Now Reports

Fukuoka Sakura and Ohanami Guide 2019

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.

2019 Sakura Forecast (as of Mar. 11)

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 20, one day later than last year. Full bloom is expected on March 31.
Oita’s sakura will begin to bloom on March 24, with full bloom around April 5.
Nagasaki’s sakura will begin to bloom on March 24, with full bloom around April 3.
Saga’s sakura will begin to bloom on March 24, with full bloom around April 2.
Kumamoto’s sakura will begin to bloom on March 22, with full bloom around April 2.
Miyazaki’s sakura will begin to bloom on March 24, with full bloom around April 3.
Kagoshima’s sakura will begin to bloom around March 27, with full bloom around April 6.

Sakura blooming forecast for Kyushu as of 3/11/2019. Source.

Sakura blooming forecast for Fukuoka as of 3/11/2019. This chart illustrates predicted percentage of blooms by date. Between 3/29 (Fri.) and 4/6 (Sat.) is predicted to be prime cherry blossom viewing in Fukuoka. Source.

Fukuoka Now Sakura Map 2019

To help you and your friends find a place to enjoy the ohanami season, we’ve made an online map of locations in Fukuoka known for nice sakura trees.

Fukuoka Now Staff Recommend

As you can see, we have over 20 sakura locations to choose from! So here’s a shortlist of 12 spots where you can’t go wrong.

1. Maizuru Park (Chuo Ward)

Photo provided by the City of Fukuoka

The Fukuoka Castle Sakura Festival runs from late March to early April, with food stalls and trees and castle walls lit up from 18:00 to 22:00.

1-4 Jonai, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
• Access: 5 min. walk from Ohorikoen Sta.
• 1,000 trees, illuminated at night (light up scheduled from late Mar. to early Apr. Check official website for details)
• Free (special light-up area: one spot ¥300, three spots ¥600)
• BBQ area (fees apply)
• Parking: ¥150/hour
• Public toilets: available
http://www.midorimachi.jp/park/detail.php?code=302001

2. Atago Shrine (Nishi Ward)

2-7-1 Atago, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka
• Access: 10 min. on foot from at Atago-shita bus stop; 20 min. on foot from Muromi Sta.
• 2,000 trees, illuminated at night (17:00~7:00)
• Sakura festival: 3/16 (Sat.) ~ 4/14 (Sun.)
• Free (Atago sakura sweets for ¥100 to first 1,000 visitors)
• Parking: free
• Public toilets: available
http://atagojinjya.com/

3. Nishi Park (Chuo Ward)

Photo provided by the city of Fukuoka

1-2 Ohorikoen, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
• Access: 5 min. on foot from Arato 2-chome bus stop; 15 min. on foot from Ohorikoen Sta.
• 1,300 trees, illuminated at night (details to be announced)
• Free
• Parking: free *vehicles cannot enter or park inside
• Public toilets: available
https://www.nishikouen.jp/

4. Nokonoshima Island Park (Nishi Ward)

©Nokonoshima Island Park

Nokonoshima, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka
• Access: Catch a ferry from Meinohama Passenger Terminal
• Approx. 260 trees, illuminated on these nights: 3/23 (Sat.) ~ 4/7 (Sun.) 17:30~20:00 (Sat. & Sun. only)
• 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
http://nokonoshima.com/en/

5. Minami Park (Chuo Ward)

Minamikoen, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
• Access: Dobutsuen-mae bus stop (Fukuoka Zoo); 15 min. on foot from Sakurazaka Sta.
• Approx. 400 trees, daytime only
• Free
• Parking: coin parking available nearby; Fukuoka City Botanical Garden parking lot: ¥500 ~ ¥2,000/day (depending on vehicle size)
• Public toilets: available
• Note: wear comfortable clothes to walk around!
http://www.midorimachi.jp/park/detail.php?code=302003

6. Sanno Park (Hakata Ward)

1-9 Sanno, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
• Access: Get off at Sanno Koen-mae bus stop; 8 min. on foot from Higashi-Hie Sta.
• Approx. 13 trees
• Free
• Parking: coin parking available nearby
• Public toilets: available
http://www.midorimachi.jp/park/guide.php?code=204001

