Japan is a beautiful place to visit any time of the year. But if there is one season you need to be in Japan for it would be in spring – or more specifically, in that brief period when the sakura or cherry blossoms are blooming. Hanami or flower viewing in Japan is something locals and tourists alike look forward to. Here are some of the best places in the country to enjoy breathtaking views of sakura in bloom.

Goryokaku Fort Park, Hakodate City, Hokkaido
Goryokaku Fort Park
Highlights and other attractions: A star-shaped western-style fort dating back to the Tokugawa shogunate, more than a thousand cherry trees in the area makes it a gorgeous spot for a hanami experience

Hirosaki Castle Park, Hirosaki City, Aomori
Hirosaki Castle Park
Highlights and other attractions: The Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival, the castle tower, the red Shunyo Bridge, and the cherry blossoms

Miharu Takizakura, Miharu, Fukushima
Miharu Takizakura
Highlights and other attractions: Miharu Takizakura ( Waterfall cherry tree of Miharu) is an ancient cherry tree that is more than one thousand years old, touted as one of the five great cherry trees of Japan

Mount Fuji
Mount Fuji
Highlights and other attractions: The glorious experience of viewing two of the iconic things to see in Japan – Mount Fuji surrounded by the glorious beauty of cherry blossoms

Mt. Yoshino, Nara
Mt. Yoshino, Nara
Highlights and other attractions: Cherry blossoms from roughly 30,000 trees planted across the mountains, scenic mountain road, and the spectacular scenery of the iconic flowers in full bloom among others

Philosopher’s Path, Kyoto
Philosopher’s Path, Kyoto
Highlights and other attractions: Meander along the path in the midst of cherry blossoms, spend a quiet time in one of the cafes and restaurants in the area or find a hanami spot to better enjoy the sakura blooms

Shinjuku Gyoen, Tokyo
Shinjuku Gyoen
Highlights and other attractions: A vast and beautiful city park with over a thousand cherry trees, a scenic place to view cherry blossoms in the heart of the city; other attractions include the English landscape garden, the French garden, the traditional Japanese garden, the Taiwan Pavilion, the Mother and Child Forest, and more

Ueno Park, Tokyo
Ueno Park, Tokyo
Highlights and other attractions: A popular park in Tokyo that draws locals and tourists year-round, one of the go-to places in the country for hanami or flower viewing, over thousand trees bloom with many lining the streets, other must-see attractions include Kaneiji Temple, Kiyomizu Kannon Temple, Shinobazu Pond, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo National Museum, Ueno Daibutsu, Ueno Toshogu Shrine, Ueno Zoo, and more