The best time to see cherry blossom in the Tohoku region is from Mid April through Late April. The region boasts some of the top sakura viewing spots in Japan.

If you are thinking about visiting Tohoku’s most famous hanami spots then you need to have a travel plan based on your budget and activities that you want to experience. Apart from exploring the top 10 most popular sakura viewing spots in Tohoku, I would like to include the other popular attractions of Tohoku here in this itinerary.

If your intention is to visit the famous hanami spots in the region, there is a big chance of missing out something precious that we really adore. I don’t want you to have such a kind of feeling though!

This is the famous lonely sakura tree at Koiwai Farm, Iwate. Photo Credit: yisris at Flickr.

The Tohoku region is vast, comprises six distinctive prefectures and blessed with endless discoveries. Here you can find everything that what actually a visitor desires to explore from historic landmarks to four seasons natural beauty and countless outdoor adventures including natural hot spring bath.

I honestly believe that a trip to Tohoku in the spring is something you will never forget. Who knows that you may fall in love with some of the iconic hanami spots in the region! Now it is time to share the spring itinerary for 7 days in the Tohoku Region.

Day 1 – Tokyo to Fukushima

Hanamiyama park in the spring. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

The best way of experiencing Tohoku’s hanami is by getting to Fukushima city first. This is the perfect gateway and from there you will be moving towards rest of the prefectures of the Tohoku region. If you decide to come from Tokyo then take the JR Tohoku Shinkansen and get off at Fukushima Station. The one way journey takes about 85 minutes and costs 8500 yen.

Hop on the Tohoku Shinkansen from Tokyo Station in the morning and hopefully when you arrive at Fukushima Station, you will still have plenty of time for sightseeing in the city. Check into APA Hotel Fukushima Ekimae, located very close to JR Fukushima Station.

The first destination for the day will be Hanamiyama Park. This is an ideal place start off your trip to Tohoku. This page clearly tells you about how to access to the park right from Fukushima Station East Exit.

Opened to the public in 1959, Hanamiyama Park is an amazing place to witness tons of spring flowers of different kinds. The surroundings of the park are also pretty eye-catching as you will see snow-capped Azuma Mountains in the distance. Spend most of your time in the park by taking a stroll through the walking trails and enjoy the surrounding scenic beauty along with glorious cherry blossoms display.

In the evening, I am sure you would not mind having some crispy Enban Gyoza at Gyoza Terui, located at Fukushima Station East Exit.

Day 2: Fukushima

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Japan’s Oldest Giant Weeping Cherry Tree! That’s for why you must get to Miharu in spring! Photo Credit: ayu oshimi at Flickr.

For day two, your first destination shall be Miharu Takizakura. It is a thousand years old weeping cherry tree, located in a remote town called Miharu. Please note that accessing to Miharu Takizakura would be challenging as public transport there is really poor.

Hop on the Tohoku Shinkansen, and get off at Koriyama Station. From there you take a train to Miharu Station along the Ban-Etsuto Line. Afterwards, you get on a seasonal bus to The Miharu Takizakura. This is a temporary bus only operated between Miharu Station and the Miharu Takizakura during the peak of the sakura season.

After spending an hour or two, head over to Fukushima Station. Take a taxi to Shinobuyama Park, it will be a quick ride and the last hanami spot to visit in Fukushima before you get to Yamagata city this evening. Located on a forested hill, Shinobuyama is a large public park in Fukushima city with many sakura trees. You can even enjoy a breathtaking view over the city from its observation decks.

After spending a few hours in the park, get ready to head towards Yamagata city from Fukushima station. Enjoy the ride to Yamagata Station by Yamagata Shinkansen, which will take only 70 minutes.

Stay overnight at Comfort Hotel Yamagata. This is a budget friendly hotel to stay nearby Yamagata Station.

Day 3 – Yamagata in a Day

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Kajo Park Sakura – What do you think of this? Photo Credit: hatake_s at Flickr.

I don’t know what your travel budget for this trip is but manage it carefully so that you don’t run out of money. Yet a lot of discoveries are left behind! Spending a day in Yamagata would allow you to get a feel for the city’s main highlights.

Places of Interest: Kajo Park (Yamagata Castle Ruins), and Yamadera Temple.

It is possible for you to cover all these attractions within a day, but you have to decide which one to visit first then to the next. My recommendation is, why don’t you visit Kajo Park to start off your trip? It’s a beautiful park where you will tons of sakura. Please note the park is only a-10 minute walk from Yamagata station.

You will visit Kajo Park to see amazing display of cherry blossoms. In fact, this is the top hanami spot in the whole Yamagata prefecture. Though there are other prominent places to enjoy splendid sakura.

One of the temple buildings of Yamadera Temple. Photo Credit: Kzaral at Flickr.

