Now Reports

Fukuoka Sakura and Ohanami Guide 2017

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 hanami or “blossom-viewing” parties, picnicking, drinking and even singing karaoke in the city’s public parks beneath the riotous pink blossoms.


Photo: Photo provided by the City of Fukuoka

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2017 Sakura Forecast (as of Feb. 28)
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 hanami with better probability, refer to this website which offers updated forecast for sakura all around the country.


Photo: Sakura Weather Map


Photo: Sakura Weather Map


Photo: Sakura Weather Map

Weathermap’s forecast predicts the sakura to blossom later in 2017 than it did in 2016 (though 2016 was by all opinions an early year). The blossom will begin later than average.
• In Fukuoka, sakura will begin to bloom on March 24, later than average and 5 days later than last year. Full bloom is expected on April 4.
• Saga’s sakura will begin to bloom on March 28, with full bloom around April 6.
• Nagasaki’s sakura will begin to bloom on March 28, with full bloom around April 7.
• Oita’s sakura will begin to bloom on March 27, with full bloom around April 7.
• Kumamoto’s sakura will begin to bloom on March 27, with full bloom around April 7.
• Miyazaki’s sakura will begin to bloom on March 29, with full bloom around April 7.
• Kagoshima’s sakura will begin to bloom around April 1, with full bloom around April 10.

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Fukuoka Now Sakura Map 2017
To help you and your friends find a place to enjoy the hanami season, we’ve made an online map of locations in Fukuoka known for nice sakura trees. We have over 50 sakura locations to choose from, plus a shortlist of 10 spots recommended by our sakura-savvy staff.


View Sakura Viewing in a larger map

Fukuoka Now Staff Recommend

1. Maizuru Park (Chuo-ku)
The Fukuoka Castle Sakura Festival runs from Mar. 25 (Sat.) to Apr. 3 (Mon.); with food stalls and trees and castle walls are lit up from 18:00 to 22:00 (3/25: 19:00~).

1-8-1 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City
• Access: 5 min. walk from Ohori-koen Subway Sta.
• 1,000 trees, illuminated at night.
• Free
• BBQ area (fees apply)
• Parking: ¥150/1 hour
• Public toilets: available
• More info: Fukuoka Castle Sakura Festival

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Photo: Photo provided by the City of Fukuoka


Photo: Photo provided by the City of Fukuoka

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 (18:00~07:00)
• Free
• Illumination is only partial.
• Parking: available
• Public toilets: available


Photo: Photo provided by the City of Fukuoka

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 (3/24 ~ 4/11: sunset~22:00)
• Free
• Parking: ¥220/2 hours, after that ¥160/30 minutes
• Public toilets: available


Photo: Photo provided by the City of Fukuoka


Photo: Photo provided by the City of Fukuoka

4. Nokonoshima Island (Nishi-ku)
Nokonoshima, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka City
• Access: Catch a ferry from Meinohama Passenger Terminal
• Adult (HS and above): ¥1,200, ES and MS: ¥600, Over 3 years old: ¥400
*Entry fee changed from March 1, 2017
• Parking: available next to Meinohama Passenger Terminal (¥500/day)
• Public toilets: available
• 100 trees, illuminated on these nights: 3/25, 3/26, 4/1, 4/2 at 17:30~20:00


Photo: Flickr

5. Minami Park (Chuo-ku)
Minamikoen, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City
• Access: Dobutsuen-mae bus stop (Fukuoka Zoo) / 15 min. walk from Sakurazaka Sta.
• 400 trees, daytime only
• Free
• Memo: wear comfortable clothes to walk around
• Parking: ¥500
• Public toilets: available


Photo: Photo provided by the City of Fukuoka

6. Sannou Park (Hakata-ku)
1-9 Sanno, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka City
• Access: Sannoukoen bus stop / 8 min. from Higashihie Sta.
• 300 trees, illuminated at night
• Free
• Memo: stalls open during cherry blossom season
• Parking: coin parking available nearby
• Public toilets: available

