27 Best Places to Visit in Japan in April

mount fuji and beautiful sakura cherry blossoms in spring time

Looking for the best places to visit in Japan in April? You’re in for a treat!

From the cherry blossom-laden streets of Tokyo to the tranquil beauty of Hakone, our curated list of 27 destinations will take you on an adventure through a springtime Japan that’s bursting with color.

Let’s dive in and start planning your Japanese spring getaway!

1. Ueno Park

benches under cherry blossoms in Ueno Park

Let’s start our journey in the pulsating heart of Japan – Tokyo. Once you navigate through its dizzying skyscrapers and neon lights, you’ll find yourself in the serene oasis of Ueno Park, one of the city’s largest public parks.

In April, Ueno Park transforms into a picture straight out of a dreamy anime. Thousands of cherry blossom trees bloom in unison, creating a dazzling canopy of pink. And the locals? They’re out in full force with picnic mats, food, and an infectious spirit of camaraderie, partaking in ‘Hanami,’ the centuries-old tradition of flower viewing. Just imagine yourself sitting under a sakura tree, bento box in hand, soaking in this breathtaking spectacle – now that’s what I call a Tokyo moment!

Pro travel tip: Arrive early in the day to snag a prime viewing spot, as the park can get quite crowded during cherry blossom season.

2. Chidorigafuchi

boats at Chidorigafuchi

Next up, we take a leisurely boat ride at Chidorigafuchi, one of Tokyo’s most famous cherry blossom spots. Imagine rowing a boat under a vibrant tunnel of sakura trees lining the moat of the Imperial Palace – a truly magical experience!

Pro travel tip: Although the boat ride is the main attraction, don’t miss the nighttime illumination of the cherry blossoms. The ethereal beauty of these radiant trees under the evening lights is an unforgettable sight!

3. Senso-ji temple

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Now, we head to Asakusa, home to the venerable Senso-ji temple. Stroll through the bustling Nakamise shopping street, savor traditional Japanese snacks, and soak in the vibrant culture of old Tokyo, with the majestic temple and its iconic giant red lantern as the backdrop.

Dining and Accommodation Recommendations: Savor Tokyo’s world-class sushi at Sukiyabashi Jiro, or try some tempura at Tempura Tendon Tenya. For a truly immersive stay, consider Hoshinoya Tokyo, a luxury ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) nestled amidst the city’s towering skyscrapers.

4. Maruyama Park

Maruyama Park

Let’s make our way to Kyoto, a city that effortlessly straddles the line between the past and the present. No visit to Kyoto in April would be complete without indulging in ‘Hanami’ at Maruyama Park. During Sakura season, the park becomes a massive outdoor party venue, with food stalls, lanterns, and a general merry spirit permeating the air.

Pro travel tip: Don’t miss the giant weeping cherry tree (‘shidarezakura’) at the center of the park. It’s lit up at night, offering a stunningly ethereal sight.

5. Fushimi Inari Shrine

Fushimi Inari Shrine gates

Next on the list is the Fushimi Inari Shrine, a must-visit when in Kyoto. Known for its iconic red torii gate pathway, this shrine is dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of rice. Walking through the seemingly endless path lined with torii gates is a truly humbling experience.

Pro travel tip: While the shrine is open 24/7, an early morning visit can help avoid the crowds and provide a more tranquil experience.

6. the Philosopher’s Path

Philosopher's Path

The Philosopher’s Path, is a scenic walkway along a canal lined by hundreds of cherry trees. Named after Nishida Kitaro, one of Japan’s most famous philosophers, who was known to meditate while walking this route, it provides a peaceful and introspective journey.

Dining and Accommodation Recommendations: Try some ‘kaiseki’ (traditional multi-course dinner) at Gion Nanba or have a cup of matcha tea at Ippodo Tea House. Stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto, for a luxurious experience or Kyoto Travellers Inn for a more budget-friendly option.

7. Peace Park

hiroshima peace memorial park in japan

Our journey continues to Hiroshima, a city that’s risen from the ashes of World War II to become a beacon of peace and resilience. In April, the Hiroshima Peace Park is adorned with cherry blossoms, adding an ethereal beauty to this place of deep reflection.

