Fukuoka is the largest city in the Kyushu region, and 6th largest city in Japan. Located on the northern shore of Japanese island Kyushu, Fukuoka (known as Hakata in ancient time) offers year-round recreation for visitors of all ages.
Sakura (cherry blossom) plays an important role in Fukuoka’s seasonal attractions, and it’s widely believed to be some of the beautiful places to see cherry blossom in the land of the rising sun.
Being one of Japan’s most popular places to visit, the city during the springtime is worth roaming around.
Along with viewing cherry blossom, it’s mostly renowned for Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, Tonkotsu ramen, Fukuoka Tower, Canal City Hakata, Nanzoin Temple, and Hakata Gion Yamakasa (a summer festival held every year during the first half of July).
In this post, you are going to explore some of Fukuoka’s best hanami spots including few very important travel guides for your next voyage to the city.
Best time to see Sakura in Fukuoka
In order to find out the perfect time to see cherry blossom in Fukuoka you must be aware of the annual cherry blossom forecast of Japan.
According to this year forecast, cherry blossom will start to bloom in mid-March and reach their peak between late-March and early April.
Therefore, keeping this important travel info into your account, I request you to plan accordingly. I do hope you don’t miss the hanami time in Fukuoka this year!
1) Nishi Park
This beautiful hillside park is considered one of Japan’s 100 best cherry blossom viewing spots as well. In spring, people love to visit the park and enjoy its fascinating cherry blossoms in abundance.
It has approximately 1,300 cherry trees of different kinds. There you can also find some very beautiful walkways to walk along, food stalls to have some food from, observation platform to enjoy panoramic views of Fukuoka city, and Terumo Shrine.
The Terumo Shrine is obviously an important landmark of this park, located at the top of the hill.
It would be a peaceful walk to the shrine grounds as you keep walking along the walkways and marveling at the cherry blossoms.
In addition, visitors are offered to enjoy night sakura at night in Nishi Park. If possible then visit the park after the sunset and experience a lively night hanami atmosphere.
2) Maizuru Park
This is another beautiful park in Fukuoka where viewing cherry blossoms would not be your primary issue. Obviously there is something important that you don’t want to miss experiencing. Please note that inside the park you see the ruins of Fukuoka Castle.
Built by Japanese feudal lord Kuroda Nagamasa in the 17th century, Fukuoka castle used to be the largest castle in Kyushu.
After the Meiji restoration, the castle was destroyed completely. Now you don’t see the main castle keep but only its ruined walls, turrets, and gates.
When you are there to see delicate cherry blossoms in spring, make sure you walk along the impressive walkways of the park.
These paths are lined with hundreds of cherry trees of various kinds. Many visitors enjoy the beautiful surroundings from the former main citadel which in fact considered a nice observatory.
This sort of historical attraction is worth a visit even when cherry blossoms in the park are no longer visible. In general, visitors enjoy viewing sakura here between late March and early April.
3) Uminonakamichi Seaside Park
Known for its various seasonal flowers, Uminonakamichi Seaside Park is a spacious park in Fukuoka to enjoy hanami.
There are approximately 2000 cherry trees alongside an Amusement Park, different eye-catching flower gardens, lawns, playgrounds and so on.
Being one of the spacious parks in the Kyushu region, it provides a lot of green space to have blissful hanami parties. Visitors flock to see dazzling cherry blossom either by talking a leisurely stroll or cycling along the designated cycling paths.
The flower season usually begins upon the arrival of spring. At the time, you can experience colorful tulips and gardens alongside mesmerizing sakura.
Poppies and Nemophilia flowers can also be observed. Please note early April is the best time to cherry blossom in Uminonakamichi Seaside Park.
Explore the park and discover the wonders of nature to the fullest!
4) Atago Shrine (Atago Jinja)
Built in 72 A.D. by Emperor Keiko (the 12th emperor of Japan), Atago Shrine is a peaceful and sacred landmark where visitors are to face a big challenge of climbing hundreds stairs. Are you scared of knowing this? Don’t be! Getting there is actually fun.
Atago Jinja is said to be the oldest shrine in Fukuoka Prefecture, and one of Japan’s three most important shrines dedicated to the god of Atago.
The shrine is located on the top of Mount Agato. From the top of the hill, visitors can enjoy mind-boggling views of Hakata Bay, Fukuoka Tower, and western area of the city.
It has over 2000 sakura tress on its grounds that make the shrine quite impressive during spring. The cherry blossom festival of the shrine is held every year when cherry trees there are in full bloom.
Atago Jinja may not be the famous shrine to visit in Japan, but when sakura are about to bloom, this place becomes one of the loveliest along with other hanami spots in Fukuoka city.
And what makes this hanami spot impressive is that sakura trees there are lit up in the evening during the festival.
If Fukuoka Tower is not an ideal place to enjoy scenic views over the city, then think of Atago shrine as it’s considered a perfect alternative. After all, it is worth visiting!
Please note climbing the hill up and down is not a daunting task until you take frequent breaks, breath, stand still for some time marveling at the surroundings.
Useful Travel Info for Visitors to Fukuoka
1. No doubt the city becomes so lively during the hanami season. Visiting the above cherry blossom viewing spots is not last thing you want to do. Surprisingly, there are more places to see cherry blossom in Fukuoka city.
If you think that you want to discover more hanami spots, then I would tell you to visit Tenjin Central Park as it provides a breathtaking scenery of lined sakura trees. Sannou Park is also a nice place to admire beautiful sakura out there.
2. I believe you shall explore other hanami spots that are located outside the city. You may want to visit Katsuyama Park, Hosshin Park, and Shiranoe Botanical Garden as they are worth a visit.
3. Visit Ohori Park and stroll around. There you can also explore the Fukuoka Art Museum, highlights a notable collection of Asian art and exhibits various temporary exhibitions throughout a year.
4. Don’t forget to enjoy the famous Yatai Stalls in Fukuoka City and taste Fukuoka’s delicious oden, yakitori, ramen and so on.
5. Use Fukuoka Tourist City Pass to roam around the city as it offers unlimited rides on buses, trains and subways.
6. Book your hotel room at Hotel Forza Hakataeki Hakataguchi. The location of this hotel is perfect, and you have to walk for only 3 minutes from Hakata Station.
7. Finally, it will be rude and an incomplete trip when you leave the city without taking a trip to Dazaifu Tenmangu, a famous shrine in Japan dedicated to Sugawara no Michizane.