#1 Best Guide: Japan In Spring

#1 Best Guide Japan In Spring

Let me tell you, there’s nothing quite like Japan in spring. As the infamous sakura (桜) burst into bloom, the entire country quite literally turns into a giant pink party. I’m talking pops of color on every tree, locals and tourists alike lounging around under the falling petals for hours-long hanami picnics, and more cherry-themed foods and souvenirs than you can shake a stick at.

Even after a year of living in Japan as an expat, I still get swept up by spring fever every time. It’s just magic – there’s no other way to describe it. And if you’re one of the lucky first-time travelers to Japan in spring, trust me when I say you’re in for a treat!

And if you really are dead serious about experiencing the spring season, you’ve gotta read this blog! You see, I pulled together this insider travel guide covering everything from the best spots to must-try foods for the season and Japanese phrases to use. Consider it your springboard to discovering Japan at its most colorful, charming, and cheerful time of year!

Visit Japan In Spring

Why Visit Japan In Spring?

I get it – Japan seems exotic and far away. And to some people, a spring vacation here might not be top of mind. But let me tell you why it absolutely should be!

For starters, Japan in spring is drop-dead gorgeous. We’re talking neon pinks and whites blanketing parks, riversides, and temples as over 800 cherry tree varieties burst into flower. Locals sprear out on pretty blue tarps to soak up the sights while snacking on bento boxes, beer, and sake for hours on end. Hanami (cherry blossom viewing) season is like one big, boozy picnic that lifts everyone’s spirits after a long winter.

And that’s just the cherries! You’ve also got wisteria vines dangling fragrant purple blooms over temple gates. Delicate yellow nanohana flowers coloring endless fields in Hokkaido. Even the funky bulbous Japanese magnolia trees dotting southern islands get in on the pastel action. No matter where you travel in the country, color is everywhere you look.

But it’s not just looks – spring also boasts perfect weather with sunny skies and temperatures hovering right around a comfy 60-70°F. Skies are incredibly clear compared to summer or winter. It’s prime conditions for hiking trips to see Fuji-san’s perfect cone capped in snow or strolling under canopies of petals along Kyoto’s romantic Philosopher’s Path.

What To Wear In Japan In Spring

The key is light layers that can be mixed, matched, and peeled off as needed. Start with a lightweight waterproof shell, one that blocks wind is ideal. Even on warmer sunny days, the breeze under the cherry trees can still have a nip.

Underneath, bring casual button-downs, sweaters, cardigans, and long-sleeve tees. Pro tip: opt for merino wool or performance fabrics that wick sweat in case temps climb higher than the mid-60s. And don’t forget the scarf for extra cozy bloom viewing!

On the bottom, dark jeans or athletic joggers pair perfectly with the Sakura season style. They also hide any rogue specks of pollen that might drift your way! For shoes, slip-on sneakers or leather loafers make airport security a breeze while holding up well to long days of adventure.

And we can’t forget the accessories! Spring’s colorful blooms call for equal bright pops in your look – think patterned silk scarves, floral hair clips, and sunny yellow umbrellas that channel the cheery sakura spirit. A lightweight, packable tote folds up neatly so you can snag all the cherry blossom swag your heart desires.

picnic in Japan In Spring

What To Do In Japan This Spring

Visit Hokkaido

While the cherry blossoms have the rest of Japan oohing and ahhing in springtime, my snow bunnies, listen up – Hokkaido still has that fresh winter pow calling your name through May! As the northernmost island of the country, Hokkaido’s seasons lag behind the mainland by a few weeks. Temps stay cooler even when the sakura are out down south. And trust me when I say that the mountain peaks keep accumulating flakes even as spring technically starts!

We’re talking meters of crisp, dry powder at top resorts like Niseko, Furano, and Rusutsu. Whether you wanna shred some backcountry terrain or relax in an outdoor onsen once the sun sets, these world-class spots have it all.

