and has been open to the public free of charge since August 1975. It covers an area of 800,000 square meters and it is planted with about 13,200 trees. Now, the park also has plazas and forested areas that are perfect for walking, viewing, or as a place for hiking and bird watching. From late April every year when it is the best time for Sapporo cherry blossom season, more than 1,000 Japanese cherry blossoms, mainly Yamazakura trees bloom in the park, giving off a sense of pinkness like a young girl with light makeup. The park is also one of the most popular spots for maple viewing in the area.

Former Hokkaido Government Office Building: An Iconic Symbol of Hokkaido with American neo-baroque Style

Best Viewing Time: April 27 - May 6

Address: 6-chome, Kita 3-jo Nishi, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido

Access: About a 5-minute walk from JR Sapporo Station or Odori Subway Station

Built in the Meiji era, the Former Hokkaido Government Office Building, located in the center of Sapporo, is a baroque-style European-style government office building that was constructed of red bricks, so it is also known as the Red Brick Hall, a symbol of Hokkaido, and has also been designated as a nationally important cultural property of Japan. The exterior of the building is very beautiful, with red bricks and green tiles in a clash of colors without being tacky. Flower beds and old trees can be seen everywhere along the pond in the front garden. In summer, the grass and trees are lush and cool, while in winter, snow covers the entire roof and garden with snowflakes, making it beautiful and peaceful. In the Former Hokkaido Government Office Building, the cherry blossoms in full bloom, together with the elegant red-brick hall building, are indescribably beautiful, making it an excellent place to photograph the best Japanese flower tree at Hokkaido cherry blossom time.

 3.2 Must-visit Cherry Blossoms Spots in Hakodate

Goryokaku Park: A Stunning Sakura Spot with Pink Five-pointed Star City Shape

Best Viewing Time: April 28 - May 8

Address: 44-2 Goryokakucho, Hakodate, Hokkaido 040-0001, Japan

Nearby Station: Hakodate Station

Opening Time: Closed at 7 PM

Tel: +81 138-31-5505

You must be wondering where can I see the cherry blossoms in Hakodate. Goryokaku Park is the most famous viewing spot for the Hakodate cherry blossom. It is in Hakodate City, Hokkaido, and was constructed in the Edo Period and has a unique overall shape of a five-pointed star. The cherry blossoms in Goryokaku Park usually start blooming at the end of April or the first half of May, and the cherry blossom dates in Goryokaku Park are more than a month later than the Sakura time in Honshu Island. The pentagon-shaped land is covered with more than 2,000 cherry trees, mainly Yoshino cherry trees, and when they are in full bloom, the petals of the sakura trees flutter in the wind, immersing you in a magical world of pink. Climbing up the white tower in the grounds and watching the cherry blossoms turn the park's star-shaped silhouette pink is a special treat, and this moment will be one of the unforgettable memories of your Japan Sakura tours.

Hakodate Cherry Blossoms

Hakodate Park: One of Japan's Top 100 Historical Parks

Best Viewing Time: April 25 - May 3

Address: 17 Aoyagi-machi, Hakodate City, Hokkaido

Nearby Station: Hakodate Station

Opening Hours: 24 Hours

Tel: +81 138-22-6789

Hakodate Park is one of the representative urban parks of modern Japan, and it was selected as a nationally designated cultural property and a "registered monument" in 2006. It is known as a "Northern Gardening Heritage", and has a long history since its opening in 1879. The park contains a variety of facilities, including the amusement park "Children's Country" and the municipal Hakodate Museum. More than 400 Japanese Sakura trees are planted in the park, and the height of the park is undulating, so you can enjoy the beautiful trees in Japan from many angles during the Hakodate cherry blossom season. Since the park is very close to the sea, it is a highlight of the park that you can admire the cherry blossoms and the sea view at the same time. During the Sakura season, the park is illuminated at night, and vendors set up stalls along the park's footpaths, offering everything from grilled squid to fruits, and you can buy some and spread out a picnic mat under the cherry blossom trees to enjoy the romance of cherry blossom viewing, which is also one of the favorite ways to celebrate the Japan Sakura season.

3.3 Cannot-Miss Sakura Spots in Otaru

Otaru Park: One of the Best Locally Viewing Places for Cherry Blossom in Otaru

Best Viewing Time: May 8 – May 13

Address: 5 Chome-3 Hanazono, Otaru, Hokkaido 047-0024, Japan

Opening Hours: Open 24 hours

Phone: +81 134-32-4111

Otaru Park, opened in 1893, has a history of over 120 years. It is popular as a resting place for local people, and in addition to the representative azaleas, there are large birch forests and cherry blossoms. More than 1,000 cherry trees, mainly Someiyoshino cherry blossoms trees and Yaezakura, are planted in the park, and the best time for cherry blossom viewing in Otaru Park is from mid to late May every year. Since the park is on high ground, you can enjoy a panoramic view of Otaru's harbor and streets while enjoying the Sakura blossom season, adding a sense of tranquility to Otaru Park under the flowering trees in Japan.

