With a few weeks to go till the start of the blooming of the cherry blossoms in Japan, start booking your flights and hotels now in order to catch the once a year spectacle. Below are recommended hotels near cherry blossom viewing sites around Japan so you can save on travel time and make the most of your holiday.
Tokyo Mar 22-25
Lined with 260 cherry trees, the Chidorigafuchi Pedestrian Path transforms into a beautiful pink archway when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. It’s a 20-minute walk from Hotel New Otani Tokyo Garden Tower to the park. Stay on a higher floor for a spectacular view of Tokyo and even the park. The hotel has its own 400-year-old garden as well as the largest hotel pool in central Tokyo. The hotel is one of three conjoined hotels that comprise the Hotel New Otani Tokyo complex (which includes Hotel New Otani The Main and Hotel New Otani Tokyo Executive House Zen) which have a myriad of Japanese restaurants between them ranging from Kaiseki to Yakatori.
Kyoto Mar 27-31
Fit for royals, the Yoshida-Sanso (former residence of a Japanese prince) is a ryokan located at the foot of the magnificent Daimonji mountains and near the famous cherry blossom viewing spot; The Philosopher’s Path (about a 15 minute walk from the hotel). The 2 km path is lined with hundreds of cherry trees and stretches from the Silver Pavilion to the neighborhood of Nanzenji. Ideal for couples who want a mountainside respite, guests will love falling asleep on an authentic Japanese tatami and waking up to a traditional, complimentary breakfast. Each of the five rooms have free WiFi and individual balconies. Book in advance as there are only 4 rooms.
Osaka Mar 25-30
Imagine a park the size of Gardens by the Bay filled with over 4,000 blossoming cherry trees and you’ve got Osaka Castle Park. The park is famous not only for its cherry blossoms but for the renowned Osaka Castle of course, which will look even more spectacular surrounded by the pink flowers. Stay at the Sheraton Miyako Hotel Osaka, the top hotel near the Osaka Castle Park that’s equipped with a pool, sauna, and three Japanese restaurants including one that specialises in Okonomiyaki! The four star luxury chain is a 5 minute walk to the Tsuruhashi Station where you can get a train that takes you directly to the Osaka Castle Park (get off at Morinomiya Station).
Nagoya Mar 23-28
Lined with cherry trees for over a kilometre, the “Path of the Four Seasons”, along Nagoya’s Yamazakigawa Riverside, is the best spot in the city to view cherry blossoms. Also great for cherry blossom viewing is the Nagoya Castle. The Nagoya Marriott Associa is located between these two sites and is the ideal hotel for travellers destined for hanami. Only in Japan… guests can select a “Japanese Room” (tatami) if they want a traditional living experience. A must-try is the Japanese restaurant “Kyoto Tsuruya” which serves exceptional sushi and has amazing views of the city and Nagoya Castle. The city’s top rated five star is also located right above Nagoya station.
Fukuoka Mar 22-24
The location of the Hilton Fukuoka Sea Hawk couldn’t get any better. Right on the sea, and 20-minutes by bus to the city’s best cherry blossom viewing spot; Maizuru Park/Fukuoka Castle, the four star is the perfect choice for families, given the hotel’s numerous facilities and amenities suited for families including a pool, spa, stone bath, and its pet friendly status. The park’s grounds has around 1,000 cherry trees. A recommend way of viewing the cherry blossoms is by having a leisurely picnic under them. And the ruins of Fukuoka Castle will provide the most picturesque backdrop to your family picnic. For fare, as at any Hilton Hotel, guests can expect a dining experience that is both ambient and tasty.
Sapporo Apr 30-May 2
The place to be for cherry blossom viewing in Sapporo is Maruyama Park. Stay at the four star Sapporo Park Hotel – one of the most conscious and eco-friendly hotels in the city. With a governing concept that means “smile” in the Ainu language and use of only local products, guests can be rest assured they’ll be taken care of, in mind and in body. Any Japanese food aficionado will know and love the food of Hokkaido. Guests at Sapporo Park Hotel should try the Nadaman Garden Japanese Restaurant which, alongside the main restaurant where guests can order seasonal Japanese dishes, has a sushi, tempura, and teppanyaki bar.