Niseko alone has over 8 ski areas linked together, so you can take fresh tracks all day long. And non-skiers can even get their snow fix at Rusutsu’s family-friendly amusement park full of snow rafting, shows, and food so good it almost upstages the iconic Mount Yotei views!

Visit Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route

Located smack between Toyama and Nagano prefectures, this high-altitude trail usually opens sometime in mid-April, depending on snowfall. That late-season access means epic views of Tateyama’s 3,000 meter tall peaks, still wearing winter white caps against bright blue skies. Talk about picture-perfect!

Along the trail, you’ll traverse dizzying cliff walks, winding forest paths blanketed in wildflowers, and yes – even that legendary Kurobe “ice wall” tunnel carved straight through the snow. I’m telling ya, now that’s what I call adventure!

Just dress warmly with proper shoes, grab your walking sticks, and let the vistas astound you at every hairpin turn. And be sure to stop into one of the mountaintop huts for a hot bowl of nourishing soba noodles when your legs start to ache!

Enjoy The Cherry Blossoms

Alright, no spring travel guide to Japan would be complete without the main event – sakura season! Those signature pink flowers put on a show across the entire country from late March to early May. Here’s the best way to catch ’em at their peak bloom.


Down south in Kyushu, historic Fukuoka City explodes in pale pink clouds as early as mid March. Meander under the canopy of weeping cherries in Nishi Koen Park or photograph the Edo period garden at Katsuyama set against a cotton candy backdrop.

Early April

Next, the party rolls through Osaka and Kyoto in early April, with sunlight filtering through Sakura tunnels along the Philosopher’s Path, and picnickers camped out under the ancient trees lining the Kamogawa River. Locals break out tablecloths and snacks for hours under those branches, feel free to join right in!

Late April

And the grand finale hits Tokyo just in time for spring break where Ueno Park transforms into a cherry blossom dreamscape. Scope out hotspots along the Meguro River or witness the iconic Chidorigafuchi Moat framing the Imperial Palace turned bubblegum pink.

Cherry Blossom Season Food

We’ve talked views, we’ve talked tips – now let’s get to my favorite part of springtime in Japan: all the exclusive eats! From limited edition goodies to fresh produce, sakura season delivers on the food front.

My number one recommendation: get your hands on anything cherry blossom-flavored! Creamy sakura ice cream, fruity sakura soda floats, fluffy sakura-shaped cakes dusted in sugar at the bakery – we go all out. Even MisDo and Starbucks Japan concoct a dreamy Sakura treat each year!

And this season isn’t just a sugar rush. Bright young takenoko (bamboo shoots) poking out of the forest floor make for tempura fry-up dreams. Sweet Japanese strawberries hit their juicy peak too.

Down south, keep an eye out for vibrant fields of nanohana blooms – those golden flower buds get sautéed into side dishes or used to infuse sake with notes of nature’s sunshine! We’re talking springtime flavors that can’t be beat.

Easy Japanese Phrases For Spring Weather

Alright, we’ve covered destinations, snacks, and outfit inspo. Last thing you need to help navigate an unforgettable spring in Japan? That would be key travel Japanese phrases to chat weather, buy picnic supplies, and more!

English PhraseJapanese ScriptJapanese Pronunciation
Nice weather, huh?いい天気ですね?Ii tenki desu ne?
How much is this?これはいくらですか?Kore wa ikura desu ka?

Ready To Experience The Japanese Spring?

We’ve only scratched the surface of the delights waiting across Japan each spring. From bursting blooms to seasonal delicacies, sakura magic must be experienced firsthand!

So do yourself a favor, book that ticket and be prepared to fall in love with springtime here in Japan. Capture stunning flower tunnels, snack under the canopies during hanami picnics, and create memories that will last long after the petals fall.

To help navigate it all, be sure to download the Ling app for more insider language and cultural tips for your cherry blossom adventure!

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