The end of March/beginning of April is cherry blossom season in Japan. If you are in Nagoya during cherry blossom season, you must take the time to visit one of these cherry blossom viewing places. Here are eight of the best places to see cherry blossoms in Nagoya.

8 great places to see cherry blossoms in Nagoya

Symbolism behind the cherry blossoms

But first, do you know the significance of cherry blossoms in Japan? Although the pale pink flowers are beautiful just by themselves, there is much symbolism behind them. They represent the beauty and fragility of life itself.

We only have a few years of beauty before we start to whither and fall. The flowers bud, blossom, whither, and die just like we do. 🙂 The cherry blossoms represent how fragile our lives are. They can be knocked off the tree before their time is up due to wind or rain. The same way, our own lives could be cut short at any moment.

But they are also beautiful, and they are a reminder of how beautiful our own lives are. They remind us how precious our lives are and not to take it for granted.

While the cherry blossoms represent life and death, they also represent rebirth and renewal. They bloom at the same time of the year that children and adults begin a new year of school or work. April is when school and work starts, so the flowers represent a world of new experiences and new possibilities.

Who would have thought you could read so much into a flower, huh?

cherry blossoms in Nagoya

Viewing cherry blossoms in Nagoya

It’s the one to two weeks when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. People anxiously watch the cherry blossom reports, waiting until the blossoms are at their fullest. Then they gather in groups underneath the trees for picnics and parties.

Families, friends, coworkers, classmates. Groups of people meet on blue plastic tarps in the park to eat, drink, and sing. They often come early in the morning or the night before to reserve a coveted piece of ground. Parties can last all day, and even into the night, when some places put lanterns in the trees. It is completely normal to see drunk people in the park under the cherry blossoms.

Cherry blossom viewing is called hanami in Japanese. Although I’m not a huge fan of drunken parties in the park, but I do appreciate a good hanami. Learn how to take nice photos of cherry blossoms with just your smartphone. Here are a few great places to view cherry blossoms in Nagoya.

1 Nagoya Castle

Nagoya Castle is a great place to view almost any pretty seasonal change. And cherry blossoms are no different. If you are in Nagoya anyway I recommend visiting Nagoya Castle. If you come to the castle at this time of year to see cherry blossoms in Nagoya, it will be busy here. But if you want to see the pretty green roof behind the pale pink flowers, then check it out. If you can’t come during cherry blossom season, here is what Nagoya Castle is like during the rain.

cherry blossoms nagoya castle

2 Yamazaki River

This is my favourite place to see cherry blossoms in Nagoya. It’s my favourite because there is a river, plenty of cherry blossom trees, and not too many people. It’s a great place for a quiet picnic underneath the blossoms followed by a walk along the river. And you won’t have to deal with drunken crowds and people singing.

cherry blossoms yamazaki river
Cherry blossoms along Yamazaki River

3 Tsuruma Park

In my six years in Japan, I’ve been to Tsuruma Park twice to see cherry blossoms, and it’s pretty but I don’t really enjoy it. Because there are so many trees and places to picnic, there are sooooooo many people. It’s too crowded for me and hard to relax and have a good time. There are a lot of food stalls though and usually some street performers. If you don’t mind crowds and hunting for a place to sit, Tsuruma Park is a popular place. For more fun things to do in Nagoya any time of the year check out this post

cherry blossoms tsuruma park
Tsuruma Park cherry blossoms at night

4 Shirotori Garden

Shirotori Garden doesn’t have a lot of cherry blossom trees, but it has a couple interesting ones. They are more droopy and whipping-whillow-y. The flowers are also a tiny bit darker than the normal pale pink ones. Shirotori Garden is a nice place for an afternoon walk, cherry blossoms or no cherry blossoms. There’s a koi pond, a tea house, a waterfall, bridges, and pleasant paths throughout the garden.

A weeping cherry blossom tree at Shirotori Garden

5 Inuyama Castle

This is a bit outside of the main part of Nagoya city, but it is a beautiful place. It’s also one of the best castles in Aichi, so it’s worth a visit if you are in Nagoya. Not only will you get to see the pretty cherry blossoms in Nagoya, you’ll get to see a historic and unique Japanese castle. And if you are planning to take photos of the cherry blossoms (which of course, you are), check out these tips on taking creative photos.

cherry blossoms inuyama castle

6 Shonai Ryokuchi Koen

Shonai Ryokuchi Koen is large park in Nagoya with grassy areas and places to sports and picnic. There’s also a small pond where you can rent those little pedal boats, which is super fun! If you prefer, rent a bicycle and ride around the park as many times as you can in one hour – also fun. If you come here to see cherry blossoms in Nagoya, there are lots of activities and places to explore that will surely keep you busy for several hours.