Pro travel tip: Take a quiet moment to reflect at the Atomic Bomb Dome and the Children’s Peace Monument, poignant reminders of the city’s past.

8. Itsukushima Shrine

Next, we’ll take a short ferry ride to the island of Miyajima, home to the Itsukushima Shrine and its iconic ‘floating’ torii gate. This UNESCO World Heritage site, paired with the backdrop of cherry blossoms, creates an unforgettable sight.

Pro travel tip: While here, don’t forget to try ‘momiji manju,’ a local sweet shaped like a maple leaf.

9. Hiroshima Castle

sunset behind hiroshima castle in japan

We’ll round up our Hiroshima tour with a visit to Hiroshima Castle. Surrounded by sakura trees, the castle is a sight to behold during the cherry blossom season.

Dining and Accommodation Recommendations: Try the city’s signature dish, Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki, at Okonomimura. For accommodation, consider staying at the Sheraton Grand Hiroshima Hotel for a luxury experience or at the Hiroshima Hana Hostel for a more budget-friendly option.

10. Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle with cherry blossoms

We move on to Osaka, Japan’s culinary capital and home to friendly, forthright locals. Our first stop is Osaka Castle, one of Japan’s most famous landmarks. Surrounded by hundreds of cherry blossom trees, the castle looks especially spectacular in April.

Pro travel tip: Take a boat ride in the castle moat for a unique viewing experience of the sakura trees.

11. Dotonbori Street

Dotonbori Street Osaka Japan

Next, we delve into the heart of Osaka’s entertainment district – Dotonbori. With neon lights and gigantic signboards, it’s an assault on the senses. Here you can indulge in Osaka’s legendary street food – takoyaki, okonomiyaki, and more.

Pro travel tip: For the best takoyaki, visit the popular stand, Creo-ru. You won’t be disappointed!

12. Universal Studios Japan

Universal Studios Japan

It’s time to bring out your inner child with a visit to Universal Studios Japan. While it might seem out of place in this list, believe me, the sight of your favorite characters against the backdrop of cherry blossoms is uniquely delightful.

Dining and Accommodation Recommendations: Try the famous Kushikatsu at Daruma in Shinsekai. Stay at the Intercontinental Osaka for a plush experience or at Drop Inn Osaka for a budget stay.

13. Lake Ashi Cruise

hakone shrine in lake ashi with a view of mount fuji

Our journey now takes us to Hakone, known for its hot springs, natural beauty, and the majestic view of nearby Mt. Fuji. We’ll begin with a serene Lake Ashi cruise. The sight of the tranquil lake surrounded by blooming cherry blossom trees with Mt. Fuji in the backdrop is something you wouldn’t want to miss.

Pro travel tip: If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the elusive Mt. Fuji from the boat – a real treat for any nature lover!

14. Hakone Open Air Museum

sculpture at hakone open air museum

Next, we visit the Hakone Open Air Museum, an innovative space where nature and art harmoniously coexist. Wandering amidst the sculptures with the cherry blossoms in full bloom truly elevates the entire experience.

Pro travel tip: Don’t miss the Picasso Exhibition Hall, which hosts an extensive collection of the artist’s work.

15. Soak in an Onsen

onsen hot spring

And of course, no trip to Hakone would be complete without soaking in an Onsen (hot spring). Imagine unwinding in a warm, natural spring bath surrounded by the gorgeous colors of sakura trees – the ultimate Japanese relaxation experience.

Dining and Accommodation Recommendations: For a unique dining experience, try the local ‘kaiseki’ meals at Hakone Ginyu. Consider staying at the Hyatt Regency Hakone Resort and Spa for a luxury experience or at the Hakone Guest House gaku. for a budget-friendly stay.

16. Shikisai-no-oka flower field

Shikisai-no-oka flower field

Our next destination is Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s main islands, known for its volcanoes, natural hot springs, and ski areas. A visit to the enchanting Shikisai-no-oka flower field is a must. In April, the tulips are in full bloom, creating a vibrant sea of colors.

