Nara is a fantastic place to enjoy Japan’s famous cherry blossoms. The parks, gardens, temples and shrines of the city are studded with cherry trees. Here is information on timing and a list of the best spots.
Cherry blossoms at Todai-ji Temple © fortherock
In a hurry? Scroll down to our list of Nara’s best cherry blossom spots. For information on the timing of cherry blossom season in Nara, read the following section first.
When is cherry blossom season in Nara?
In Nara, the cherry blossoms (sakura) usually bloom in the last week of March and the first two weeks of April (roughly between 20 March and 14 April). In an average year, the blooms peak on 1 April in Nara. Once they bloom, they are notoriously fickle: sometimes almost all the trees will come into full bloom (mankai) at the same time and stay in full bloom for a week or even longer.
Deer with cherry blossoms in Nara-koen Park © fortherock
Nara’s best cherry blossom spots
Here is our list of the best cherry blossom spots in Nara. For more details on these places, visit our Things To Do in Nara page.
- Nara-koen Park: There are plenty of cherry trees in this expansive park and it’s a great place to enjoy the blossoms (and the company of the deer).
- Nara Himuro-jinja Shrine: This shrine, just southwest of Todai-ji Temple and across the street from Nara National Museum, has some lovely trees and it’s right on the way to Nara-koen Park.
- Wakakusa-yama: This hillside, which towers above the city and is along the way from Nigatsu-do to Kasuga-taisha, has some great cherry trees running up the side of it.
- Koriyama-jo Castle Ruins: These castle ruins, a little west of Nara City, are studded with some beautiful cherry trees.
- Further afield – Yoshino: If you’ve got half a day to spare and you don’t mind serious crowds, then head south of Nara City to check out the cherry blossoms that cover the hills in and around the town of Yoshino. This is one of Japan’s most famous cherry blossom spots.
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