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4 Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots not to be Missed in Hokkaido


There are lots of famous cherry blossom viewing spots in Hokkaido. In this article, we will introduce unique cherry blossom viewing spots in Hokkaido, such as spots where cherry blossoms and plum blossoms can be enjoyed at the same time, and spots where multiple types of cherry blossoms can be enjoyed for a long period of time, such as the early blooming cherry blossoms and late blooming cherry blossoms. There is a spot known as cherry blossom viewing spot (for viewing cherry blossoms and having a picnic with lots of food and drink) as well as being a famous place for the cherry blossom festivals annually, so why not check it out on your next trip to Japan?


The Best Time to See the Cherry Blossoms & Hanami Cuisine in Hokkaido

In Honshu, where Tokyo and Osaka are located, cherry blossoms begin to bloom in late March, and the best time to see them is around early April. However, since Hokkaido is located north of Honshu, the blossoms appear slightly later. Flowering starts around the end of April annually. Cherry blossom viewing can be enjoyed for a quite a long period of time, from mid-May to late May; Moerenuma Park (Sapporo), where about 1900 cherry blossoms bloom, and Hakodate Park, where you can see the cherry blossoms as well as the sea. There are lots of cherry blossom viewing spots in various places such as Otaru Park where the view of the harbour and the cherry blossoms can be enjoyed.

The average temperature in Hokkaido in April 2020 is 6.8 degrees Celsius, and in May it is 13.7 degrees Celsius, which is a little chilly. It is cold in the morning and evening, so bring a jacket when you go to see the cherry blossoms.
Also, in Honshu, people often bring light meals such as rice balls and sandwiches when they go cherry blossom viewing and buy food from street stalls while out, but in Hokkaido, many people eat Jingisukan hotpot (Mongolian mutton barbecue)!


(1) Hakodate Goryokaku Park
(2) Hokkaido Shrine
(3) Noboribetsu Cherry Blossoms Rows
(4) Matsumae Park

The Star-shaped Ridge is Dyed Pink! 
(1)    Hakodate Goryokaku Park

Hakodate Goryokaku Park is famous for its star-shaped castle ruins. In late April annually, about 1,600 Yoshino cherry trees planted on the star-shaped earthworks are in full bloom. Moreover, the cherry blossoms that bloom on the banks of the moat and inside the castle walls fill the star-shaped ridges, and the appearance of the petals floating on the water also looks romantic! Looking down from the observation deck of Fort Goryokaku Tower, it looks like a "flower fortress". It is a superb view that is unique to this season. Also, if you have time, it is recommended to get a rental boat and view the blossoms from the water. You can view them from a different perspective!
The best time to see the blossoms is the beginning of May annually. It takes about 10 minutes on foot after taking the 25/19/33 bus from Hakodate Station and getting off at "Goryokaku Park Entrance" bus stop.

Enjoy Cherry Blossoms and Plum Blossoms at the Same Time
(2)    Hokkaido Shrine

"Hokkaido Shrine", located next to Maruyama Park in Sapporo. It has long been known as one of the best cherry blossom viewing spots in Sapporo. Around 1,100 cherry blossoms such as Ezoyama cherry, Yoshino cherry, and Yaezakura bloom around the shrine approach. It is characterized by its plum blossoms that also bloom at the same time. In the shrine precincts, you can see about 250 plum blossoms including white plums and red plums. The best time to view them is from late April to early May. In Sapporo, the cherry blossoms and plum blossoms bloom at the same time, so the cherry blossoms and plum blossoms can be enjoyed at the same time. It takes about 15 minutes to walk there from Maruyama Koen Subway Station. 

2000 Ezoyama Cherry Trees are in Full Bloom
(3)    Noboribetsu Cherry Blossoms Rows

Around 2000 Ezoyama cherry trees bloom along the 8km road of Route 2 leading from JR Noboribetsu Station to Noboribetsu Onsen. These cherry trees were planted by the citizens in 1934 to commemorate the birth of His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince (now His Majesty the Emperor). The best time to view them is from the beginning of May to the mid-May annually. When the blossoms are in full bloom, it becomes a “cherry blossom tunnel”, welcoming people heading to Noboribetsu Onsen. Access is from JR Noboribetsu Station, take the Donan Bus "Footbath Entrance / Tobetsu Onsen" for about 8 minutes, and get off at the "Sanai Hospital Noboribetsu Date Jidai Muramae" bus stop.


Cherry Blossoms Bloom One After Another in Various Periods!

(4) Matsumae Park

Matsumae Park, which can be said to be the symbol of Matsumae town, which once prospered as a castle town. It is a large park measuring about 248,000 square metres with Matsumae Castle, Sakura Mihon-en, temples, and the Matsumae clan mansion. It is characterized by its 10,000 cherry blossoms of 250 species blooming in the park, from early blooming (mid-late April) to mid-blooming (late April - mid-May) and late blooming (early to mid-May).

There are also double-blossom cherry blossoms (cherry blossoms with multiple layers of petals) and late-blooming chrysanthemum cherry blossoms with over 200 petals on one stem, so various varieties of cherry blossoms can be enjoyed. Also, don't miss the Sakura Botanical Garden, an educational botanical garden where you can learn about the types of cherry blossoms. Around 140 kinds of cherry blossoms were been gathered from all over Japan and planted, so it is said to be a "living cherry blossom picture book"! To reach the garden, take the Hakodate Bus bound for Matsumae Branch Office from JR Kikonai Station and ride for about 1 hour and 30 minutes, then get off at "Matsushiro" bus stop and walk for about 3 minutes.


Refer to the following for more information on the facilities mentioned in this article.

Visit all the popular sites in Hokkaido! Convenient for all - The Hokkaido Rail Pass


Hakodate Goryokaku Park

Hokkaido Shrine

Noboribetsu Cherry Blossoms Rows

Matsumae Park

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