Flowers have long been a major feature of Japanese culture. Japan is home to some of the most beautiful spring flowers in the world, such as cherry blossoms, wisteria, tulips and shibzakura (pink moss). Flower festivals have become annual Japanese traditions, full not only of beautiful flowers but also performances, food, and good company.

Tokyo, the center of modern Japanese culture, is home to a number of flower festivals. Ranging from traditional to quite urban, these flower festivals can be found all spring round, each with their own special focus on a particular flower, which is presented and highlighted in a way that is uniquely Japanese.

Besides, there are few amazing flower festivals held outside Tokyo as well, such as Fuji Shibazakura Matsuri in Yamanashi Prefecture, and Wisteria Matsuri Ashikaga Flower Park in Tochigi Prefecture. The locations of those two flower festivals are situated not that much far from Tokyo city, which can be easily accessed by train and car. And you will be delighted to know that a lot of tourists from Tokyo visit these gorgeous flower festivals as part of their day trip.

Here are the ten most popular flower festivals in and outside Tokyo:

1) Fuji Shibazakura Festival

A pink paradise! Photo Credit: Fuji Shiba-sakura matsuri.

This festival celebrates shibazakura, also known as pink moss or phlox moss. The Fuji Shibazakura festival is held about three kilometers south of Lake Motosuko in the Fuji Five Lakes area. The area is already strikingly beautiful with many views of Mount Fuji and fields of blooming white, pink, and purple shiabazakura make it even more so.

The festival is usually held from the middle of April through late May. Typically you can first see the flowers within the first three weeks of May. At the festival, you can buy pots of the moss, themed souvenirs, and plenty of great local food. The festival gets very crowded, especially on weekends, and going on early weekday mornings is the best way to avoid the crowds.

There is an admission fee to enter the festival.  To reach the festival, you can take a shuttle bus (the Shibazakura Liner) on a round trip from Kawaguchiko Station for 2000 yen. You can also take a regular bus from Fujisan Station or Shin-Fuji Station.

Festival Date: April 13 – May 26, 2019

2) Bunkyo Azalea Festival

Azaleas at Nezu Shrine. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

This April festival is held every year at Nezu Shrine, in the Bunkyo ward of Tokyo. The shrine is relatively unknown for the rest of the year, but when the azalea bloom, it becomes very popular. According to legend, the shrine was established 1900 years ago by a prince called Yamatotakeru.

The azalea garden itself is 300 years old, containing a large number of azalea varieties, approximately 100. Besides these exquisite flowers, you can also enjoy the festival’s plant fair, antique fair, and many different outdoor stalls as well as the treasured buildings of the ancient shrine itself.

You can get to the Bunkyo Azalea Festival by riding the Tokyo Metro Nanboku Line to Todaimae Station or take the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line to Nezu Station. It’s only a short walk to the shrine from either.

Festival Date: April 6 – May 6, 2019

3) Wisteria Festival at Ashikaga Flower Park

A beautiful wisteria tree at Ashikaga Flower Park. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Typically running from mid-April to mid-May, the Wisteria Festival at Ashikaga Park is a great chance to see Japan’s legendary wisteria at its best. There are more than 350 wisteria trees in Ashikaga Flower Park. This includes a 150-year-old wisteria (fuji) tree that as a massive wisteria trellis.

There’s also a lovely 80-meter white wisteria tunnel. At night, from late April to early May, the wisteria flowers are illuminated. This is not a large park, but it will take a long time for you to see all of the wisteria blossoms and other spring flowers.

Entry costs 900-1000 yen for adults and 500-900 yen for children. The prices vary with the condition of the flowers. You can get to Ashikaga Flower Park on the Tobu Isesaki Line to Ashikagashi Station, and then take a 30-minute shuttle ride to the park.

If you would like to know some other places to see wisteria in Japan that are considered the best then visit this page.

Festival Date: April 13 – May 19, 2019

4) Nemophila Harmony at Hitachi Seaside Park

Nemophila at Hitachi Seaside Park, Ibaraki Prefecture. Photo Credit: Jonathan Lin at Flickr.

Every year from late April to mid-May, nemophila blooms at Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki Prefecture. Approximately 4.5 million of these sky blue flowers bloom at the Miharashi Hills. The park gets very crowded during the festival, especially on weekends, so you may want to visit on weekdays.

It’s a fascinating sight to behold. If blue is your favorite color, a visit to this park will be just an amazing outdoor experience for you. Except these blue flowers, you can enjoy taking a walk through wonderful narcissus garden, tulip garden, and rose garden in the spring. Besides the flowers, the park also features cycling trails, restaurants, and an amusement park.

