14 Top Spots to See Cherry Blossoms Around Nagoya

With the arrival of spring, all of Japan is dyed in pink. This is because at the end of March Sakura (cherry blossoms) begin blooming. You can see the cherry tree flowers all across Japan: in parks and botanical gardens, around temples and shrines, on the banks of rivers, or covering mountains.

The season of the cherry tree is synonymous with “a new beginning”. It coincides with the start of the school year for students and the fiscal year for companies. However, one of the reasons why cherry trees are so important in Japan is that cherry blossoms express life and transience at the same time, echoing a Buddhist philosophy that “all mundane things are transitory”: nothing lasts forever and beauty is ephemeral.

During the Sakura season you will very often hear the word “Hanami”. Hanami literally means “to see the flowers”, but in fact it is much more than just contemplating the flowers. Hanami means spending time outdoors with friends, co-workers and family while you eat and drink. Hanami is a kind of picnic-party under the Sakura trees. It takes place not only during the day, but also during the night, thanks to the fact that many Sakura locations are illuminated in the evening.

The Origins of Hanami and Why It Is So Popular in Japan

Ukiyoe-Sakura
Ukiyo–e wooden painting Sakura scene

Hanami is influenced by China, and is related to seasonal changes. In ancient China, the Chinese were particularly in love with the fragrant plum blossoms, a flower that represents purity and elegance, and reflects the qualities of constancy and resistance against adversity.

In Japan, during the Nara period (710 to 784) aristocrats read Chinese poems celebrating the passing beauty of plum blossoms. In the gardens of the Imperial Court, the most common flowers were wisteria flowers, plum blossoms, peach blossoms and cherry blossoms. The cherry blossoms were very appreciated for their brief but brilliant flowering. With every flowering, parties were held that included poetry, calligraphy, flower arrangement and were a celebration of the arts.

It was not until the Heian Period (794 to 1185), when the term Hanami became synonymous with cherry blossoms.

During the Sengoku Period (1467 to 1615), the warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who briefly unified Japan, promoted the cultural practices of the court among the samurai class. At that time Hanami was still a custom limited to the elite, and was totally inaccessible to ordinary people.

During the Edo Period (1603  to 1867), the Tokugawa Shogunate took things a step further. They ordered the planting of cherry trees in public parks, temples and shrines. This was soon imitated by different lords around the country, thus propagating the concept of public observation spaces for cherry blossoms, finally bringing Hanami to the commoners.

It is said that the night observation of cherry blossoms arose in the red-light district of Yoshiwara, in Tokyo. The establishments of this district, which remained open until late at night, used paper lanterns to make themselves more attractive in the evening, especially during the cherry blossom season.

The Best Places To Enjoy Cherry Blossoms in Nagoya

If you are traveling through the Aichi Prefecture, here is a list of the best places in Nagoya and the greater Aichi area where you can enjoy cherry blossoms.

Disclaimer: Due to COVID-19 events below have been changed, adapted, or canceled in 2020 and 2021.

1. Nagoya Castle and Meijo Park 

Nagoya castle
Nagoya Castle surrounded by beautiful Sakura trees

Nagoya Castle is one of the most popular tourist areas of Nagoya. In its surroundings, there are around 1,000 cherry trees comprising 10 different varieties, such as the very popular Yoshino and Shidare varieties. The views of the cherry blossoms from the castle are an impressive landscape that can only be seen in spring.

Meijo Park
Meijo Park Sakura trees

Meijo Park is a large park adjacent to Nagoya Castle. You can walk through the park while enjoying the majestic views of the Castle. Every year the Spring Festival is celebrated, where you can see cherry blossoms during the day as well as enjoying the mystical view of the trees illuminated at night.

Nagoya Castle and Meijo Park (名古屋城と名城公園)
Best Time: From the end of March to the beginning of April
Number of Sakura trees: 1,000 approx.
Light up: 18:00 – 20:00
Entry Fee: Adults 500 yen, children under 12 years free
Opening Hours: 9:00 – 16:30
Address: 1-1 Honmaru, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0031
Access: Take the Meijo subway line to the Shiyakusho station. Take exit 7 and it is a 5-minute walk.
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

2.Tsuruma Park 

Tsurumai park
Hanami parties in Tsuruma Park

With around 750 cherry trees, it’s one of the best places to see cherry blossoms and enjoy Hanami parties in Nagoya. During the spring, with the Sakura blooming, it becomes a beautiful white and pink landscape which draws locals and tourists en masse. At night, the lanterns light up around the trees turning the park into a magical place. There are also food stalls, as well as different musical and cultural events.