7. Higashi Hirao Park (Hakata-ku)
2-1-2 Higashi-hiraokoen, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka City
• Access: Higashi Hirao Koen Iriguchi bus stop
• 1,600 trees
• Free
• Memo: athletic facility at adjacent adventure forest
• Parking: available
• Public toilets: available


Photo: Photo provided by the City of Fukuoka

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: available (about 5 cars)
• Public toilets: available


Photo: Flickr

9. Kamado Jinja Shrine (Dazaifu City)
883 Uchiyama, Dazaifu City, Fukuoka
• Free
• Access: 883 Uchiyama, Dazaifu City, Fukuoka (accessible by the ¥100 Mahoroba-gou Community Bus from Dazaifu Sta.)
• 100 trees
• A popular photo cherry blossom spot is at the shrine dedicated to kimon Northeast of Dazaifu Tenmangu
• Parking: available
• Public toilets: available


Photo: Flickr

10. Reisen Park (Hakata-ku)
7 Kamikawabatamachi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka City
• Access: 3 min. walk from Nakasukawabata Sta. / 2 min. walk from Kawabatamachi Hakataza-mae bus stop
• 32 trees
• Free
• Memo: popular spot in central Fukuoka for night cherry blossoms
• Parking: not available
• Public toilets: available

Bonus spots!

Tenjin Central Park (Chuo-ku)
1 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City
• Access: 3 min. walk from Tenjin Sta.
• 50 trees along a path next to Yakuin Shinkawa River
• Free
• Hanami booking at Tenjin Chuo Park Management Office (behind fountain hiroba)
*9:00~22:00 / max. 4 hours/group
• Parking: available (park basement parking)
• Public toilets: available
*pre-registration required for hanami (registrations can only be made at the Tenjin Central Park office)

Mt. Aburayama Citizens’ Forest (Jonan-ku)
855-4 Hibaru, Minami-ku, Fukuoka City
• Access: Jonan-ku, Fukuoka City, 1-hour walk from ‘Abura-yama-danchi-guchi’ bus stop (Nishitetsu Bus).
• During weekends and holidays, there is a direct bus from Fukudaiseimonmae (at Fukudaimae Sta.)
• 2,000 trees
• Free
• Open: 9:00~18:00
• Quiz rally, view of cherry blossoms while hiking
• Parking: available (normal: ¥300, middle: ¥1,000, large car: ¥2,000)
• Public toilets: available

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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 500m concourse.
• Free
• Akizuki Spring Festival is held on 4/2 (Sun.) Illumination: sunset ~ 22:00 (late Mar. ~ early Apr.)
• Parking: available (nearby)
• Public toilets: available

Asai Ippon-sakura
1151 Yamamotomachi Mino, Kurume City, Fukuoka
• Access: 1511-1 Yamamotomachi-minou, Kurume City (20 min. from JR Zendouji Sta.)
• Free
• Illumination: 19:00~21:00 (light-up period not decided yet)
• One tree over 100 years. It is known as Yamazakura and is 4.3m circumference and 18m high.
• Parking: available (about 60 cars)
• Public toilets: available

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)
• Rotation of two sakura illumination patterns every 30 min.
• Parking: available
*2 hours free parking when spending over ¥1,000 at Fukuoka Tower
• Public toilets: available

Fukuoka JR Hakata City
1-1 Hakataekichūōgai, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka City
• Access: Hakataekimae Hiroba (in front of JR Hakata Sta.)
• Many small trees (not sakura) with lights attached to create an image of sakura.
• Illumination: 18:00~24:00 (3/3 ~ 4/6)

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Kyushu’s Sakura Spots
As a bonus 2017 addition to the Fukuoka Now Sakura Guide, we’ve listed up one no-fail sakura spot for Kyushu’s other six prefectures – for those venturing outside Fukuoka city limits!