shone ryokuchi koen
Pedal boat at Shonai Ryokuchi Koen

7 Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Garden

I went to Higashiyama Zoo once for the purpose of viewing the cherry blossoms in Nagoya. But I had so much fun looking at the animals, I didn’t even make it to the botanical garden. If you plan to do hanami here, decide how much time you will spend in the zoo and how much time you will spend in the garden.

cherry blossoms higashiyama zoo
Full cherry blossom tree at Higashiyama Zoo

8 Okazaki Castle and Park

This is admittedly outside of Nagoya. It’s in Okazaki city, to be precise. Obviously. But it’s around half an hour away from Nagoya, so it’s close enough, right? I haven’t been to the castle, but I have been to the park. It’s quite large, and you can spend a long time walking around. I even discovered an elephant and some turtles! Okazaki Park is also a great place to see autumn leaves.

cherry blossoms okazaki park

8 best places to see cherry blossoms in Nagoya

I hope this post has made you want to visit Nagoya during cherry blossom season. Spring is a great time to visit Japan because the weather is nice, and there are lovely flowers on the trees. Here is the cherry blossom forecast for Japan. Enjoy viewing cherry blossoms in Nagoya or anywhere else in Japan! Or if you prefer autumn, the mountains are perfect when the leaves are all red.

Do you have a favourite place to see cherry blossoms?

Author

Jennifer has lived in Japan for a total of seven years. She has travelled, taught English, studied Japanese, completed a Master's Degree, and travelled some more. She currently calls Nagoya her home, where she lives with her Japanese husband.

35 Comments

  1. I loved your interpretation of the cherry blossoms as a metaphor for the transience of youth and life itself. The season must feel like a surreal affair and Hanami is such a pretty word to capture the loveliness of it xx

  2. This is just spectacular. I love the cherry blossoms here but Japan takes it to another level. Nice post! Thanks for the follow.

  3. Great post Jennifer. It is so nice to meet you and read about you and the articles you are putting out. It is going to be enjoyable to follow along with you and see the world through your eyes and words for sure.

  4. I love the picture of the cherry blossoms with the bridge and waterfall in the back!

    • Thank you. It’s a nice little scene, isn’t it? The cherry blossoms are pretty by themselves, but the water makes everything even nicer.

  5. I really enjoyed the section on the significance of the cherry blossom in Japanese culture. I’m unsure of how well versed you are with Japanese film, but its interesting that in many of the classic jidai-geki films, they start with a shot of running water with cherry blossom trees next to it – signifying the ephemerality of human life and the impending death of the protagonist. It really is deeply rooted in society

    • I’m not well-versed in Japanese film, modern or classic. But this gives me something new about Japan to discover, so thank you. Of course the protagonist would be the one to die in a Japanese film. That I’m not surprised about. I think the significance of the cherry blossoms goes back hundreds of years, which makes it even more meaningful, I think.

      • Yes they have a long history – in fact, speaking of cherry blossom history, I’m from Washington D.C. and all the cherry blossom trees on the national mall and by the Lincoln memorial were gifts in 1912 from the Mayor of Tokyo to celebrate the growing friendship between Japan and the United States. I’ve watched them bloom so many times and have always wanted to see them in Japan. Your pictures and beautiful and just make me want to go even more!

  6. Always a Foreigner Reply

    The blossoms are amazingly beautiful! It seems as it would be so peaceful to just sit and be surrounded by the colors.

    • Yes, it is a nice place for a picnic and relax followed by a stroll along the path underneath the canopy of cherry blossoms or to play in the water. A peaceful way to spend an afternoon, especially if the weather is warm and sunny.

  7. That is a beautiful, contemplative post. I often think of the fragility of it all especially when I am in the lap of nature, so it makes me think that most of us do have a common thread of humanity linking us up. The cherry blossom shots are spectacular. I would love to see it one day in person and sigh about how poetic the sights are.

    • It’s good to think about our mortality every now and then. The cherry blossoms serve as a bit of a reminder I think. It does feel a bit sad when they have all fallen on the ground, and the pretty pink trees are finished. But then the branches turn green with new life, so it’s also hopeful. Though I sometimes wonder if this original symbolism behind the cherry blossoms has been forgotten. I hope you will get a chance to see them. Anywhere, but especially in Japan.

      • Yes life renewed and refreshed every year without fail. It is a heartening sight and thought. I wish the same – that I get to see it in Japan. It is special there. We have just a few here and there around Northampton which give me immense joy even though they stand in couples rather than in clusters. We gotta do with what we are given, right? 🙂

        • Absolutely! If there is only a pair of cherry blossom trees near you, then enjoy the heck out of them. Two are still beautiful, and a solitary one would be beautiful too 🙂

  8. Wow, such a fantastic explosion of blossoms, so beautiful!! 😌☺️❤️

    • Aren’t they? There were even some that weren’t completely open yet, My favourite though is when they are just starting to fall, and there are petals on the ground.

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