Tsuruma Park (鶴舞公園)
Best Time: From the end of March to the beginning of April
Number of Sakura trees: 750 approx.
Light up: 18:00 – 22:00
Entry Fee: Free
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
Address: 1 Chome-1 Tsurumai, Showa Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 466-0064
Access: Take the Tsurumai subway line, or the JR Chuo train line. 1 minute walk from Tsurumai station.
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

3. Yamazaki River Four Seasons Road 

Yamazaki river
View of the Yamazaki river

Along the Yamazaki River, you will find another of the best places to see the cherry blossoms in Nagoya. Stretching approximately 2.5 kilometers with around 600 Yoshino cherry blossoms. While the cherry blossoms were planted in the 1920s the promenade itself wasn’t built until 1987, as a way to make the area enjoyable year round. The promenade is divided by bridges into separate sections (spring, summer and autumn areas) that promote the flowers from each respective season.

Yamazaki River Four Seasons Road (山崎川四季の道)
Best Time: From the end of March to the beginning of April
Number of Sakura trees:
600 approx.
Light up:
18:00 – 21:00
Entry Fee:
Free
Opening Hours:
Open 24 hours
Address:
2 Chome Murakamicho, Mizuho Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 467-0008
Access:
Take the Sakura Dori subway line to Mizuho Undojo Nishi Station. Take exit 2. From there it is an 11 minutes walk to the river.
Google Maps

4. Arakogawa Park 

Arakogawa park
View of the Arakogawa park

In this park there are around 1000 cherry trees on both sides of the Arakogawa River. The park extends roughly 2.5 km following the river and it’s perfect to peacefully enjoy the Sakura trees.

There are multiple recreation areas, a park for the little ones, a barbecue area, a Japanese garden and a tea room. Arakogawa Park is also famous for its 3,000 square meter lavender field blooming in summer.

Arakogawa Park (荒子川公園)
Best Time: From the end of March to the beginning of April
Number of Sakura trees: 1,000 approx.
Light up: 18:00 – 21:00
Entry Fee: Free
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
Address: 2 Chome-52 Shinagawacho, Minato Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 455-0055
Access: Take the Aonami line to the Arakogawakoen station. The park begins right behind the station.
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

5. Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens 

Higashiyama park
A stroll through Higashiyama park

The Higashiyama Zoo houses more than 550 species of animals, including elephants, penguins, bears, tigers, giraffes, birds, reptiles, hippos, monkeys, lions, skunks, rhinos, and seals.

Next to the zoo, is the oldest greenhouse in Japan that houses more than 7,000 varieties of plants, making it one of the most complete botanical gardens in Asia. The Botanical Garden also houses about 1000 cherry trees of a staggering 100 different species.

Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens (名古屋市東山動植物園)
Best Time: From early March to the end of April
Number of Sakura trees: 1,000 approx.
Light up: No
Entry Fee: 500 yen per person
Opening Hours: 9:00 – 16:30. Closed on Mondays
Address: 3-70 Motomachi, Higashiyama, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 464-0804
Access: Take the Higashiyama subway line and get off at Higashiyamakoen station. Take exit 3. From there it is a 7 minute walk.
Website | Google Maps

6. Togokusan Fruits Park

Togokusan park
Togokusan park dome

The Togokusan Fruits Park is located below the Togokusan Mountain. The park has several facilities such as an orchard with around 15 varieties of fruit plants and a tropical fruit greenhouse with around 100 types of rare fruits. Inside the park there are around 1,000 weeping cherry trees (Yaebeni Shidare), famous for its beautiful pink flowers.

Togokusan Fruits Park (東谷山フルーツパーク)
Best Time: From the beginning of April to mid April
Number of Sakura trees: 1,000 approx.
Light up: No
Entry Fee: Free
Opening Hours: 9:00 – 16:30. Closed on Mondays
Address: Togoku-2110 Kamishidami, Moriyama Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 463-0001
Access: Take the JR Chuo train line and get off at Kozoji Temple Station. Take the south exit and from there it’s a  25 minutes walk.
Website | Google Maps

Best Places to See Cherry Blossoms in Aichi Prefecture

Outside of Nagoya every city and town in Aichi has spots where you can enjoy the cherry blossom season. Here are our top picks.