Pro travel tip: Try the tractor-pulled cart tour for a unique and fun way to explore the fields.

17. Historical Village of Hokkaido

Historical Village of Hokkaido

Take a step back in time at the Historical Village of Hokkaido. The open-air museum features about 60 buildings from all over Hokkaido, dating from the Meiji and Taisho periods (1868 to 1926). During Sakura season, the historic architecture paired with the blooming cherry blossoms creates a nostalgic atmosphere.

Pro travel tip: The horse-drawn trolley ride is a must-try while you’re here!

18. Niseko for Spring Skiing

Niseko Japan

For those looking for a more active experience, Niseko offers great spring skiing conditions in April. And yes, the ski slopes are dotted with cherry blossom trees, making for a beautiful view as you ski down the mountain.

Dining and Accommodation Recommendations: Enjoy Hokkaido’s famous seafood at Niseko Soan or try a variety of local dishes at Prativo. Consider staying at the Hilton Niseko Village for a luxury experience or at the Niseko Backpacker for a budget-friendly option.

19. Kenroku-en Garden

Kenroku-en Garden

Our adventure continues to Kanazawa, a city that’s kept its traditional charm while embracing modernity. One of the highlights of the city is Kenroku-en Garden, one of Japan’s top three landscape gardens. The garden’s beauty peaks in spring with cherry blossoms lining its paths.

Pro travel tip: Be sure to check out the Kotoji-toro, a two-legged stone lantern that’s become the symbol of the garden.

20. Kanazawa Castle Park

Kanazawa Castle Park

Adjacent to the Kenroku-en Garden is Kanazawa Castle Park, the former residence of the Maeda family. In April, the cherry blossoms add an extra layer of splendor to the already impressive castle grounds.

Pro travel tip: Visit at night to see the sakura trees beautifully illuminated, creating a magical atmosphere.

21. Higashi Chaya District

Japanese Geisha at Higashi Chaya-gai-Geisha-District-in-Kanazawa

Higashi Chaya District is known for its well-preserved chaya (teahouses) where geishas perform. Walking through this district with its wooden buildings and cobblestone streets during the cherry blossom season is like stepping into a time machine.

Dining and Accommodation Recommendations: Try the city’s famed Kanazawa Curry at Champion Curry. For a luxury stay, consider the Kanazawa Tokyu Hotel, or for a more budget-friendly option, try the Emblem Stay Kanazawa.

22. Matsumoto Castle

It’s time to head to Nagano, a mountainous, landlocked prefecture known for its hot springs and temples. We start with a visit to Matsumoto Castle, one of Japan’s most beautiful original castles. The black exterior set against the pink of the cherry blossoms is a sight to behold.

Pro travel tip: Don’t miss the opportunity to climb to the top floor for a panoramic view of the city surrounded by the Japanese Alps.

23. Jigokudani Monkey Park

Jigokudani Monkey Park

Jigokudani Monkey Park is home to Japan’s famous snow monkeys. Though best known for the winter shots of monkeys bathing in hot springs, visiting the park in April provides a unique viewing experience with the cherry blossoms in bloom.

Pro travel tip: Remember to keep a respectful distance from the monkeys – they are wild animals, after all.

24. Zenko-ji Temple

Zenkoji temple

Let’s take a look at Zenko-ji Temple, one of Japan’s most important Buddhist temples. During April, the temple grounds are enveloped in soft pink hues, making it an incredibly peaceful place to visit.

Dining and Accommodation Recommendations: Try ‘soba’ noodles, a specialty of Nagano, at Kobayashi Soba. For accommodations, consider the Hotel Metropolitan Nagano for luxury or the Dot Hostel Nagano for budget-conscious travelers.

25. Beach-hopping

Kabira Bay Okinawa Japan with boats and beautiful beach

Okinawa is a tropical paradise known for its pristine beaches and rich history. April is the perfect time to beach-hop in Okinawa, with the weather being warm but not too hot.

