Beyond the buzz of its cosmopolitan cities, the Japanese archipelago has a diverse wealth of natural wonders for intrepid travellers to explore, ranging from the snowfields of Hokkaido to the subtropical islands of Okinawa. A great respect for nature’s power and splendour is one of the central principles of Shintoism, Japan’s indigenous animist religion, and this island country’s spectacular natural beauty is one of its greatest and largely undiscovered attractions. Large parts of the country are protected, so visitors can explore a multitude of natural environments and flora and fauna that are unique to Japan.
Japan is a great destination for visitors at any time of the year and there are countless ways to enjoy the country’s natural beauty and diverse ecosystems. Travellers yearning for adventure can take part in a range of activities that will immerse you in nature and leave you feeling exhilarated and inspired. Those looking for an authentic travel experience can explore the preserved communities found across the Japanese countryside, where ancient traditions remain very much alive. Away from the fast-paced cities, visitors can enjoy a slower way of life whether that’s by walking Japan’s forest trails or diving beneath the waves.
Springtime in Japan is nothing less than magical. From late March to mid-April, or even early May, the country’s iconic sakura (cherry blossoms) capture the attention of visitors and locals as their beautiful flowers blanket the country in soft pink splendor.
Each spring, the cherry blossoms burst into bloom across Japan. Cherry blossom season starts from Kyushu in southwestern Japan around late March, and all the way up to northward, Tohoku and Hokkaido in late spring.
In Japan, the most common cherry trees are Somei-Yoshino, with masses of pale pink blossoms. Don’t miss the elegant shidare-zakura, weeping cherry trees, which often grow in parks and along riverbanks.
Cherry blossom usually bloom between mid-March and early May. In 2022, cherry blossoms are expected to open around March 15 in Tokyo. In 2021, Tokyo’s cherry blossom season officially began on March 14, when flowers opened on a Somei-Yoshino cherry tree at Yasukuni Shrine. This was the earliest ever bloom in Tokyo. While the dates change somewhat from year to year, there are areas in which cherry blossoms bloom even earlier!