What does Hokkaido look like in the spring? It looks amazingly gorgeous and would let you think of coming back here again in the future. Yes I mean it! I want to share a little fact with you that is “cherry blossom season arrives in Hokkaido a bit later than usually what you experience on Honshu Island.”

If you miss viewing sakura there, you still have plenty of time to see it here. You don’t need to head to the wild and climb up the mountains to see breathtaking sakura here, instead there are many parks and roadways that offer you tons of cherry blossoms.

This is the famous Nijukken Road that attracts thousands of visitors in spring. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Do you want me to tell you all the hanami spots of Hokkaido? That is impossible though possibly I could highlight some of them here that are easy to access and worth a visit. Seemingly, there are more than 10 awesome sakura viewing spots to visit throughout the Hokkaido region. That’s true!

It is pretty surprising to see how Hokkaido’s spring nature changes beautifully until most of the petals fall off the sakura trees. I am sure you want to witness Hokkaido’s wonderful spring season that is said to be the last destination to see cherry blossom each year in Japan.

1) Matsumae Park

Matsumae Park in the spring. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

The all time best hanami spot in Hokkaido is Matsumae Park, located in Matsumae town. This is selected as one of Japan’s Top 100 Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots. Honestly, this is my most favorite cherry blossom viewing spot on the island. Why do I assume this as my favorite one?

There are so many reasons behind, one of them is – it boats an abundance of sakura trees. Approximately 10,000 cherry trees of more than 250 different kinds can be found there. Imagine yourself how the place would look like when all of them reach to their peak season! Seriously it creates a thrilling moment.

The Matsumae Sakura Matsuri is held here during the hanami season, usually from late-April to mid-May each year. There you find so awesome breathtaking views of sakura all over it. During the festival, a variety of events including traditional music and performances can be enjoyed.

In addition, you must explore the areas such as The Matsumae Castle, Ryuunin Temple, Kozenji Temple, Sakura Museum, and Matsumae Shrine as you find them all inside the park grounds. Also I hope you don’t forget to participate in the Matsumae food festival there.

2) Fort Goryokaku

A strolling path in the Fort Goryokaku Park during hanami season. Photo Credit: Yamaguchi Yoshiaki at Flickr.

Fort Goryokaku is a beautiful public park with more than 1600 cherry trees, and was built in the last years of the Edo Period. It is one of the major historic sightseeing spots of Hakodate. Prefer visiting it on a sunny day, it is a very important travel tip I could share with you.

To enjoy this please go up to the observation deck (about 107 meter tall tower) and enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the massive star-shaped fortress filled with tons of cherry blossoms, the moat that surround the fortress, Mt. Hakodate range, and the sea in the distance.

In addition, visit Former Magistrate Office, walk through the paths inside the park, have some foods sold by food vendors, ride on a row boat, and enjoy the spectacular views of sakura.

3) Hakodate Park

It’s hanami time at Hakodate park! Photo Credit: Christine at yotsub4.blogspot.com.

Many people like to visit this famous hanami spot in the evening time. Can you figure it out why? There is a seemingly crazy idea out there and that is what Japanese call Yozakura – night time cherry blossom viewing.

Visitors here enjoy the illuminated cherry blossoms at night and have an unforgettable time with friends and family. Don’t you think that it is not an ideal place to have a picnic party on day time! It is and people love going on picnics in Hakodate Park during the hanami season.

There you can experience the street foods from the food carts, several hundreds of sakura trees around its path, a beautiful fountain, children’s playground, and mini zoo. The atmosphere you see there is so lively, please have a great time here!

4) Shizunai Nijukken Road

What a beautiful place to see sakura! Photo Credit: shinhidaka.hokkai.jp

Nijukken Road in Shizunai is designated as one of “Japan’s Top 100 Roads” and one of “Japan’s best 100 hanami spot.” This is certainly a special natural landmark of Hokkaido that you would like to see over and over again.

The road is very straight, about 7 kilometers long and 36 meters wide, and is lined with approximately 3,000 sakura trees. That’s for why it is said to be the longest row of cherry trees in Japan and seemingly offer you to experience a wonderful tunnel of cherry blossoms.

It is truly enjoying when you drive your car or take a stroll along this road in the spring. The best time to see sakura here is from early May to mid May.

5) Maruyama Park

The path leading towards the Hokkaido Shrine in Maruyama Park. Photo Credit: Kentaro Ohno at Flickr.

Maruyama Park is a large public park located not that much far from downtown Sapporo. In the Higashiyama District of Kyoto, you find another public park similar to this name. Many visitors who get to Kyoto during hanami season take a trip to that one as there is a huge shidarezakura (weeping cherry tree) along with other sakura trees.

However, when it comes to visiting Sapporo’s cherry blossom spot, it holds the rank in top position. There are other sightseeing spots located inside the park area such as the Hokkaido Shrine and Maruyama Zoo.

Between these two iconic attractions, you would also like to experience some plum blossoms (ume) on the grounds of the Hokkaido Shrine. Visit the plum grove, located beside the main approach to the shrine.