Temiya Park: A Park Where You Can Enjoy Cherry Blossoms and Sea View at the Same Time

Best Viewing Time: May 7 – May 14

Address: 2 Chome-5 Temiya, Otaru, Hokkaido 047-0041, Japan

Access: Take the Chuo Bus and get off at "Teshigaya Taiminaru" and walk for about 10 minutes

Opening Hours: Open 24 hours

Otaru, in the center of Hokkaido, is a popular destination for travelers who take a tour to Japan, and Temiya Park is a favorite park for Otaru residents, with many cherry blossom trees. The park occupies the entire slope, and the view of the sea from the high point is unforgettable, as you can admire the beauty of the cherry flowers and the sea reflecting each other every spring during Sakura month in Japan.

 3.4 Other Places to See Sakura in Hokkaido

Cherry Blossom Season Hokkaido

Matsumae Park: One of the Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots in Japan

Best Viewing Time: April 26 to May 5

Nearby Station: Kikonai Station

Access: Take a 95-minute bus ride from Kikonai Station.

Opening Hours: 24 hours

Admission Fee: Free

Tel: +81 139-42-2275

Matsumae Park is ranked third in the newly released list of popular cherry blossom viewing spots in Hokkaido. There are 10,000 cherry blossoms of 250 species in the park, which is an extremely large number of cherry blossoms in Japan. The park is one of the "Top 100 Sakura Spots" and is known throughout Japan as the "Home of Cherry Blossoms". Since it is located in the southernmost part of Hokkaido, the cherry blossom time in Matsumae Park is relatively early. There are many different types of cherry blossom trees, which are divided into early, mid and late Sakura depending on cherry blossom dates of year, and the cherry blossom viewing time viewing lasts up to a month. The cherry blossoms bloom from late April to late May. Tenshu Pavilion is recognized as the best photography location, because from here you can take excellent pictures of the Tenshu and the cherry blossoms complementing each other. The Matsumae Park’s cherry blossom festival is held every year for about 3 weeks from late April.

Nijukken Road Cherry Blossoms Lane: Spectacular Sakua Tunnel in Shinhidakacho

Best Viewing Time: May 4 - May 12

Address: Shizunaitahara, Shinhidaka-cho, Hidaka-gun, Hokkaido 056-0144

Nearby Station: Shizunai Station

Opening Hours: 24 hours

Admission Fee: Free

Tel: +81 146-42-1000

In recent years, the Nijukken Road Cherry Blossoms Lane has become more and more popular in Hokkaido for cherry blossom viewing in Japan. Located in Shizunai-cho in the Hidaka area of Hokkaido, two rows of cherry blossom trees line both sides of the 36-meter wide road that stretches for 7 kilometers, and when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom in Sakura month in Japan, you can see a pink tunnel of cherry blossoms as far as the eye can see. This rare sight has been selected as one of the "100 Famous Places for Cherry Blossoms" and "100 Best Roads in Japan". The cherry blossoms are usually in full bloom from early to mid-May, and there is nothing more romantic than walking slowly under the beautiful cherry blossom trees and enjoying the scenery.

Kakunodate Sakura

Kakunodate: One of Favorite Towns in Tohoku to View Best Sakura in Japan

Best Viewing Time: April 25 - May 3

Address: 394-2 Kamisugasawa, Kakunodate-cho, Senboku-shi, Akita, 014-0369

Access: About 1 hour from Akita Station to JR Kakunodate Station

Kakunodate, located in the eastern part of Akita Prefecture, has a quiet atmosphere and is surrounded by hills on three sides, making it known as the minor Kyoto of northeastern Japan. There are two spots to view Kakunodate cherry blossom. You can dream of the Edo period by strolling along the Takeya Yashiki Path and enjoying the graceful weeping cherry blossoms overhanging the black-paneled walls of the path. And the nighttime cherry blossoms here are also beautiful. The cherry blossoms along the embankment of the Hinoki Uchikawa River are also the highlight of the Kakunodate Sakura season here, and you can enjoy the flowering cherry blossom trees on a rickshaw in a unique way. Kakunodate holds the Kakunodate Cherry Blossom Festival from April 20 to May 5 every year. There are activities such as the "Hipster Clothing Experience", and you can rent a kimono. In addition, the nighttime illumination of the Takeya Yashiki Path is to celebrate the Kakunodate cherry blossoms season. There are about 400 cherry trees in Kakunodate. Since the weeping cherry blossoms on the Takeya Yashiki Path and the Someiyoshino cherry blossoms on the Hinoki Uchikawa Embankment bloom at different times of the year, so the cherry flower blooming period in Kakunodate is longer, making it one of the unique attractions of Kakunodate in spring time