Pro travel tip: Don’t miss Furuzamami Beach on Zamami Island, known for its clear waters and vibrant coral reefs.

26. Shurijo Castle Park

Shurijo Castle Park

On to Shurijo Castle Park, a testament to Okinawa’s unique history and cultural heritage. Although the main castle building suffered a fire in 2019, the restoration process is ongoing, and many parts of the park, including several beautiful gates and walls adorned with cherry blossoms in spring, remain for visitors to enjoy.

Pro travel tip: Be sure to visit the reconstructed Shureimon Gate, an iconic symbol of Okinawa.

27. Churaumi Aquarium

Churaumi Aquarium with tourists watching a blue whale

Finally, we explore one of the world’s largest aquariums, the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium. While not directly related to cherry blossoms, it’s too impressive to miss. The massive Kuroshio Sea tank, home to whale sharks and manta rays, is a particular highlight.

Dining and Accommodation Recommendations: For an unforgettable dining experience, try Okinawa soba at Shuri Soba. Consider staying at the luxurious Ritz-Carlton, Okinawa, or at the Guest House Okinawa Monogatari for a budget-friendly option.

Conclusion

From the bustling streets of Tokyo to the serene landscapes of Hakone, from the rich history of Kyoto to the tropical beaches of Okinawa, there’s so much to explore and enjoy in Japan in April. Each place offers a unique blend of culture, history, and natural beauty, made even more enchanting by the cherry blossoms. So, why wait? Embrace the blossom and let the land of the rising sun amaze you this April!

Practical Tips for Traveling in Japan in April

What to pack: April weather in Japan can be unpredictable. Be sure to pack a lightweight jacket and umbrella, along with comfortable walking shoes.

Understanding Japanese etiquette: Japanese society is polite and reserved. Basic etiquettes include bowing when greeting, not speaking loudly in public places, and removing shoes when entering someone’s home or a traditional restaurant.

Transportation tips: Japan’s public transportation system is efficient and punctual. The JR Pass can be a cost-effective method for long-distance travel.

Tips for Cherry Blossom viewing (Hanami): Arrive early if you’re planning a picnic under the cherry blossom trees as spots can fill up quickly. Also, remember to respect the blossoms – don’t shake the trees or pluck the flowers.

As your journey unfolds, I’m sure you’ll discover many more unique and memorable aspects of Japan. Safe travels, and enjoy the cherry blossoms!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to travel within Japan?

Japan’s public transportation system is known for its efficiency and punctuality. For long-distance travel, the Japan Rail Pass (JR Pass) can be a cost-effective option. For local commutes, you can rely on the subway, buses, and taxis.

Is English widely spoken in Japan?

While English is taught in schools, not all Japanese people are comfortable speaking it. However, in major cities and tourist spots, English signs and assistance are usually available. Learning a few basic Japanese phrases can be helpful.

What should I pack for a trip to Japan in April?

Japan’s weather in April is usually mild, but can be unpredictable. Pack a lightweight jacket, comfortable walking shoes, and an umbrella. Don’t forget to bring any necessary personal items, as well as a universal adapter for your electronic devices.

What are some Japanese etiquettes that tourists should know?

Japanese culture values respect and politeness. Basic etiquettes include bowing when greeting, not speaking loudly in public places, removing shoes when entering someone’s home or a traditional restaurant, and not eating while walking in public.

What should I know about cherry blossom viewing (Hanami)?

Cherry blossom viewing, or Hanami, is a significant event in Japan. If you’re planning a picnic under the cherry blossom trees, arrive early as spots can fill up quickly. Also, remember to respect the blossoms—don’t shake the trees or pluck the flowers.


Whether you’re seeking history, culture, or natural beauty, there are countless incredible destinations to visit in Japan that promise unforgettable experiences.

About Ronaldo Stewart

Wantigo was born out of a deep passion for exploring new places and experiencing different cultures. With a keen sense of adventure and an insatiable thirst for knowledge, I’ve traveled far and wide, immersing myself in the beauty and wonder of the world.

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