When cherry blossom season arrives, most of the places across Japan become so lively. Kyushu, the third largest island of the four main islands of Japan is no different than any other place! It has some popular hanami spots, of which some of them are recognized as Japan’s Top 100 Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots.

Indeed it is a great place to see tons of cherry blossoms. According to Japan sakura forecast, the full bloom period in the region is expected to come in early April, while the first sakura blossom will begin to open around late March.

Visitors in the Maizuru Park, Fukuoka. Photo Credit: yuki5287 at Flickr.

Kyushu is located southwest of the main island Honshu. It comprises 8 prefectures such as Fukuoka, Kagoshima, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, Nagasaki, Oita, Okinawa, and Saga. All these prefectures are famous for featuring their impressive natural beauty, and interesting historic landmarks.

Compared to Honshu’s top ranked sakura spots, Kyushu sounds not that much popular! However, it really does make sense to come to Kyushu to experience the beauty of cherry blossoms. The weather is good here, people are friendly and the places around are truly breathtaking. Let’s go and discover some hidden gems!

1) Yoshino Park, Kagoshima

You will amazed seeing the spring flowers in Yoshino Park. Photo Credit: Kagoshima Official Tourism Website.

Yoshino Park is located in northern Kagoshima city. The park’s incredible spring vistas would surly amaze you. It is a large park featuring hundreds of sakura trees along with colorful flower gardens in the spring.

The way it was designed is incredible and picturesque. There you can find enough space to take a walk around and enjoy the spring scenery including the majestic Mount Sakurajima in the backdrop.

The view it offers during spring is absolutely stunning with the beautiful display of cherry blossoms. When I visited the park for the first time in my life, I thought – that was the place I had been waiting to discover for many years. Please note that when all the sakura trees in the park burst into full bloom it becomes a crowded place.

However, as it is a popular hanami spot in Kagoshima, I think crowd should not be an issue. In fact, it is a meaningful place to experience cherry blossoms. The best way to enjoy a day here is to share your happy moments with the visitors.

2) Kumamoto Castle

Kumamoto Castle Sakura! Photo Credit: DozoDomo at Flickr.

When foreign tourists visit Japan, they typically wish to experience the seasonal beauty, temple, shrine, garden, shinkansen, onsen, and castle.

The country has many historic castles but there are only three castles which has got the tag “best of the best,” they are: Kumamoto Castle, Himeji Castle, and Nagoya Castle. So don’t you think it is worth a visit to Kumamoto Castle in the spring?

The castle has nearly 800 cherry trees planted around its imposing stone walls! When they are all in full bloom, they cover the castle’s grounds and create a great festive atmosphere. The sakura festival that takes place here during late march and early April is very lively and full of crowds.

Along with experiencing glorious sakura there, you will be amazed seeing the impressive castle keep and the surrounding stone walls. I wish you have a great hanami picnic party here as well. Please note that the trees are lit up in the evenings.

3) Suizenji Garden, Kumamoto

It is a wonderful garden! Suizenji Garden in Spring. Photo Credit: TANAKA Juuyoh (田中十洋) at Flickr.

Are you the type of person to fall immediately in love with beautiful gardens filled with stunning nature arena? If so then I am glad to introduce you a magical garden that you must visit in Kumamoto.

Suizenji Garden is one of the most beautiful Japanese style landscape gardens. The construction of the garden began in 1632 by Hosokawa Toshisada. The park looks like a haven of beauty and tranquility.

It can calm the mind and delight your senses by offering various features throughout the year. When spring rolls around, everything looks pretty magical as there are approximately hundreds of cherry trees scattered over its grounds.

It is so amazing to be part of it when most of the sakura trees reach their peak. Walk through the garden paths, enjoy the surrounding scenery including the houses inside the garden and put yourself in the heart of nature.

4) Tateyama Park, Nagasaki

The view is incredible, Tateyama park! Photo Credit: KItano Tatsushi at Flickr.

Tateyama Park is kind of a park that delights everyone especially during hanami season. Although you cannot mark it as one of the world-famous parks in the world, it draws vast crowds of people looking for a breathtaking sakura experience.

Though when it comes to talking about Nagasaki’s top cherry blossom spots then it fully deserves this recognition. It is said that there are over 700 cherry trees planted all over the grounds of the park.

If you go there early in the morning, you won’t see any food vendors out there but as the time passes by many of them would find their perfect spot to satisfy your stomach with offering you yummy foods and drinks. To be honest with you, it is one of my favorite places to hold picnic party underneath the sakura trees in Kyushu.