Admission costs 410 yen. To get to Nemophilia Harmony at Hitachi Seaside Park, take the Ibaraki Kotsu Bus from Katsuta station towards Hitachi Kaihin Koen.

5) Sakura Tulip Festival

A Dutch Windmill at Sakura Tulip Festival venue. Photo Credit: Hisakuni Fujimoto at Flickr.

Sakura Tulip Festa is the biggest tulip festival in Chiba Prefecture. The tulips bloom throughout April and the festival displays more than 70 varieties, with a total of more than 600,000 tulip flowers. The festival draws a great deal from Dutch traditions, featuring Dutch windmills as well as traditional Dutch costumes.

There are also a number of booths selling souvenirs and food. This is a world away from the busy city, even though it is quite close. There is no entry fee. You can get to the Sakura Tulip Festa by taking a shuttle bus from Keisei Sakura Station north exit for 200 yen.

6) Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival

Kawazu sakura trees along the Kawazu River. Photo Credit: Kenchi51 at Wikimedia Commons.

This festival celebrates an early blooming variety of cherry tree, Kawazukura. The flowers on these trees start to open in early February and open much slower than many other varieties of cherry trees. There is around about a month to view the flowers and the festival takes advantage of that.

The festival takes place along the Kawazu River, which is lined with a long stretch of cherry trees, as well as a number of stalls selling food and souvenirs. There are also nighttime illuminations during part of the festival. You can get to the Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival via the Izukyu Railway to Kawazu Station.

Festival Date: February 10 – March 10, 2019

7) Kameido Tenjin Shrine Wisteria Festival

Wisteria blossoms at Kameido Tenjin Shrine. Photo Credit: Manishprabhune at Wikimedia Commons.

The Kameido Tenjin Shrine Wisteria Festival is considered the best place in Tokyo to see wisteria in bloom. You can find wisteria trellises here hanging over a quiet pond, creating a tranquil spring scene. The wisteria vines at Kameido Tenjin Shrine were planted during the Edo period. The wisteria blooms here have been a subject of legend and art for centuries.

The shrine and the festival sit right at the heart of old Tokyo, making it a historical treat. You can get to Kameido Tenjin Shrine Wisteria Festival via the JR Sobu Line to Kameido Station and then walking 15 minutes.

Festival Date: April 14 – May 6, 2019

8) Spring Rose Festival at the Kyu-Furukawa Gardens

Rose Festival at Kyu-Furukawa Gardens, Tokyo. Photo Credit: Utudanuki at Wikimedia Commons.

This lovely May festival is held in northern Tokyo, at a western-style garden on the slopes of the Musashino Highland. The property features beautiful blooming roses everywhere. Visitors can walk around the gardens and tour the old residence, which has a long, interesting, and international history. You can purchase many different rose products here, including rose tea and rose ice.

There is also a traditional Japanese garden on the grounds, making a visit an interesting trip through various landscaping styles. Kyu-Furukawa Gardens is between Kaminakazato, Nishigahara, and Komagome stations and is around a 12-minute walk from each. Entry costs 150 yen.

9) Chichibu Shibazakura Festival

Chichibu Shibzakura Festival. Photo Credit: Hiroaki Kaneko at Wikimedia Commons.

This is another great place to view Shibazakura, located outside of Tokyo. It takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes from Tokyo’s Ikebukuro Station to Seibu-Chichibu Station, and then from the station, you will have to take a walk for about a 15-20 minute to reach Hitsujiyama Park (festival venue).

Fields of pink flowers blanket the ground at Hitsujiyama Park. These pink shibazakura typically start to bloom in late April and can be seen till the end of the first week of May every year.

Take a leisurely stroll around the park and witness the beautiful nature it highlights during the springtime. You can also buy food and souvenirs at some of the festival booths. This is a lovely area for a picnic while sitting on one of the benches scattered throughout the flower fields.

It gets quite crowded on weekends, so be sure to visit during the week if you want a more quiet experience.

Festival Date: April 12 – May 6, 2019

10) Showa Kinen Park Flower Festival

Colorful tulips in the spring at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Every season of the year has its own beautiful character on Showa Kinen Park (Showa Memorial Park). Every spring, the park hosts a flower festival, displaying and celebrating every kind of flower Japan has to offer. It lasts from late March to late May, covering the cherry blossom season, the azalea season, and more. The sights and smells are something you won’t find anywhere else.

The park is only 20 minutes’ walk from Tachikawa Station. If you are staying one of the hotels located nearby Shinjuku Station, then just take a walk to Shinjuku station first, afterwards hop on a train to Tachikawa station along the Chuo Line. That will be a 30-minute train ride.