Disclaimer: Due to COVID-19 events below have been changed, adapted, or canceled in 2020 and 2021.

1. Gojo River (Iwakura)

Gojogawa
View of the Gojo River with the beautiful Sakura trees in bloom

Around 1,400 cherry trees bloom along both banks of the Gojo River, which runs through the center of the city of Iwakura. With a length of approximately 7.6 km, you can enjoy the view of the rows of sakura trees that line the river, as well as the views from the bridges from where the blossoming trees are reflected in the water. On both banks there are numerous food stalls and recreation areas.

During the Sakura festival, one of the oldest traditions of the area called Nonbori Arai (Flag Washing) takes place. This is an old method of dyeing Koinobori flags that consists of washing off the glue used to isolate parts of the fabric that should not come into contact with the pigments. Koinobori are carp streamers flown from the end of April to the beginning of May in celebration of Children’s Day.

This tradition is one of the cultural legacies of Iwakura, and when it takes place during the Sakura festival, a large number of tourists gather to enjoy the picturesque views of the artisans working on the river.

Gojo River (五条川)
Best Time: From the end of March to the beginning of April
Number of Sakura trees: 1,400 approx.
Light up: 18:00 – 21:00
Entry Fee: Free
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
Address: Shinkoji-162-16 Shimohonmachi, Iwakura, Aichi 482-0005
Access: Take the Meitetsu Inuyama line to Iwakura station. From there you can walk to the river in 5 minutes.
Google Maps

2. Inuyama Castle (Inuyama)

Inuyama Castle
View of the top of Inuyama Castle

Built in the 16th century Inuyama Castle is one of only 12 original castles in Japan. It is also one of only 5 that are designated as a Japanese National Treasure. From the castle and its gardens you can see the Kiso river, a river that separates the prefectures of Aichi and Gifu.

Around 400 cherry blossoms bloom along the banks of the Kiso River. In addition to walking along the river you can also enjoy the cherry trees from the river with a 40 minute sightseeing cruise. The Yuransen Sightseeing Boat allows you to enjoy the views of the cherry blossoms and the Inuyama Castle from the river. (30 minutes Adults 1,000 yen, 11 and younger 500 yen).

Inuyama Castle (犬山城)
Best Time: From the end of March to the beginning of April
Number of Sakura trees: 400 approx.
Light up: 18:00 – 21:00
Entry Fee: Adults 550yen. Children under 14 years old 110 yen.
Opening Hours: 9:00 – 17:00
Address: Kitakoken-65-2 Inuyama, Aichi 484-0082
Access: Take the Meitetsu train line to Inuyama station. From there it is a 20 minute walk.
Inuyama Castle Website | Google Maps
Yuransen Sightseeing Boat Website (Japanese only)

3. Meiji Mura (Inuyama)

Meijimura
Meiji Mura Sakura trees

The Meiji Mura Museum is an open-air museum of buildings from the Meiji Period (1868 to 1912), a period when the foundations of modern Japan were laid and buildings were heavily influenced by architecture from the West. Within the one million square meter grounds there are more than 60 culturally important buildings, including important nationally designated cultural properties. All buildings were deconstructed, moved to the park and faithfully reconstructed. 

Meiji Mura has around 1000 cherry trees and is a popular area chosen by cosplayers to be photographed during the Sakura season.

Meiji Mura Museum (博物館明治村)
Best Time: From the end of March to the middle of April
Number of Sakura trees: 1,000 approx.
Light up: No
Entry Fee: Adults 2000 yen, elementary school children 700 yen
Opening Hours: 9:00 – 17:00
Address: 1 Uchiyama, Inuyama, Aichi 484-0000
Access: Take the Meitetsu Inuyama line to Inuyama station. Outside the East Exit is a bus stop for the Meitetsu Bus to Meiji Mura.
Website | Google Maps

4. Kijo Park (Kariya)

Kijo park
Kijo Park Sakura trees with the symbolic red bridge

Kijo Park, close to the ruins of Kariya Castle, is one of the best places in the city of Kariya to see cherry blossoms. Over 400 cherry blossom trees are planted around the park. The park itself features a small pond which makes a great backdrop for your cherry blossom photos.