➤SAGA

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: https://www.city.ogi.lg.jp/main/5526.html

185 Ogimachi, Ogi City, Saga
• 3,000 trees
• Free
• Parking: ¥500/ each car
• Public toilets: available

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Photo: Kuroshatu

➤NAGASAKI

Kameoka Park
Iwanouecho, Hirado, Nagasaki
• 900 ~ 1,000 trees
• Free
• There are must see double-flowered nidozaki zakura at the Hiradojo castle (Kameokajo) park
• Parking: ¥500/ each car
• Public toilets: available

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Photo: Jorudan

➤KUMAMOTO

Kumamoto Castle
1-1 Honmaru, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto City
• Free (charged areas are temporarily closed)
• 800 trees
• The view from Sakuranobaba Johsaien is recommended
• Parking: ¥200/2 hours
• Public toilets: available

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Photo: Flickr

➤OITA

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. Another notable Oita option is Heiwa Shimin Park, with 800 cherry trees and night illumination.

4 Niagemachi,Oita City, Oita
• 68 trees
• Free
• Minamiaso Sakura Ueki Festival (end of Mar. ~ early Apr.)
• Parking: ¥500/day
• Public toilets: available

oita
Photo: Google maps

➤KAGOSHIMA
Take a sakura-filled walk through this park in downtown Kagoshima that extends over Mt. Shiroyama (107m elevation). 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
• Open ~17:00 in March, ~18:00 in April
• Parking: available (free)
• Public toilets: available

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Photo: ItsumoNavi

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Photo: ItsumoNavi

➤MIYAZAKI

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 (~22:00) during the cherry blossom festival. The Sakura Matsuri (cherry blossom festival) runs from late March to early April.

5724-1 Uryuno, Miyazaki City, Miyazaki
• 3,500 trees
• Free
• Memo: Darumizu Park Sakura Festival (end of Mar. ~ early Apr.)
• Parking: available (free)
• Public toilets: available

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Photo: Photo provided by the City of Miyazaki

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Hanami How-to
Once you’ve picked your blossom-viewing spot, it’s time to prepare your hanami picnic. We recommend gathering a big group of friends and dividing items to bring, so you don’t forget or double up on anything!

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Tips
• Reserve your spot: Spread a ground sheet to “book” your spot. It’s necessary if you want to secure the perfect spot in a popular park.

• Bring warm clothes: Once the warm midday sun starts to fade, it becomes cold, very quickly. Bring an extra jacket to last through the afternoon to evening.

• Bring entertainment: A good hanami party lasts all day, so be prepared with books, magazines, iPod dock & speakers, playing cards, or even a guitar!

• Plan your food: Stray from combini snacks and opt for sakura-themed bento boxes from department stores or something homemade. Don’t forget the sake!

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Some Dos and Don’ts
Do not take up more space than is absolutely necessary. If you are a party of four, only take up enough space for four.
Do not blast loud music or sing karaoke too loudly. Many people enjoy sitting under the trees in quiet. Hanami is NOT synonymous with a drunken party.
Do bring cleaning supplies such as gloves and garbage bags – and remember to separate your trash into burnable, non-burnable, and recycling. Be prepared to take your gomi (rubbish) with you when you go, since most hanami spots do not have adequate garbage disposal facilities.
Do not sit on or damage the tree roots.
Do not bend the branches of the sakura trees or cut off their branches or blossoms. Leave them for everyone to enjoy.
Do be considerate of others.
Sakura_Festival

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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!

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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).

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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

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Originally written in March 2016. Updated in February 2017
Copyright Fukuoka Now – including all text, photos and illustrations. Permission required to re-use in any form. Meanwhile, feel free to link to to this page.

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. This report was updated in February 2017.

Category
Events
Fukuoka Prefecture
Published: Feb 28, 2017 / Last Updated: Jun 26, 2017

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