With lush mountains, public parks, and beautiful gardens, Kobe is a lovely place for enjoying Japan’s famous cherry blossoms. Here is a list of the best spots in the city and information on when the cherries bloom.
Cherry blossoms in Kobe: QUANGHUNG PHOTOGRAPHY / Shutterstock.com
In a hurry? Scroll down to our list of Kobe’s best cherry blossom spots. For information on the timing of cherry blossom season in Kobe, read the following section first.
When is Cherry Blossom Season in Kobe?
Cherry blossoms typically bloom around the last week of March and the first week of April. Historically, they begin blooming, and hit full bloom (“mankai” in Japanese) within the first few days of April. After about a week, most of the cherry blossoms will have fallen off the trees.
Cherries Blossoms Are Unpredictable
However, consider this an average. Depending on the weather – which now varies much more with climate change – cherry blossoms can start blooming as early as mid-March or as late as early April, and hit full bloom any time in late March or early April. They are quite fickle, and it’s quite difficult to plan a trip around the cherry blossoms.
Blossoms Are A Bonus
It’s tough to catch the cherry blossoms at their peak during a short trip to Japan. Visit Kobe when you do, and consider the cherry blossoms a bonus!
Besides, there’s more than just one or two varieties of cherry blossoms. While the common Somei Yoshino variety gets all the attention, botanical gardens and large natural parks will often contain early-blooming or late-blooming varieties. Even if you don’t manage to time your visit to the main event, you’re bound to spot some in bloom here and there.
Cherry blossoms in full bloom in Kobe
Kobe’s Best Cherry Blossom Spots
Here’s our list of the best cherry blossom spots in Kobe.
- Mount Rokko: What better place to enjoy cherry blossoms than on Kobe’s most iconic mountain? Plus, you get lovely views of the city below.
- Ikutagawa Park: Located within walking distance from Shin-Kobe Station, this park is a local favourite for hanami parties. Find yourself a spot under one of the cherry trees along the Ikutagawa River and enjoy the view.
- Akashi Park: One of Japan’s top 100 spots for viewing cherry blossoms. The sight of flowering trees lining the central lake is just glorious. Great for picnics.
If you have extra time to spend in Kobe:
- Kobe Municipal Arboretum: It’s beautiful at any time of the year, and rather beautiful for cherry blossoms. Best visited if you have lots of time to spend in this sprawling natural oasis.
- Oji Park/Oji Zoo: A magnificent place for hanami events – just imagine 700 cherry trees in full bloom! Even better, spring sees open nights at Oji Zoo, when they light up the trees.
- Hokura Shrine: This shrine on Mt. Kinchozan on the Rokko mountain range is famous for its cherry trees, especially the weeping cherries. Hiking up here will reward you with sakura, and a panoramic view of Osaka Bay.
- Okamoto-Minami Park: Well-known for its association with Tsutomu Minakami’s novel, this park in the Higashi-Nada district is home to around 30 cherry trees across a few different varieties. The Sasabe-zakura mountain cherry is of particular note.
- Maya Cable Car Station: Near the Maya Cable station building is a cherry blossom tunnel, a path lined with around 70 cherry trees. It’s quite a sight when they’re all in full bloom. To get here, take the #18 city bus from Sannomiya Station.
- Myohojigawa Park: Though it’s a little way out in the suburbs, this park is incredibly famous for its nearly 400 cherry blossom trees forming a tunnel of flowers. It’s near Higashi-Suma Station on the San’yo Railway line.
- Tairyuji Temple: Located at the foot of Mount Futatabi, this is a great place for cherry blossoms as well as azaleas.
Kobe Travel Guide:
- Kobe Travel Guide Overview
- Things To Do In Kobe
- Places To Eat In Kobe
- Kobe Itineraries
- Family-friendly Attractions in Kobe
- Kobe Cherry Blossoms
- Kobe Fall Foliage
- Kobe Districts
- Kobe Ryokan
- Kobe Hotels
- Kobe Map
- How To Get To Kobe
- Getting Around Kobe
- Best Time To Go To Kobe
Kyoto Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Kyoto guide
- Check Kyoto accommodation availability on Booking.com – usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Kyoto
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Buy a data-only SIM card online for collection when you arrive at Kansai International Airport (for Osaka and Kyoto) or Tokyo's Narita Airport. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router
- Compare Japan flight prices and timings to find the best deals
- If you're visiting more than one city, save a ton of money with a Japan Rail Pass – here's my explanation of why it's worth it
- A prepaid Icoca card makes travelling around Kyoto easy – here's how
- Get travel insurance for Japan - World Nomads is well-regarded (and here's why)