Hanami, or cherry blossom viewing, is one of the most cherished events of the spring season in Japan. Every year, popular sakura viewing locations announce the best days for hanami, and people throughout the island-nation flock to these locations to spend a day picnicking under the beautiful flowers. It's an event you'll definitely want to experience if you're in Japan during this season.

But in part due to the popularity of hanami, there are a plethora of places you can go to enjoy the bloom of the cherry blossoms. In case you ever have trouble choosing (they're all beautiful, after all) we've compiled a list of 10 sakura viewing spots in Japan you'll want to keep at the top of your list.

1. Matsumae Park (Hokkaido)

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Matsumae Park is home to over 10,000 cherry blossom trees and 250 varieties. From the end of April to the end of May, visitors can see all the blooming stages of the sakura, from early, middle, to late. The sakura trees against the backdrop of the Tsugaru Strait is a mesmerizing sight.

Address: Matsumae-cho Matsushiro, Matsumae, Hokkaido

Contact: 0139-42-2726

Best Time To Visit: 4/28~5/20

69th Matsumae Cherry Blossom Festival: 4/29/2016~5/20/2016

2. Kasumigajo Park (Fukushima)

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Kasumigajo Castle, also known as Nihonmatsu Castle, stands tall in this prefectural natural park. The area boasts 2,500 cherry blossom trees, spread out in a beautiful sea of sakura. The park lights up from 6:00PM~10:00PM every night during the sakura festival, a must-see for all visitors.

Address: 3-232 Kakunai, Nihonmatsu, Fukushima

Contact: 0243-23-1111

Best Time To Visit: Early~Mid April

Kasumigajo Park Cherry Blossom Festival: 4/10/2016~5/5/2016

3. Ueno Onshi Park (Tokyo)

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The mountains in Ueno have been a famous sakura viewing spot since the Edo Period. In more recent times, the park has become not just a place to see the cherry blossom trees, but also the location of the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, the Tokyo National Museum, and the Ueno Zoo.

Address: 3 Ikenohata, Ueno-Koen Taito Ward, Tokyo

Contact: 0338-28-5644

Best Time To Visit: Late March~Early April

4. Oboshi Park (Yamanashi)

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In this picturesque spot, 2,000 cherry blossom trees color the mountain summit in soft pink hues. From the park, you'll have an expansive view of Mt. Fuji, the Kofu Basin, and the Yatsugatake Mountains.

Address: 2175 Kajisawa Fujikawa, Minamikoma, Yamanashi

Contact: 0556-22-7202

Best Time To Visit: Late March~Early April

Oboshi Cherry Blossom Festival in Fujikawa: 3/28/2016~4/5/2016

5. Takatojoshi Park (Nagano)

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Takatojoshi Park has officially been designated as one of Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots, and Takato Castle as one of Japan's Top 100 Castles. There are over 1,500 trees adorned with small, dainty sakura flowers, and the area has long been considered one of the best sakura viewing spots in the country.

Address: Higashitakato Takatomachi, Ina, Nagano Prefecture

Contact: 0265-94-2552

Best Time To Visit: Early~Late April

Takato Cherry Blossom Festival 2016: 4/1/2016~4/30/2016

6. Mitake (Mie)

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For 1.5 kilometers from Isehonkaido Street to Shinpukuin Temple, 500 cherry blossom trees line up the path. Due to altitude differences and the large number of old trees, the sakura can be enjoyed for a relatively long period of time.

Address: Mitake Misugi, Tsu, Mie

Contact: 059-272-8085

Best Time To Visit: Early April~Late April

Mitake Cherry Blossom Festival: 4/9/2016~4/10/2016

7. Takaoka Koji Park (Toyama)

Takaoka Castle was first built by Japanese daimyo Maeda Toshinaga during the Edo Period, and the castle ruins have been made accessible as a public park since the Meiji Period. A ride on the excursion boats reveals gorgeous sakura on both sides of the river, as well as a breathtaking reflection of the trees on the tranquil water surface.

Address: 1-1 Kojo Takaoka, Toyama

Contact: 0766-20-1563

Best Time To Visit: Early~Mid April

Takaoka Cherry Blossom Festival: 4/1/2016~4/17/2016

8. Shukugawa Park (Hyogo)

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In this riverside park, sakura trees span the length of 2.8 kilometers from south to north. The 1,660 trees standing tall along the river is a sight to see, and the park is regarded as one of the most beautiful spots in Hyogo Prefecture.

Address: Shukugawa area, Nishinomiya, Hyogo

Contact: 0798-35-3611

Best Time To Visit: Late March~Early April

9. Nara Park (Nara)

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Around mid-late April of every year, this vast park spread out over 1,630 acres of land is adorned with small, elegant sakura flowers in full bloom. In addition to the cherry blossoms, the popular deer will also be there to welcome you to the park.

Address: 30 Noborioji Nara, Nara

Contact: 0742-27-8036

Best Time To Visit: Late March~Late April

10. Kintai Bridge (Yamaguchi)

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Considered one of Japan's top three bridges, the Kintai Bridge and its surrounding area is a breathtaking location to see sakura in bloom. Including the sakura trees in the adjacent Kikko Park, there are approximately 3,000 cherry blossom trees in this must-see location.

Address: Yokoyama Iwakuni, Yamaguchi

Contact: 0827-29-5116

Best Time To Visit: Late March~Early April


By - grape Japan editorial staff.