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Fukuoka Sakura and Ohanami Guide 2018

The blossoming of sakura (cherry blossoms) is an occasion for celebration all over Japan. Between late March and early April, families, friends and colleagues come together for ohanami or “blossom-viewing” parties, picnicking, drinking and even singing karaoke in the city’s public parks beneath the riotous pink blossoms.

Photo provided by the City of Fukuoka

2018 Sakura Forecast (as of Mar. 15)

Part of the magic of sakura is that you never know for certain when they’ll start to bloom or be in full bloom. To help you plan your ohanami with better probability, refer to this website which offers updated forecast for sakura all around the country.

• In Fukuoka, sakura will begin to bloom on March 19, five days earlier than last year. Full bloom is expected on March 28.
Saga’s sakura will begin to bloom on March 20, with full bloom around March 29.
Nagasaki’s sakura will begin to bloom on March 17, with full bloom around March 27.
Oita’s sakura will begin to bloom on March 23, with full bloom around March 30.
Kumamoto’s sakura will begin to bloom on March 17, with full bloom around March 26.
Miyazaki’s sakura will begin to bloom on March 16, with full bloom around March 24.
Kagoshima’s sakura will begin to bloom around March 17, with full bloom around March 26.

Sakura blooming forecast for Kyushu as of 3/15/2018.

Sakura blooming forecast for Fukuoka as of 3/22/2018. This chart illustrates predicted percentage of blooms by date. Between 3/26 (Mon.) and 4/3 (Tue.) is predicted to be prime cherry blossom viewing in Fukuoka. Source.

Fukuoka Now Staff Recommend

As you can see, we have over 15 sakura locations to choose from! So here’s a shortlist of 12 spots where you can’t go wrong.

1. Maizuru Park (Chuo-ku)

1-8-1 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City
• Access: 5 min. walk from Ohorikoen Sta.
• 1,000 trees, illuminated at night.
• Free (special light-up area: one spot ¥300, three spots ¥600)
• BBQ area (fees apply)
• Parking: ¥150/hour
• Public toilets: available
• More info: Fukuoka Castle Sakura Festival

The Fukuoka Castle Sakura Festival runs from 3/24 (Sat.) to 4/8 (Sun.); with food stalls and trees and castle walls lit up from 18:00 to 22:00 (3/30: 19:00~). More info:

2. Atago Jinja Shrine (Nishi-ku)

2-7-1 Atago, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka City
• Access: 10 min. walk from at Atagoshita bus stop / 20 min. walk from Muromi Sta.
• 2,000 trees, illuminated at night (17:30~7:00)
• Free
• Parking: free
• Public toilets: available

3. Nishi Park (Chuo-ku)

1-2 Ohorikoen, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City
• Access: 5 min. walk from Arato 2-chome bus stop / 15 min. walk from Ohorikoen Sta.
• 1,300 trees, illuminated at night (3/23 ~ 4/9: 18:00~22:00)
• Free
• Parking: free *vehicles cannot enter or park between 13:00~8:00
• Public toilets: available

4. Nokonoshima Island (Nishi-ku)


Nokonoshima, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka City
• Access: Catch a ferry from Meinohama Passenger Terminal
• 100 trees, illuminated on these nights: end of Mar. to early Apr. 18:00~20:00 (Sat. & Sun.)
• Adult (HS and above) ¥1,200, ES and MS ¥600, over 3 years old: ¥400
• Parking: available next to Meinohama Passenger Terminal (¥500/day)
• Public toilets: available

5. Minami Park (Chuo-ku)

Minamikoen, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City
• Access: Dobutsuen-mae bus stop (Fukuoka Zoo) / 15 min. walk from Sakurazaka Sta.
• 1,400 trees, daytime only
• Free
• Parking: coin parking available nearby
• Public toilets: available
• Memo: wear comfortable clothes to walk around

6. Sannou Park (Hakata-ku)

1-9 Sanno, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka City
• Access: Sannoukoen bus stop / 8 min. from Higashi-hie Sta.
• 13 trees
• Free
• Parking: coin parking available nearby
• Public toilets: available
• Memo: stalls open during cherry blossom season

7. Higashi Hirao Park (Hakata-ku)

2-1-2 Higashi-hiraokoen, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka City
• Access: Higashihirao Koen-iriguchi bus stop
• 1,600 trees
• Free
• Parking: free
• Public toilets: available
• Memo: athletic facility at adjacent adventure forest

8. Sasayama Park (Itoshima City)

2 Maebarueki-minami, Itoshima City
• Access: Chikuzen Maebaru Sta. (JR Chikuhi line)
• 700 trees
• Free
• Enjoy hiking and see most of Itoshima from the top of the mountain.
• Parking: free (approximately five vehicles)
• Public toilets: available

9. Kamado Jinja Shrine (Dazaifu City)

883 Uchiyama, Dazaifu City, Fukuoka
• Access: 883 Uchiyama, Dazaifu City, Fukuoka (accessible by the ¥100 Mahoroba-gou Community Bus from Dazaifu Sta.)
• 200 trees, illuminated on these nights: end of Mar. to early Apr. from sunset ~ 21:00
• Free
• Parking: ¥400
• Public toilets: available
• Memo: A popular photo cherry blossom spot is at the shrine dedicated to kimon (northeast of Dazaifu Tenmangu)