5) Sakura no Sato, Nagasaki

Sakura tunnel at Sakura no Sato. Photo Credit: japan-guide.com

Sakura no Sato is considered one of the most beautiful cherry blossom spots located on the outskirts of Nagasaki city, and you will find it out why I say so, once you reach there. It is almost a one hour bus ride from downtown Nagasaki.

The park consists of small hills, several thousands of cherry trees, playgrounds for children, tennis courts and paths to enjoy the scenery it offers throughout the year. I believe playing tennis in the courts there would be just amazing, though I have not tried it! However, the park is filled with spring amazingness.

6) Fukuoka Castle Ruins (Maizuru Park)

Sakura petals have fallen down, Fukuoka castle ruins! Photo Credit: tomosang at Flickr.

Located in the middle of the city in Maizuru Park, Fukuoka castle ruins is a historic landmark that you must visit during hanami in Fukuoka.

Fukuoka has some impressive cherry blossom viewing spots, and needless to say that the castle ruins itself is a remarkable hanami spot. It becomes full of crowds during the full bloom period.

It is quite enjoyable walking through trails and gazing at the stunning sakura out there. Nearly a thousand cherry trees are planted in the park among the ruins of the castle.

You would definitely feel the hanami atmosphere once you start walking through the designated trails. The grounds also feature a number of castle buildings such as gates and guard towers. If possible then don’t miss the action of Yozakura.

7)  Uminonakamichi Seaside Park, Fukuoka

Uminonakamichi Seaside Park in spring. Photo Credit: amamik at Flickr.

Fukuoka is a great destination to visit and enjoy the seasonal beauty. There is one unique place called “Uminonakamichi Seaside Park” – in fact it is a renowned place to see variety of seasonal flowers throughut park.

It comprises beautiful flower gardens, ponds, paths, cycling tails, playgrounds, zoo, an amusement park, a water park and so on.

The gardens in the park display a huge variety of flowering plants in an awe-inspiring setting. Please note that there are about 2000 cherry trees can be seen around the lawns and along the cycling trails.

As it is a huge park, viewing sakura on foot could be a daunting. Therefore I recommend you to rent a bicycle from the cycling centers and enjoy the ride! The park is exceptionally nice and suitable for families traveling with kids.

8) Ogi Park, Saga

Ogi park during spring. Photo Credit: koalacom at Flickr.

Saga prefecture has a beautiful hanami spot called Ogi Park. This is considered the best cherry blossom viewing spot in Saga city. The park is quiet and displays extensive amount of sakura in spring.

Many people outside Kyushu are not familiar with this beautiful park which in fact a famous for picnicking under cherry trees.

It is said to have around 3000 sakura trees spread out on the grounds and making the place pretty wonderful sight to see.

In addition, there is a lovely pond, where you can see beautiful reflections of the cherry blossom branches surrounding the pond in the water. Please note that the park was named as one of the “Top 100 Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots” by Japan Cherry Blossom Association.

9) Mochio Park, Miyazaki

Mochio park cherry blossom display! Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Mochio Park is one of Japan’s Top 100 Sakura Viewing Spots, located in Miyakonojo town, Miyazaki prefecture. I have not discovered many places in Miyazaki but only few destinations and one of them is obviously the Mochio Park.

What I can say about the park is that it is gorgeous and worth a visit. It’s also worth returning for, especially during springtime. Seriously I was very impressed experiencing the outdoor spring beauty.

The amount of plants it possesses is incredible as there are about 2,600 sakura trees including Somei Yoshino and Yaezakura spread out over the large area.

Visitors here really enjoy taking a leisurely walk through the path (2km) lined with the cherry trees. It is typical scenery when you see people sit underneath the trees and they get really excited to enjoy picnicking.

10) Oka Castle Ruins, Oita

A visitor taking photos of cherry blossom at Oka Castle Ruins. Photo Credit: ゴンザレス 森井 at Flickr.

Oka Castle Ruins is a historic site in Oita prefecture, listed among “Japan’s Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots.” Imagine planning a spring holiday trip to this famous castle ruins park that would take you in one of Japan’s most visited hanami spots.

I chose this destination as one of the top ten sakura spots of Kyushu based on its historical significance and the quality of visitors’ experiences.

As it is situated on the top of a hill, a panoramic view of surrounding mountains from there is pretty breathtaking. You will experience a mind-blowing parade of samurai during the Oka cherry blossom festival, which takes place here.

Don’t be surprised to see that I have not included any of the notable hanami spots of Okinawa on the list. It is located a far away from the Kyushu island and that’s why I have decided not to include them here.

If you interested in knowing the best cherry blossom spots in Okinawa please visit here. However, what do you think are the best places to see sakura in Kyushu?