Spring has already arrived in Japan with its iconic cherry blossoms and other seasonal flowers. On the other hand, Hokkaido, the second largest island and largest region of the country is eagerly waiting to welcome them. Will it take too long? I don’t think so.

According to the cherry blossom forecast, they would start to bloom around late April. That is pretty impressive to know! And the estimated best time to see them in Sapporo would be in early May. Don’t you forget it if you really want to admire sakura there.

Have you missed viewing sakura in the mainland Japan? Visit Sapporo to make your dreams come true. Photo Credit: Kaley Portier at Flickr.

Hokkaido’s capital city – Sapporo, showcases some of the most popular hanami spots of this vast region. The environment and weather in Hokkaido is quite different than what you usually experience in the mainland Japan (Honshu).

Here, cherry blossom and plum blossom start to bloom at the same time, how cool is that! However, in Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido, you should discover a plum grove along with seeing beautiful sakura. Today, I would take you on a journey through Sapporo’s most beautiful places where sakura viewing is stunningly appealing.

Here are the four best cherry blossom spots in Sapporo.

1) Nakajima Park

Nakajima Park in spring. Photo Credit: www.sapporo.travel

Nakajima is one of the most beautiful parks in Hokkaido where tranquility flows throughout the park. You can feel it at any time you visit it. The locals like to go there and enjoy the seasonal beauty it offers throughout the year.

When spring arrives, it is really charming and relaxing to take a stroll around the park. In fact, everything you find there is picturesque! Even though autumn leaves viewing is legendary here, I still like to go in springtime because the sakura trees there are to be admired for.

With the variety of plants including cherry trees, beautiful pond, walking trails, and historical buildings, this urban park has become a place of scenic beauty right in the heart of the city (Sapporo). Here, you can see double layer cherry blossoms alongside beautiful weeping cherry and sergeant cherry blossoms.

If you know how to row a boat, rent one of the row boats, take it anywhere on the pond and explore the beautiful surroundings. Please note that you can’t do it in winter because the pond you see here transforms into a frozen lake!

2) Moerenuma Park

Beautiful sakura at Moerenuma Park, Sapporo. Photo Credit: MOERENUMA PARK.

Opened to public in 2005, Moerenuma is a unique style park, was designed by a Japanese-American artist named Isamu Noguchi. You would hardly find a park similar to this one in entire Japan! It is located in the northeastern part of Sapporo, and very easy to access to from downtown Sapporo.

Why don’t you embark on a trip to this outdoor wonder in spring? It will be a right choice when you are to discover Sapporo’s hidden gems and cultural quirks.

It is a massive park that changes with the colors of each season, and filled with beautifully designed buildings, play grounds, fountain, hill, artificial bathing area, forests, walking trails and many more. When you take a pleasant walk there, you will encounter a lovely sakura forest covered with thousands of cherry trees.

Apart from this, you would be highly impressed experiencing a picturesque view of the beautiful surroundings from the top of the hill of Mount Moere. So, climb the hill and enjoy the scenery out there! The place is worth a visit all year round; therefore, if you ever come to Sapporo during springtime, make sure you include this iconic landmark in your travel plan or itinerary.

3) Maruyama Park and Hokkaido Shrine

The path featuring a lot of Sakura at Hokkaido Jingu (Hokkaido Shrine). Photo Credit: MIKI Yoshihito at Flickr.

The reason of highlighting these two great hanami spots together is they are located very adjacent to each other. Why to separate them then?! When I think of my favorite Sapporo cherry blossom spots, the path leading to the Hokkaido Shrine comes to mind first.

Usually, tourists visit the Maruyama Park to have a great hanami picnicking underneath cherry trees on its grounds. Also many people prefer to get there early for a morning walk and enjoy a tranquil atmosphere.

Sakura at Maruyama Park, Sapporo. Photo Credit: sii_side at Flickr.

The Hokkaido shrine (Hokkaido Jingu) itself is located within the park. It is a sacred place where people are not allowed for hanami picnicking but they can walk around it and learn the history of this great Shinto Shrine. The walkway to shrine is wide and lined with many cherry trees; you will be very pleased seeing blossoms there.

I bet you! You will also encounter a giant Torii Gate there as well. In spring, just before the approach to the shrine, many food stalls set up offering Hokkaido’s famous street foods. Don’t forget to try them!

4) Hiraoka Park

Brown-eared bulbul and delicate plum blossoms at Hiraoka Park, Sapporo. Photo Credit: Aozora UmiDaichi at Flickr.

Earlier I have told you that plum and cherry bloom at the same time in Hokkaido. That’s not a surprise for the locals though! This is probably a surprising thing for those who have never ever experienced them both at the same time. In search of hundreds of red and white plum blossoms, I suggest you explore Hiraoka Park.

Except winter, very often sporty guys visit it on a daily basis because there is tennis court, golf course, and baseball field to have fun time.

Even though it provides a good place to play some outdoor games of different kinds, nature fanatics visit it to relax some times and admire the seasonal beauty it creates. Every year in early May, it hosts a pretty lovely Ume matsuri called Hiraoka Park Plum Festival.

Go there in order to see delicate colors of plum blossoms and I am sure a trip to this park would not disappoint you! Find one of the benches in the plum grove and then enjoy the stunning surrounding scenery. In addition, if you are a birdwatcher, this park is a must visit for you, just take a walk along the pathways and enjoy your bird watching!

Are there any other hanami spots that you could go to? Most of the visitors to Sapporo visit Odori Park at least once. If you think that it is worth a visit, head towards the park and find some cherry tress there. I don’t know if you are familiar with other notable hanami spots in Hokkaido, if not please visit this post. Thanks for reading.