On the other hand, Yamadera temple is a sacred place where you have to hike up through the stone staircase of 1,015 steps. Visitors love exploring the Buddhist architectures and statues there. In addition, to view incredible spring vistas from top of the temple’s grounds you have got to do it.

Yamadera temple is easy to access to from Yamagata Station along the JR Senzan Line. It takes about 20 minutes to reach at Yamadera station from Yamagata station. And Yamadera Temple is only about a-5 minute walk north of Yamadera Station.

Day 4 – Yamagata to Sendai City (Miyagi Prefecture)

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At Tsutsuigaoka Park, you must walk around the park and enjoy a great Hanami atmosphere. Photo Credit: Kimon Berlin at Flickr.

When you arrive at Sendia Station from Yamagata Station, make sure head to this baggage service counter. Let them look after your luggage while you enjoy your sightseeing in the city. Please note the journey between Yamagata station to Sendai station is not a long distance as it requires less than one and a half hour.

I love traveling around Miyagi prefecture, especially Sendai City. Its historical sites, city museum, cherry blossom spots and local cuisine have always impressed my mind.

So if you manage yourself catch the early morning train to Sendai in the morning then you have a lot of time to roam around. Your first stop this morning will be Tsutsujigaoka Park, one of the top hanami spots in Central City along with Mikamine Park. In the park, you will see a large number of weeping cherry trees! Form mid April to late April is the best time to see sakura here.

Next you visit Aoba Castle. It takes about 20 minutes by the Loople Sendai Bus from Sendai Station. The castle was in built by feudal lord Date Masamune in 1600. If you can then pay a visit to Gokoku Shrine. For a little bit of history you must head to Sendai City Museum.

If you want to be in a peaceful place that offers lush green space along with cherry trees then make your way to Mikamine Park. Located on a hill, it features hundreds of large sakura trees and wide lawns. Locals believe that it’s an ideal place to have hanami picnicking as it offers plenty of space.

How to get to Mikamaine Park from Sendai Station? At first get to Sendai Station hop on a train to Nagamachiminami Station along the Namboku Line. It will take about 10 minutes to reach there. From the station, you can take a walk (30 minutes) or take a taxi to the park (best option).

Hotel to stay in Sendai city: Sendai Washington Hotel.

Day 5 – Shiroishi Riverside, Sendai

Keep walking while viewing sakura. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

One of my favorite hanami spots in Tohoku is Shiroishi Riverside. A visit to this area in spring can be a great outdoor adventure. You can spend the whole day here roaming around and viewing stunning surrounding landscape.

Shiroishi Riverside is about 8 kilometer long stretch along the Shiroishi River lined on both embankments by approximalety 1200 sakura trees.

Take a train from Sendai and get off at Funaoka Station or Ogawara Station. Then get ready to take a walk from Funaoka to Ogawara. Along the way, you will witness picture-perfect landscape and on a sunny day, visitors can see spectacular view of Zao Mountain range in the distance and cherry blossom together.

Stay overnight in Sendai city and leave the town for Iwate’s Kitakami city in the next morning.

Day 6 – Sendai to Kitakami (Iwate Prefecture)

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Here how Takamatsu Park looks like in spring. Photo Credit: jasohill at Flickr.

Iwate is packed with breathtaking natural scenery, festivals, local delicacies, recreational activities, and history. Ok, I guess getting to Kitakami from Sendai is quite easy to travel by train.

Places of Interest: Kitakami Tenshochi Park, Takamatsu Park, and Morioka City.

Ok, let’s begin today’s trip! At first get to Sendai Station and take the Tohoku Shinkansen to Kitakami Station (50 minutes). There are coin lockers at Kitakami Station, put your baggage in the locker. Afterwards, make your way to Kitakami Tenshochi Park. Don’t take the bus, instead take leisurely a walk to the park from the station. It will take about 20 minutes.

There are two best sakura viewing spots worth exploring in Iwate. Kitakami Tenshochi Park is one of the top hanami spots in Japan. There you can enjoy a lot gorgeous outdoor activities such as delightful boat journey in the Kitakami River and ride on a horse driven carriage including walking along the sakura tunnel. In fact, these rides are particularly introduced to visitors so that they can enjoy beautiful cherry blossoms and surrounding picturesque scenery.

Spend half a day in the park before you head to Morioka City. Please note Morioka Station is a short distance (20 minutes) from Kitakami Station by Tohoku Shinkansen.

When you reach Morioka City, be sure to check into Hotel Metropolitian Morioka, located just near the Morioka Station.

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Hanami in Kitakami Tenshochi Park. Photo Credit: Nemo’s great uncle at Flickr.

When you head to Morioka city, usually you get there to have Morioka Raimen Noodles. It is a unique style noodle, originated in Morioka city. You can satisfy your stomach eating it and then embark on the last trip of your Iwate expedition. You can pay a visit to Seirokaku to taste some local noodles.