10. Reisen Park (Hakata-ku)

7 Kamikawabatamachi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka City
• Access: 3 min. walk from Nakasu-Kawabata Sta. / 2 min. walk from Kawabatamachi Hakataza-mae bus stop
• 32 trees
• Free
• Parking: coin parking available nearby
• Public toilets: available
• Memo: popular spot in central Fukuoka for night cherry blossoms

11. Tenjin Central Park (Chuo-ku)

1 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City
• Access: 3 min. walk from Tenjin Sta.
• 30 trees along a path next to Yakuin Shinkawa River
• Free
• Parking: ¥380 for the first hour, after that ¥180/30 min. (basement parking, 7:00~23:00)
• Public toilets: available
• Reservation required for ohanami, accepted online from Mar. 1 (

12. Mt. Aburayama Citizens’ Forest (Jonan-ku)

855-4 Hibaru, Minami-ku, Fukuoka City
• Open: 9:00~18:00
• Access: Jonan-ku, Fukuoka City, 1-hour walk from ‘Abura-yama-danchi-guchi’ bus stop (Nishitetsu Bus).
• Approx. 2,000 trees
• Free
• Parking: normal-size vehicle ¥300, middle-size vehicle ¥1,000, large-size vehicle ¥2,000
• Public toilets: available
• Memo: During weekends and holidays, there is a direct bus from Fukudaiseimonmae (at Fukudaimae Sta.)

Other Spots in Fukuoka

Akizuki Sugi-no-baba
Akizukinotori, Asakura City, Fukuoka (Akizuki, Sugii no baba)
• Access: Kyodokan-mae bus stop, Amagi Kanko Bus from Amagi Sta. (20 min.)
• 200 trees, along a 500 m concourse.
• Free
• Parking:¥400
• Public toilets: available
• Memo: Akizuki Spring Festival is held on 4/1 (Sun.)


Asai Ippon-sakura

1151 Yamamotomachi Mino, Kurume City, Fukuoka
• Access: 1511-1 Yamamotomachi-minou, Kurume City (20 min. from JR Zendouji Sta.)
• Free
• One tree over 100 years. It is known as Yamazakura and is 4.3 m circumference and 18 m high.
• Parking: free (approx. 60 vehicles)
• Public toilets: available


Maruyama Park

19-1 Maruyama-machi, Tagawa, Fukuoka
• Approximately 1,000 trees (light up: sunset ~ 22:00)
• Free
• Parking: free
• Public toilets: available
• Memo: a festival is held annually from end of March to early April with food stalls and more, drawing in a lot of visitors.


Fukuoka Tower Sakura Illumination

2-3-26 Momochihama, Sawara-ku, Fukuoka City
• Access: Bus: Fukuoka Tower-minamiguchi / Subway: 20 min. walk from Nishijin Sta.
• Adults: ¥800, MS and ES: ¥500, over 4 years old: ¥200
• Illumination: 19:00~23:00 (3/17 ~ 4/9)
• Parking: 9:30~17:00 ¥500/30 min., 17:00~ ¥500/60 min. *two hours free parking when spending over ¥1,000 at Fukuoka Tower
• Public toilets: available
• Memo: Special sakura illumination patterns in intervals at night.


JR Hakata City

1-1 Hakataekichūōgai, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka City
• Access: Hakata Ekimae Hiroba (in front of JR Hakata Sta.)
• Illumination: 18:00~24:00 (2/26~3/25)
• Memo: Many small trees (not sakura) with lights attached to create an image of sakura. The large LED screen at Hakata Ekimae Hiroba will also project videos of sakura.

Kyushu’s Sakura Spots

As a bonus addition to the Fukuoka Now Sakura Guide, we’ve listed up one no-fail sakura spot for each of Kyushu’s other six prefectures – for those venturing outside the Fukuoka city limits!


Ogi Park

Ogi Park was selected as one of the Japan’s top 100 sakura spots, and one of Japan’s top 100 historical parks. A koi carp lake and various shrines add to the peaceful atmosphere of this magical sakura spot. There will also be nighttime illumination, including bonbori (paper lanterns). Illumination schedule irregular. Confirm before going:

185 Ogimachi, Ogi City, Saga
• 3,000 trees
• Free
• Light-up: end of Mar. ~ mid Apr.
• Parking: free
• Public toilets: available


Kameoka Park

Kameoka Park is well known for its cherry blossom trees, including Somei Yoshino sakura and nidozaki zakura. Enjoy your hanami picnic with the nearby Hirado Castle turrets as backdrop.

Iwanouecho, Hirado, Nagasaki
• Approx. 1,000 trees
• Free
• Parking: free
• Public toilets: available


Kumamoto Castle

Kumamoto Castle is by far the city’s most popular sakura spot. The view from Sakuranobaba Josaien is recommended.