7. Higashi Hirao Park (Hakata Ward)

2-1-2 Higashi-hirao Koen, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
• Access: Higashi Hirao Koen-iriguchi bus stop
• Approx. 1,600 trees
• Free
• Parking: free
• Public toilets: available
• Note: There’s an athletic facility at adjacent adventure forest (Otani Hiroba)
http://www.midorimachi.jp/park/detail.php?code=202002

8. Sasayama Park (Itoshima City)

2 Maebarueki-minami, Itoshima City
• Access: Chikuzen-Maebaru Sta. (JR Chikuhi line)
• Approx. 660 trees
• Free
• Parking: free (approx. five spaces)
• Public toilets: available
• Note: Enjoy hiking and see most of Itoshima from the top of the mountain.
http://www.ito.town/detail/index_912.html

9. Kamado Shrine (Dazaifu City)


Known for protecting the kimon (northeast) of Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, Kamado Shrine is also a popular photo cherry blossom spot.

883 Uchiyama, Dazaifu City, Fukuoka
• Access: 883 Uchiyama, Dazaifu City, Fukuoka (accessible by the ¥100 Mahorobago Community Bus from Dazaifu Sta.)
• Free
• 200 trees, illuminated on these nights: 3/21 (Thu.) ~ 3/31 (Sun.) from sunset ~ 21:00
• Parking: ¥400
• Public toilets: available
http://kamadojinja.or.jp/

10. Reisen Park (Hakata Ward)


A popular spot in central Fukuoka for night cherry blossom viewing.

7 Kamikawabata-machi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
• Access: 3 min. walk from Nakasu-Kawabata Sta.; 2 min. walk from Kawabata-machi Hakataza-mae bus stop
• 32 trees
• Free
• Parking: coin parking available nearby
• Public toilets: available

11. Tenjin Central Park (Chuo Ward)

1 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
• Access: 3 min. walk from Tenjin Sta.
• Approx. 50 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. Check official website on 2/25 (Mon.) for details.
http://tenjin-central-park.jp/

12. Mt. Aburayama Citizens’ Forest (Jonan Ward)


Admire view of cherry blossoms while hiking; from Mar. ~ Nov. (weekends and hol. only) there are direct buses from Fukudaiseimon-mae bus stop (at Fukudaimae Sta.)

855-4 Hibaru, Minami-ku, Fukuoka
• Approx. 2,000 trees
• Free
• Open: 24 hours
• Parking: normal-size vehicle ¥300, middle-size vehicle ¥1,000, large-size vehicle ¥2,000
• Public toilets: available
http://www.shimi-mori.com/

Other Spots in Fukuoka

Akizuki Sugi-no-baba

Photo: Asakura City

Akizuki Spring Festival is held on 4/1 (Sun.).

Akizukinotori, Asakura City, Fukuoka
• 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
http://www.city.asakura.lg.jp/www/contents/1297662798695/

Asai Ippon-sakura (Hotomeki no Ki)


The tree is over 100 years old. It is known as Yamazakura and is 18 m tall with a circumference of 4.3 m.

1151 Yamamoto-machi Mino, Kurume City, Fukuoka
• Access: 20 min. from JR Zendoji Sta.
• Open: 10:00~21:00
• Sakura light up from early Mar.
• Free
• Parking: free (approx. 60 spaces, 10:00~21:00)
• Public toilets: available
http://www.kurume-hotomeki.jp/event/?mode=detail&id=402036000083&isSpot=1

Maruyama Park


A festival is held annually from end of March to early April with food stalls and more, drawing in a lot of visitors.

19-1 Maruyama-machi, Tagawa City, Fukuoka
• Approx. 1,000 trees
• Light up: sunset ~ 22:00
• Free
• Parking: free
• Public toilets: available
http://www.joho.tagawa.fukuoka.jp/kiji00336/index.html

Fukuoka Tower Sakura Illumination


The tower reopened on 2/1 with added activities such as Virtual Reality (VR) binoculars and more.

