What are the best spots for sakura viewing in Japan?
Ueno Park, Tokyo
Perhaps the most popular hanami location, Ueno Park in Tokyo is a favourite for many cherry blossom enthusiasts.
Head for the park’s central pathway to view over 1,000 cherry trees. And oh, picnicking and drinking are permitted on the grounds, so don’t forget to pack a basket.
Shinjuku Gyoen, Tokyo
This renowned location features over 1,000 cherry blossom trees of different varieties, including numerous trees known for blooming early or late.
As such, Shinjuku Gyoen can be a great option for those who miss the main blooming season, or for a last-minute visit before flying home after the main hanami viewing is done.
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Okazaki Canal, Kyoto
Here’s where you’ll find that popular dreamy, sakura-draped view of paddle boats lazily drifting into the sunset.
Located near Nanzen-ji Temple in Kyoto, Okazaki Canal offers two ways to take in the season. Take a boat ride to immerse yourself in the cherry blossom trees lining the canal, or take a walk right next to the water.
For added atmosphere, the trees are illuminated after sundown.
Kenrokuen is also one of Japan’s three most beautiful public gardens, and is a must-visit for anyone travelling to Kanazawa.
During sakura season, both Kenrokuen and the nearby Ishikawa Gate are uplifted with the sight of countless pink blossoms, thanks to the numerous cherry blossom trees located there.
If you happen to arrive before sakura season, you can catch sight of plum blossoms in the southern end of the garden.
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Yamazakigawa Riverside, Nagoya
The Yamazaki River, which runs for nearly a kilometre, is lined with abundant cherry blossom trees.
When in full bloom, very little else can compare to the arresting sight of endless sakura blossoms that stretch towards infinity.
This location is justifiably designated as one of Japan's 100 best cherry blossom spots.
How travel insurance can help make your cherry blossom trip a blooming success
Remember that sakura season tends to take place between winter and spring, which means you’ll be encountering some chilly temperatures, especially after sundown.
Thus, you’ll want to have adequate travel insurance coverage for luggage and personal belongings in case you need to replace your winter wear or other items.
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Should you be forced to cancel or change your trip due to an emergency, a travel plan can provide compensation for prepaid expenses, such as plane tickets and accommodation bookings.
Also plans with a “cancel for any reason” clause will partially compensate you should you need to make changes to your itinerary for non-emergencies, but you should check with your insurer before making any hasty changes.
Lastly, because COVID-19 is still a threat, you’ll want to have robust COVID-19 coverage when travelling to Japan, and travel insurance is an affordable and convenient way to obtain it.
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