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?
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?