Kijo Park (亀城公園)
Best Time: From the end of March to the beginning of April
Number of Sakura trees: 400 approx.
Light up: 18:00 – 21:00
Entry Fee: Free
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
Address: 1 Chome-1 Shiromachi, Kariya, Aichi 448-0833
Access: Take the JR Tokaido train to Aizuma station. From there, 15 minutes walk to the park.
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

5. Okazaki Castle and Okazaki Park (Okazaki)

Okazaki castle
View of the top of Okazaki Castle

Okazaki Park, chosen as one of the 100 best places in Japan to see cherry blossoms, has around 800 cherry trees scattered throughout the park and around Okazaki Castle.

Okazaki park
The short boat cruise riding along the river

There is also a short boat cruise along the Otogawa River called Funa Asobi. (30 minutes Adults 1,500 yen, middle school and younger 500 yen).

In addition to the festive atmosphere of the place during the Sakura festival, there are also many food stalls on the banks of the Otogawa River.

Okazaki Castle and Okazaki Park (岡崎城と岡崎公園)
Best Time: From the end of March to the beginning of April
Number of Sakura trees: 800 approx.
Light up: 18:00 – 22:00
Entry Fee: Free
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
Address: 561-1 Koseicho, Okazaki, Aichi 444-0052
Access: Take a Meitetsu line train to Higashi Okazaki station. From there take the north exit and the park is a 15 minutes walk from the station.
Website | Google Maps

6. Okuyamada Shidare Sakura (Okazaki)

Okuyamada
The millennial Okuyamada Shidare Sakura tree

At over 1300 years of age, this is the oldest cherry tree in the entire Aichi Prefecture. Standing 17 meters high, this wild cherry tree is a natural treasure of the city of Okazaki. You can enjoy its flowers both day and night. Although if you are going to use public transport, we recommend that you go during the day, as the bus service ends early.

Okuyamada Shidare Sakura (奥山田のしだれ桜)
Best Time: From the end of March to the beginning of April
Number of Sakura trees: 1
Light up: 18:00 – 21:30
Entry Fee: Free
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
Address: 28 Okuyamadamachiya, Okazaki, Aichi 444-2142
Access: Take a Meitetsu line train to Higashi Okazaki station. At Higashi Okazaki station change to a Meitetsu bus in the direction of Otonojinya and get off at Hokutodaiguchi. From there it is about a 20 minute walk.
You can also take a Meitetsu bus in the direction of Otodenjinya and get off at 3-Gō Kōenmae. From there it is about a 10 minute walk.
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

7. Suigen Park (Toyota)

Suigen park
Light up view of Suigen Park

Suigen Park, which stretches along the Yahagi River, is one of the most famous places in the city of Toyota to see cherry blossoms. In the spring, the more than 450 cherry trees turn the whole area into a magnificent landscape of pink tones.

The bicycle route that goes from the Suigen park to the Toyota Arrows bridge, Foresta Hills and other places is highly recommended.

Suigen Park (水源公園)
Best Time: From the end of March to the beginning of April
Number of Sakura trees: 450 approx.
Light up: 18:00 – 21:00
Entry Fee: Free
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
Address: Suigencho, Toyota, Aichi 471-0822
Access: Take the Tsurumai subway line to the Toyota station (the subway ends at Akaike station but most trains continue onto Toyota. If your train terminates at Akaike station, simply get off and wait on the same platform for the next train). At Toyota Station, take a bus and get off at Suigen Heiwa stop. From there it is a 10 minute walk.
Website | Google Maps

8. Sakurabuchi Park (Shinshiro)

Sakurabuchi park
View of Sakurabichi park with its large red bridge

Sakurabuchi Park, designated as a Natural Park, takes its name from its avenues of cherry trees that line the banks of the Toyokawa River which meanders through the park. It is said that the Sakurabuchi Park began with the planting of cherry trees along the Toyokawa River by the lord of the Shinshiro Castle during the Edo Period (early seventeenth century).

The contrast of the pink of the Sakura flowers and the emerald green of the vegetation along the river and the red bridges, make this a place with a captivating landscape.

Sakurabuchi Park (桜淵公園)
Best Time: From the end of March to the beginning of April
Number of Sakura trees: 2,000 approx.
Light up: 17:00 – 21:00
Entry Fee: Free
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
Address: Yanaida Niwano, Shinshiro, Aichi 441-1331
Access: Take the JR line train to Toyohashi Station. There change trains to Higashi-Shinmachi station. From there it is a 15 minute walk.
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps


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Web and Graphic designer living in Aichi Prefecture for more than 10 years. Trying to do the things that she loves and living the life with passion. She is also a travel-food lover and dance lover: her great passion.

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