Hirosaki Sakura Testival

Hirosaki Park: One of the Hot Destinations for the Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival

Best Viewing Time: April 27 - May 5

Address: Japan, 036-8356 Aomori, Hirosaki, Shimoshiroganecho,

Nearby Station: Hirosaki Station

Opening Hours: Open 24 hours

Admission: 300 yen

Tel: +81 172-33-8733

The number of cherry blossom trees in Hirosaki Park and its outskirts is very impressive, and it is estimated that there are about 3,000 Yoshino cherry trees, nearly 1,500 Satozakura, and 500 Shidarezakura. The entire Hirosaki Park is drenched in the pink color of cherry blossoms during the Hirosaki Hanami season, and the Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival during the hanami time is one of the most important events in Tohoku, attracting more than 2 million tourists every year to enjoy the Tohoku cherry blossom in Hirosaki Park. During the Hirosaki Sakura festival, nighttime cherry blossom viewing event takes place to celebrate the happy time.

Seiryuji Temple: A Buddhist Temple Famous for the Latest Blooming Cherry Blossom in Japan

Best Viewing Time: May 6 - May 15

Address: 2-2, Matsumoto-cho, Nemuro, Hokkaido 087-0044, Japan

Opening Hours: Closes 5:30 PM

Tel: + 81 153-23-2942

Seiryuji Temple in Hokkaido is famous for having the latest cherry blossoms during the whole period of the Japanese cherry blossoms season. Seiryuji is also the place where the most Chishima Cherry Blossoms are planted in Japan. The history of Chishima Cherry Blossoms is traced back to the Meiji period when one of the lords of the area brought them back from Kokugojima Island, and the oldest cherry tree is already 150 years old. The cherry blossoms here are lovely in the early stage of blossoming with a light pink color and then turn all white when in full bloom, giving off a very strong fragrance that makes you want to linger. While enjoying the cherry blossoms during the Aomori Sakura season, you can also watch the festival of Seiryuji Temple. Seiryuji Temple is definitely one of the best places to see cherry blossoms for the last time for your entire itinerary during the Japan trip.

Sakura Hokkaido

Apart from what we have mentioned above, Lake Tōya in Abuta and Kozenji in Matsumae are also stunning places to admire Sakura in Japan, These attractions may seem remote even to the Japanese people, and deserve to be taken seriously if you would like to explore more off-the-beaten-path Sakura spots for the Japan Sakura season, but it will be an amazing experience when you soak in the Japanese outdoor Onsen while appreciating the charming cherry blossoms in Hokkaido.

4. Hokkaido's "Shibazakura" Worthy Visiting for Japan Spring Travel

It is known to all that there are many Shibazakura festivals in Japan. Many people may hear of the Mt. Fuji Shibazakura Festival. However, the Shibazakura in Hokkaido is also very stunning. If you missed the Hokkaido cherry blossom season, there is still Shibazakura waiting for you. Shibazakura-Takinoue Park at Takinouecho turns into a pink world from early May to early June every year. The Shibazakura Festival is held in May and June every year, and you can take a rare helicopter tour to see the carpet of flowers from the air, so you can see the whole of the pink Shibazakura from a different angle. During the Shibazakura Festival, you can enjoy the lively atmosphere of the festival with stage performances and the Yosakoi Dance Festival. The pink blossoms that cover the park and the hills are so romantic that you feel like you are on a thick carpet of Shibazakura when you walk through it. To get there, take the bus from Furano Station and get off at Kisen. In addition, Higashimokotoshibazakura Park at Ozoracho and Mr. Mishima's Shibazakura Garden at Kutchancho are also great places to enjoy Shibazakura in Japan.

Conclusion

Okinawa welcomes Japan's earliest cherry blossom, however, Hokkaido is the place where cherry blossoms bloom the latest in Japan. So, if you don't have time to take a cherry blossom tour to Japan to enjoy the Sakura season during the busy month of April, or don't want to admire the earliest sakura in winter, just come to Hokkaido in May, as the cherry blossom season has just begun here and it is the month for cherry blossom viewing in Hokkaido. Moreover, Hokkaido, which is famous for its natural beauty, is by no means worse than other places in Japan for Sakura Hanami. Submit your inquiry to tailor-make your Hokkaido cherry blossoms tours now. 

Planning a Trip to Southeast Asia?
Want to plan your trip better? Want an affordable private tour? Get the best tour packages in Southeast Asia as well as this FREE starter kit sent to your email right away - and plan your trip with our expert!
Your FREE starter kit includes:
  • DAY BY DAY ITINERARY
  • STEPS FOR PLANNING A TRIP
  • PRACTICAL TRAVEL TIPS
CUSTOMIZE MY TRIP