2-3-26 Momochihama, Sawara-ku, Fukuoka
• Access: Ride a bus going to Fukuoka Tower and get off at Fukuoka Tower-minamiguchi bus stop; 20 min. on foot from Nishijin Sta.
• Illumination (tower only): 3/23 (Sat.) ~ 4/14 (Sun.) *Special sakura illumination patterns in intervals at night
• Adult: ¥800, JHS and ES: ¥500, over 4 years old: ¥200
• 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
http://www.fukuokatower.co.jp/lightup/

Ino Tenshoko Shrine

©久山町

On Mar. 30 various events will be held including mochitsuki (rice pounding), and bamboo illuminations.

604 Ino, Hisayama-machi, Kasuya, Fukuoka
• Approx. 200 trees
• Light up: 3/29 (Fri.) ~ 4/1 (Mon.) 18:30~21:00,
• Hisayama Ino Sakura Festival: 3/30 (Sat.) 10:00~20:00, 3/31 (Sun.) 10:00~16:00
• Free entry
• Parking: free (charges may apply on busy dates)
• Public toilets: available
http://www.town.hisayama.fukuoka.jp/kanko/spots/detail/45

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 (Saga)


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).

185 Ogi-machi, Ogi City, Saga
• 3,000 trees
• Light-up: 3/23 (Sat.) ~ 4/7 (Sun.) from sunset ~ 21:00 (approx.)
• Free
• Parking: free
• Public toilets: available
https://www.city.ogi.lg.jp/main/5526.html

Kameoka Park (Nagasaki)


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

Iwanoue-cho, Hirado City, Nagasaki
• Approx. 1,000 trees
• Free
• Parking: free
• Public toilets: available
http://www.nagasaki-tabinet.com/guide/370/

Kumamoto Castle


Kumamoto Castle is by far the city’s most popular sakura spot. The view from Sakura-no-baba Josaien is recommended.

1-1 Honmaru, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto City
• Viewing season: Late Mar. ~ Early Apr. *Miyukizaka Slope area special opening dates: 3/23, 24, 30 & 31 8:30~18:00
• Free (charged areas are temporarily closed)
• Approx. 800 trees
• Parking: ¥200 for first two hours, ¥100/hour after
• Public toilets: available
• Note: Because of the ongoing reconstruction due to the earthquakes in 2016, ohanami picnics are not allowed in the Miyukizaka Slope area. There will be a separate area for ohanami. Laying out your own picnic sheet a day in advance is not allowed.
https://kumamoto-guide.jp/kumamoto-castle/

Oita Castle Ruin Park


Sakura trees line the moat surrounding the historic castle, and the flowers reflect brilliantly on the water.

4 Niage-machi, Oita City, Oita
• 50 trees
• Free
• Parking: None
• Public toilets: available
https://www.oishiimati-oita.jp/spots/detail/CPID:9999900074991

Shiroyama Park (Kagoshima)


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 Kokubukamiko-gawa, Kirishima City, Kagoshima
• Approx. 2,000 trees
• Open: March 9:30~17:00, April 9:30~18:00
• Closed: Mon. (open if Mon. is a holiday and closed the next day)
• Free
• Parking: free
• Public toilets: available
http://www.kirishima-sjc.or.jp/shiroyama/

Darumizu Park (Miyazaki)

Located on the Darumizu Plateau at an elevation of 120 m, 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). Visitors flock here for the sakura festival, held at the end of March.

5724-1 Uryuno, Miyazaki City, Miyazaki
• 3,500 trees
• Darumizu Park Sakura Festival: 3/24 (Sun.) ~ 3/31 (Sun.) 12:30~15:30, light-up: sunset ~ 22:00
• Free
• Parking: free
• Public toilets: available
http://www.miyazaki-city.tourism.or.jp/tourism/spot/81.html

Ohanami How-to

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

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 ohanami party lasts all day, so be prepared with books, magazines, iPod dock & speakers, playing cards, or even a guitar!
• Plan your food: Stray from konbini snacks and opt for sakura-themed bento boxes from department stores or something homemade. Don’t forget the sake!

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.

Types of sakura trees – know your sakura!

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.

©pixabay

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).

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 Feb. 2019.
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.

Category
Events
Fukuoka Prefecture
Published: Feb 22, 2019 / Last Updated: Mar 12, 2019

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