Takamatsu Park is the last one you are going to visit. You can rent a paddle boat or just take a leisurely stroll through the walking paths to enjoy the scenic beauty it offers in the spring. Often the park said to be a perfect place to see sunset! So you could hardly miss this opportunity.

Day 7 – Morioka to Towada City (Aomori Prefecture)

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Hirosaki Park the Castle Moat. Photo Credit: Kzaral at Flickr.

It is time for heading towards Aomori prefecture. Catch the train that departs early to Towada city. The early you reach the better it would be to cover other popular sightseeing attractions.

When you leave for Towada Station from Morioka, please don’t forget to take the Tohoku Shinkansen as it’s fast and comfortable. Within an hour you will reach there!

Places of Interest: Towada City, and Hirosaki Park.

Cherry blossom in Towada city is stunningly breathtaking. In spring, when most of the sakura trees are in full bloom, I enjoy walking down the Government Office Street (Kanchogai-dori). I also recommend you to spend some times at Towada Art Center. However, you will be amazed with the art collections it features.

Have your lunch in Towada city and get some strength before you head to legendary Hirosaki Park. You don’t have to worry about how much time you spend there because it offers you a great sakura illumination at night.

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Kanchogai-dori sakura! Photo Credit: www.en-aomori.com.

Welcome to Hirosaki Park! This is one of the top 10 hanami spots in all over Japan. Having such reputation, the place itself is very spacious and home to 2,600 cherry trees of 50 different varieties including one 134 years old Yoshino cherry tree. Does not it sound an awesome place to explore?

There you find food stalls offering you variety of local foods and entertaining live stage events. Oh, I hope you don’t forget to take a photograph of yourself in front of the Hirosaki Castle! Stay overnight in Hirosaki city. If you wish to stay in a hotel that offers a cheap hotel deals then don’t hesitate to ask me, I know some!

Why don’t you stay a night at this hotel?

Day 8 – Aomori (day 2 in Aomori)

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This is truly marvelous, Ashino Park Station in spring. Photo Credit: www.en-aomori.com.

I highly recommend you to stay one night and two days in Aomori. I don’t want you to miss the other beautiful sakura viewing spot called Ashino Park. At first, head to Tsugaru-Goshogawara Station either by local train or taxi. In fact, your journey begins from there. So hop on a train that goes to Tsugaru Nakasato Station. Please note that you are not going to have a ride till it reaches to the last stop rather get off the train once it reaches to Ashino Park Station.

The nearby area at the Ashino Park Station is decorated with millions of sakura blossoms. Every year, the Kanagi Cherry Blossom Festival is held in this park from April 29 to May 05. Thousands of cherry trees create a breathtaking scenery that you can’t say “I don’t like it.”

I won’t reveal everything here; you better head to this beautiful park and discover the mind-blowing things yourself. All the best! Get back to downtown Aomori, do some shopping there, and relax your mind taking a hot spring bath in an onsen.

Before nightfall, you must take the train to Akita city. Stay overnight there, and reserve your room in advance before your arrival.

Hotel to Stay in Akita: Akita View Hotel.

Day 9 – Akita in a Day

Weeping cherry blossoms at Kakunodate Samurai Residences in Akita. Photo Credit: Dao-hui Chen at Flickr.

You know what, Akita offers adventure year-round! When spring arrives in Akita, people get ready for hanami adventure. When visitors think of Akita’s spring nature, Kakunodate Samurai Residences comes to mind first.

Places of Interest: Kakunodate Cherry Blossom Festival, Akita Museum of Art, and Kanto Festival Center.

I often recognize this wonderful cherry blossom spot as weeping cherry tree kingdom. You will be real impressed viewing stunning display of weeping sakura blossoms and historic samurai residences. Along with walking down the street of the Kakunodate Samurai Residences I highly recommend you to get to Hinokinai Riverside. Its 2 km. long sakura tree tunnel on the riverbank of the Hinokinai River would simply make you astonished.

You can reach Kakunodate Station from Akita Station by Akita Shinkansen (45 Minutes). Kanunodate’s former samurai district is a 20 minute walk from JR Kakunodate Station.

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A sakura tree in Yamagata! Tohoku’s spring nature is pretty awesome. Photo Credit: Jun K at Flickr.

If you are not tired then you should pay a visit to Akita Museum of Art and Kanto Festival Center including head to a restaurants and try eating some local dishes. However, this year’s spring trip to Tohoku ends right there in Akita Prefecture.

This itinerary is very simple covering most of the famous cherry blossom spots in Tohoku including other top attractions. Make sure you buy a-7 day Japan Rail Pass and please don’t forget to check out the annual cherry blossom forecast. It is important!

If you want to explore the above mentioned attraction by a rental car, then drive carefully maintaining the Japan traffic rules. Just don’t break the law! Anyway, good luck to you!