Vacation rental site HomeAway recommends five destinations to enjoy the cherry blossom experience

TRAVELLERS to Japan flock to Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka every year to witness the blooming of cherry blossoms, also known as hanami (flower viewing festival).

At this time, manoeuvering your way through the crowds can be difficult and getting a nice photo souvenir to take home becomes almost impossible. But not if you know where to go.

For a cherry blossom or sakura experience away from the crowds, HomeAway has put together a list of five lesser-known alternative destinations to have your hanami party. Start planning now and book your accommodations at


For a tranquil experience minus the crowds, visit Nishi Park with panoramic views of Hakata Bay. It has over 1,000 cherry trees of different varieties, including the weeping cherry and the Oshima cherry. Settle under your favourite tree with some street food and sake, and take in the view of one of Japan’s Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots!

Located a short train ride away from Nishi Park, this cosy two-bedroom apartment is perfect for a family vacation. It comes equipped with all the essential amenities.

You can also choose to indulge in the many ramen shops nearby for a truly immersive and unforgettable Japanese vacation.

Homely Apartment in Hakata:


The famous Shukugawa Park is another beautiful location to admire the cherry blossoms, with the river forming a perfect reflection of the cherry blossom canopy overhead. At this time, a plethora of stalls selling Japanese drinks and snacks will spring up in the area, making it the perfect location for an afternoon picnic with your loved ones.

While you’re in Kobe, consider staying at this unique cabin HomeAway property. Accommodating up to 15 guests, its modest pricing and amenities make it an attractive option for large families and groups, ensuring that you can spend the bulk of your time (and money) enjoying the local Kobe culture, cuisines and cherry blossoms.

Holiday Cabin In Kobe:


With almost 600 cherry trees nestled alongside the Ookagawa River in Yokohama, the Ookagawa Sakura Festival is an annual hanami experience that should not be missed! With delicious street food stalls and loads of entertainment, this weekend festival is the proverbial cherry-on-top for your cherry blossom experience.

If that isn’t enough, head down to the Sankeien Garden and indulge your senses with pretty pink flowers, teas and seasonal sakura specialties. This three-bedroom Homeaway apartment is located in between the two attractions, making it the ideal home base for the cherry blossom fans. In addition, the large cherry tree located just outside the building means you can wake up to your very own view of cherry blossoms in full bloom!

Modern Home Near Yokohama Stadium:


Boasting one of the largest clusters of cherry blossom trees with over 1,300 trees spread across the park, Hijiyama Park is a mesmerising place for a cosy hanami party with your family and friends. When you’re done basking in the beautiful cherry blossoms, head over to the art museum or the manga library, both within its premises, to rest and learn more about Japanese culture.

Located a short walk away from the Hijiyama Park, this modern two-bedroom HomeAway apartment is beautifully illuminated by natural sunlight with floor to ceiling windows, and can accommodate up to 10 guests. With easy access to Hiroshima Station, getting around will be a breeze, and you can consider bringing the family to other cherry blossom sites such as Senkoji Park and Miyajima for a complete hanami experience.

Beautiful Home in Hiroshima:


The Maruyama Park with the adjacent Hokkaido Shrine boasts of over 1,700 wild cherry trees in bloom during spring. Located right beside the Maruyama Zoo and Wild Forest, you could take your family out for a wonderful day to bask in nature, from marvelling at the beautiful cherry blossoms in full bloom and flocks of woodpeckers gathering on elm trees at the park, to majestic lions and giraffes resting in their massive enclosures.

If you’ve decided to give the Maruyama Park a go, why not stay at this amazing four-bedroom apartment just beside it? A modern look coupled with authentic Japanese elements, this HomeAway apartment can accommodate up to 13 guests and includes two Japanese tatami rooms, perfect for large families looking for an authentic Japanese experience.

It comes with a fully-equipped kitchen and spacious living room.

Gorgeous House Near Maruyama Station:

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