1-1 Honmaru, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto City
• Free (charged areas are temporarily closed)
• 800 trees
• Parking: ¥200 for first two hours, ¥100/hour after
• Public toilets: available
• Because of the ongoing reconstruction due to the earthquakes in 2016, blue sheeting are spread across the area and ohanami picnics are not allowed.


Oita Castle Ruin Park

Sakura trees line the moat surrounding the historic castle, and the flowers reflect brilliantly on the water. Check out a google street view of the park during sakura season here.

4 Niagemachi, Oita City, Oita
• 68 trees
• Free
• Parking: None
• Public toilets: available


Shiroyama Park

Take a sakura-filled walk through this park in downtown Kagoshima that extends over Mt. Shiroyama (192 m above sea level). The mountain was formerly the site of a castle fortification and overlooks Kagoshima City, Mt. Sakurajima and Kagoshima Bay.

3819 Kokubukamikogawa, Kirishima City, Kagoshima
• 3,500 trees
• Free
• March: 9:30~17:00, April: 9:30~18:00
• Closed: Mon. (Tue. when Mon. is a holiday)
• Parking: free
• Public toilets: available


Darumizu Park

Located on the Darumizu Plateau at an elevation of 120 meters, this famous cherry blossom viewing spot, nicknamed “Cherry Road”, has some 3,500 sakura trees of several different varieties (including Somei Yoshino, Yamazakura, and Yaezakura). Stick around for the nighttime tree illumination during the Sakura Matsuri *(cherry blossom festival), which runs from late March to early April.

5724-1 Uryuno, Miyazaki City, Miyazaki
• 3,500 trees
• Free
• Darumizu Park Sakura Festival: 3/25 (Sun.) ~ 4/1 (Sun.) 12:30~15:30, light-up: sunset ~ 22:00
• Parking: available (free)
• Public toilets: available

Types of Sakura Trees

Japan has over one hundred types of sakura tree, including both cultivated and wild varieties. For centuries, they have been popular for decorative use in gardens and parks. The most popular variety is the Somei Yoshino, however you’re certain to see many other varieties during springtime in Fukuoka. Here’s a beginner’s lesson to help you notice some of the characteristics that differentiate the varieties of sakura

1. Number of petals: Wild sakura trees and the majority of cultivated trees have blossoms with five petals (e.g. Somei Yoshino). However, some species have blossoms of more than five petals. These species are called yaezakura, and range from those with around 20 petals (e.g. Ichiyo) to those with up to 300 petals (e.g. Kikuzakura).

2. Color of blossoms: The blossoms of a sakura tree can vary in color from the common light pink or white (e.g. Shogetsu) to more unusual varieties with dark pink (e.g. Kanzan), yellow or green (e.g. Ukon) blossoms. Some varieties’ blossoms even change color over the course of blooming.

3. Time of blooming: We associate sakura blossoms with springtime because the majority of trees bloom in the spring months, however it is not true for all varieties. Yaezakura are usually the last to bloom in spring, around four to five weeks later than five-petaled species, and some extreme varieties bloom in late autumn and even winter!


Most common cherry tree varieties

• Somei Yoshino (Yoshino Cherry)
By far the most common sakura tree in Japan, the Somei Yoshino was cultivated in Tokyo in the Edo Period. It has pale-pink, five-petaled blossoms and its fresh leaves do not emerge until after the peak of flowering, giving it an intense appearance.


• Yamazakura
This is the most common cherry tree variety that grows in the wild, rather than in cultivation. With five slightly pink, small petals, the blossoms appear at the same time as the Yamazakura’s fresh leaves, giving it a less intense look than the Somei Yoshino.


• Shidarezakura (Weeping Cherry)
These weeping cherry trees are among the most common and beloved in Japan. You’ll find two tree varieties – those with five petaled-blossoms, and those with blossoms of more than five petals (which bloom one week later).

©Taichiro Ueki


Sakura Vocabulary

Show your expertise and impress your picnic buddies by learning some seasonal Japanese vocabulary.

Sakura / 桜 / さくら: Cherry blossoms
Hanami / 花見 / はなみ : Cherry blossom viewing
Kaikayosou / 開花予想 / かいかよそう: Blooming prediction/forecast
Tsubomi / つぼみ: Bud
Sakihajime / 咲き始め / さきはじめ: Beginning to bloom
Migoro / 見頃 / みごろ: Best time to see
Gobuzaki / 5分咲き / ごぶざき: 50% bloom
Shichibuzaki / 7分咲き / しちぶざき: 70% bloom
Mankai / 満開 / まんかい: Full bloom
Chirihajime / 散り始め / ちりはじめ: Beginning to fall
Hazakura / 葉桜 / はざくら: Leaves


Updated in March 2018
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NOTE: The information presented here was gathered and summarized by the Fukuoka Now staff. While we have done our best to check for accuracy, there might be errors and details may have changed. If you notice any errors or changes, please contact us.

Fukuoka Prefecture
Published: Feb 27, 2018 / Last Updated: Mar 22, 2018