When spring comes to Japan, it’s time for cherry blossom viewing! If you are looking for some of the best places to enjoy hanami (literally flower watching), search no further as this guide has you covered for top spots to visit in Fukuoka!
Since Fukuoka is not nearly as crowded with tourists as hotspots like Tokyo and Kyoto, you can spend your time more leisurely among the trees with fewer crowds and lines.
Sound good to you? Keep reading to learn all about hanami in Japan and plan your next spring trip to Kyushu!
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When do Cherry Blossoms Bloom in Japan?
Cherry blossoms start blooming in the springtime after the winter chill has softened and the days have begun to get longer and warmer. Since Japan is a long country with warm Okinawa in the south and cooler Hokkaido in the north, blooming periods vary depending on the region.
Generally, flowering in Northern Kyushu starts around mid march and peaks towards the end of the month.
However, since abnormal weather patterns have occurred more frequently in recent years, the usual cycle has been thrown off.
For up-to-date, cherry blossom forecasts each year, many turn to the Japan Meteorological Corporation (JMC). Starting in January, the JMC releases its’ first forecast map, with new ones following every few weeks after. Make sure to check this forecast for the most accurate blooming information!
Top Places to Visit for Cherry Blossoms in Fukuoka
All over Fukuoka, there are places to enjoy the cherry blossom season. Whether you want to enjoy the flowers while just walking along the streets, embark on an adventurous hike, or have a picnic with friends, there are a variety of places to suit any occasion.
- Maizuru Park – 舞鶴公園
- Nishi Park – 西公園
- Nakasu Street
- Tochoji Temple – 東長寺
- Shofukuji Temple – 聖福寺
- Atago Shrine – 鷲尾愛宕神社
- Fukuoka Tower – 福岡タワー
- Sasayama Park – 笹山公園
- Ikeda Daishi Park – 池田第四公園
- Takahata Park – 高畑公園
- Rankan-bashi Bridge – 欄干橋
- Yanagawa Canals Boat Ride
Maizuru Park – 舞鶴公園
First up on the list is one of the most popular parks to visit in Fukuoka, Maizuru Park! This park is located conveniently in the middle of Fukuoka city which makes it super easy to access and is a top spot for locals and visitors alike.
Strolling the grounds, you will find over 1,000 trees growing in the park. All of these trees, along with the park’s moat and old castle stone walls, make for a wonderful, unique view.
During peak bloom, be prepared for some crowds as Maizuru Park has some of the best spots for hanami with its spacious fields, tons of food trucks, and plentiful trees.
To avoid the crowds, try visiting on a weekday or earlier in the morning.
Many people hang out near the main lawn space, but if you climb up the stairs of the Fukuoka Castle ruins, you’ll find Sakura-en, a massive garden of cherry blossom trees. When these trees are at peak bloom, they create a majestic canopy of white.
In Maizuru Park, you’ll mainly find white, popcorn-like Someiyoshino trees, but there are a few other types such as weeping cherry blossoms.
If you keep climbing up to the very highest part of the park, you’ll be rewarded wtih one of the best cherry blossoms views the city has to offer.
Come to Maizuru Park at night to enjoy a special Sakura illumination event. Some of the areas require payment, but you can still enjoy lit-up sakura near the entrance of the park without paying.
Nishi Park – 西公園
Nishi Park is only a 10-minute walk from Maizuru Park but offers a different hanami atmosphere. With more than 1,300 trees it’s one of Japan’s top places to visit!
The path leading up to the park is lined left and right with trees and has food and game stalls.
There are wonderful spots all around to sit down and enjoy the cherry blossoms with friends and family.
To snag a good spot, people come early and lay out tarps for sitting. You can bring your own food like bentos and alcohol, or purchase items from the stalls.
The park is roughly 170,000 square meters, so there are lots of places to walk around and take in the scenery.
Sakura Valley is another area of the park that is great for hanami.
Visit Nishi Park and walk around or claim a spot to sit and relax. Whichever you choose, you’ll have a great time in this park!
If you aren’t looking to sit and enjoy a meal, but would rather just enjoy the trees on a stroll, visit Nakasu Central Street.
Here the trees bloom bright pink!
Tochoji Temple – 東長寺
Tochoji Temple is known for housing one of Japan’s largest wooden Buddhas. Around the grounds, you’ll be able to see some nice cherry blossom trees.
This isn’t an area for sitting down for a picnic, but rather for seeing some nice trees if you’re in the center of the city.
Shofukuji Temple – 聖福寺
Shofukuji Temple is located in Hakata Old Town close to Tochoji Temple so you can visit both at the same time. Shofukuji Temple has a quiet garden and a nice space with cherry blossom trees. (Not for sitting and picnicking though, just for walking around)
Atago Shrine – 鷲尾愛宕神社
You’ll need to use a bit of leg power to get to Atago Shrine, but at the top, you can admire a fantastic view of Fukuoka City.
At night, the trees are lit up and you can see Fukuoka Tower shining in the distance.
Fukuoka Tower – 福岡タワー
Okay, this isn’t really traditional cherry blossom viewing, but during the spring, Fukuoka Tower is illuminated with a special Sakura light display. View it from Atago Shrine (above), or get up close if you visit the tower located in Momochihama.
Sasayama Park – 笹山公園
If you make your way to Itoshima, Sasayama Park is a short walk from Chikuzen Maebaru Station. The park has different trails you can wander through and with over 660 trees, it’s a wonderful place to stroll and enjoy the day.
When I visited, it was just before the blooming started so I didn’t get to see the park at its best, but even so, it was a nice place to spend time.
Coming to Itoshima in the Winter instead? Check out this Itoshima Oyster Hut guide!
Ikeda Daishi Park – 池田第四公園
Another park in Itoshima, Ikeda Daishi is a place where you can enjoy sakura trees lining the river. It is close to the train station and is much less frequented compared to bigger parks so you can spend your time peacefully enjoying the sound of the water while sitting beneath the trees.
Takahata Park – 高畑公園
Make your way to Yanagawa and you’ll find even more spots filled with cherry blossom trees!
Under the trees, there are open spaces for picnicking with friends. You could spend an entire afternoon relaxing under the trees, gazing at the water, and enjoying the scenery.
Not only is Takahata Park a great place to visit in the daytime, but at night, the lanterns light up for an entirely new experience, illuminated hanami!
If you haven’t experienced hanami at night, this is the perfect place to do so!
Rankan-bashi Bridge – 欄干橋
Right by Takahata Park is Yanagawa’s Rankan-bashi Bridge.
This bridge is surrounded by cherry blossom trees on either side and is a great spot for taking photos. Not only do you have a great view of the trees and water below, but you can also see the famous punting boats sail by as you stand on this bridge
Yanagawa Canal Boat Rides
To enjoy the cherry blossoms from an entirely different perspective, hop on one of the boats! Tickets for an adult cost around 1500-2000円 depending on which company you use. Read more about riding on these boats here.
As you cruise through the water, take in the view of cherry blossom trees sweeping from above. This is a unique view you can’t find elsewhere!
Learn more about visiting Yanagwa during the spring here.
Where to Stay in Fukuoka
If you want to visit Yanagwa, Hatago is a cozy place with nice, traditional-style Japanese rooms. The b&b operates out of a renovated 87-year-old house and has sliding doors and wood carvings. Book this accommodation here.
For other places around Fukuoka, I recommend checking out Booking.com. This platform is super easy to use and is my go-to site for booking my travel stays.
Want to learn more about Japan’s nature and seasonal flowers? Check out the posts below for more information!