On the other hand, the main approach to the Shrine is lined with Ezo Yamazakura (a common sakura variety of Hokkaido) trees; and they look breathtaking during their full bloom season.

Besides, viewing both sakura and ume is possible in Maruyama Park while you could hardly see it in Tokyo or Kyoto. Visit the park from early May through mid May and witness the delicate beauty of sakura.

6) Moerenuma Park

The day is cloudy though sakura are looking so impressive! Photo Credit: moerenumapark.jp.

It took seven years to build the park completely that was designed by the renowned Japanese American sculptor Isamu Noguchi. Once you visit the park, you would understand why it had taken 7 years. This is certainly one of the most intriguing parks in the country that is divided into few sections.

There is a section called the Sakura no Mori or Forest of Cherry Trees. It has about 2300 sakura trees of different kinds. According to my travel experience to this park, one can enjoy sakura viewing from early May to mid May. The atmosphere there is very relaxing and anyone can spend hours after hours roaming around this part of the park.

In addition, please visit other sections and thus how you can reveal the hidden gems of this spacious park. Needless to say that this is one of the top sightseeing spots that you must visit during your stay in Sapporo.

7) Nakajima Park

Cherry Blossom at Nakajima Park. Photo Credit: iyoupapa at Flickr.

Nakajima Park has been listed as one of “100 most popular urban parks in Japan.” Compared to most of the major cities in Japan, Sapporo has been blessed with a number of beautiful public parks around it that are so welcoming and relaxing at the same time.

Just like Maruyama Park, Nakajima Park looks stunning! Like other planned Japanese gardens, Nakajima Park changes with seasons. The park highlights both early and late blooming cherry trees of different kinds, as a result visitors can expect to see sakura from late April to late May.

Locals believe that the park is a very good place for a morning stroll or to relax at the end of the day. In fact, many people like to visit it in the morning and you yourself could think that you are one of the luckiest persons in the world who is taking a pleasant stroll along the paths and gazing at the beautiful cherry blossom in the spring. How cool is that!

8) Asahiyama Park

Asahiyama Park in spring. Photo Credit: asahikawa-park.or.jp

Asahikawa is known for its local cuisine called Asahikawa Ramen as well as the iconic Asahiyama Zoo. It’s no secrete that it has a number of beautiful parks that offer pretty amazing hanami atmosphere. And visiting Asahiyama Park in the spring is very inspiring!

It is absolutely a gorgeous place to head to in search of delicate cherry blossom in the city. Every year during the full blooming time, it holds a wonderful cherry blossom festival where people enjoy picnicking underneath the sakura trees and enjoy the hanami atmosphere to the fullest.

As the cherry trees are lit up at night, you can expect to see Yozakura (viewing sakura at night) in the park. Please note that the park is home to more than 3000 wild sakura trees.

9) Noboribetsu Onsen Sakura Tunnel

Noboribetsu Onsen Sakura Tunnel. Photo Credit: blogs.yahoo.co.jp

Noboribetsu Onsen is said to be the most famous hot spring resort in Hokkaido. If you ever plan on visiting Hokkaido, just don’t forget to visit this place. You will be amazed seeing its god gifted natural beauty including the public bath house.

The road leading from the JR Noboribetsu Station to Noboribetsu Onsen is lined with about 2000 Ezo yamazakura cherry trees. In spring, it turns out to be one of the loveliest cherry blossom tunnels in the world. Driving a car/motorcycle along the road is an unforgettable thing to do that every Hokkaido visitor should experience at least once.

Mid May is considered to be the best time to see cherry blossoms in Noboribetsu. So pack your things at the right time and catch the full bloom period!

10) Seiryuji Temple

Chishima-zakura at Seiryuji Temple. Photo Credit: Nemuro City Tourism Association Blog.

Want to see the last cherry blossoms in Japan? Head to the easternmost city of Japan called Nemuro. Viewing sakura on the grounds of Seiryuji Temple (a Buddhist Temple) is one of the major things to do in Nemuro.

So if you plan on traveling Hokkaido to see its breathtaking cherry blossoms please make sure you mange some time for this attraction. In general, grounds of the temple feature Chishima-zakura cherry trees, one of the common sakura varieties in Japan.

They are one of the late blooming sakura that you can ever experience in the land of the rising sun. Along with other cherry trees, there is an oldest Chishima-zakura tree about 150 years old that has been designated as the “Trees of Nemuro.” Bear in mind that sakura here start blooming in mid May and they reach in full bloom at the end of May.

When cherry blossom season arrives in Hokkaido many things happen on the island. People visit parks in order to have pleasant outdoor picnic party underneath cherry trees, while on the other hand someone spends their time taking incredible photos of beautiful cherry blossoms.

In fact, we call them photographers. I am just an explorer not a photographer who loves outdoor picnic party under sakura trees. I invite you to join me in a picnic party, I hope you accept it. Thank you very much!