We are now in the best viewing period of the cherry blossom season, specifically for cities west of Tokyo that announced the opening of their first blossoms (kaika) at the end of March. Full bloom was officially announced in Tokyo today, a week after its kaika announcement. Other major cities like Osaka and Kyoto are about a day away from entering their best viewing period.

I visited Nagoya in central Japan today, after reporting in Kyushu, Kansai and Shikoku for the past seven days. I observed that the cherry trees are already in their best viewing and poised to reach full bloom by this weekend. Once reaching full bloom, the blossoms typically remain attractive for a week or so - baring inclement weather - before their petals start to fall. This coming weekend will be the best time for cherry blossom viewing parties (hanami) as the weather is forecast to be sunny and warm.

For more inspiration about other hanami spots in Nagoya and the surrounding prefectures, be sure to watch the video we filmed last year, covering two cherry blossom spots each in Nagoya, Mie and Gifu.

Meijo Park

Approaching Full Bloom

My first stop in Nagoya was Meijo Park, a spacious public park beside Nagoya Castle, containing the mainstream Somei Yoshino trees and weeping cherry trees. Today, I observed that the Somei Yoshino trees were already at their best viewing and need just a day or two to reach to full bloom, while the weeping cherry trees were just opening. I expect the best viewing period to continue till the middle of next week.

Nagoya Castle

Approaching Full Bloom

Nagoya Castle is a short walk from Meijo Park, and I found the mainstream Somei Yoshino trees to already be at their best viewing, and like Meijo Park, the remaining unopened blossoms only need a day or two before they open. I expect the best viewing period to continue through the middle of next week, and this coming weekend to be the best time for cherry blossom viewing parties.

A spring festival is held at Nagoya Castle until May 6, during which time festival food and drink stands as well as game stalls can be found on the castle grounds. Extended opening hours during the spring festival are as follows: 9:00 to 20:00 (March 23 to April 7) and 9:00 to 18:00 (April 27 to May 6). Admission ends 30 minutes before closing.

Note that it is not possible to enter the main keep of Nagoya Castle, which has been closed to visitors since 2018. But visitors can enter the reconstructed castle palace at the base of the main keep.

Tokugawaen Garden

Petals Starting To Fall

My last stop in Nagoya was Tokugawaen Garden, a Japanese landscape garden next to the Tokugawa Art Museum. A total of 17 Tokai cherry trees can be found at the entrances of the Tokugawa Art Museum and the garden, and I found that the petals had already started to fall. I expect this coming weekend to be the last chance to see some of these Tokai cherry blossoms. Inside the garden, there are three big weeping cherry trees, which had just started to open.