Below is a list of Okayama's most popular spots for cherry blossom viewing (hanami), including the typical timing for best viewing in the average year and japan-guide.com ratings. See also our nationwide list of famous cherry blossom spots.

Handayama Botanical Garden••

Early April
15 minute walk from JR Hokaiin Station
Hours: 9:00 to 16:30 (until 21:00 during sakura festival)
Closed: Tuesdays (no closures during sakura festival), December 29 to January 3
Admission: 310 yen
With its 1000 cherry trees, this botanical garden becomes a very attractive hanami spot during the blooming season. Thanks to its location along a steep hillside, the garden features the sight of the cherry blossoms in combination with views over the city. There are lawned areas for picnics.

Korakuen Garden and Okayama Castle

Early April
See pages on Korakuen and Okayama Castle for access and hours
Korakuen features about 300 cherry trees in an orchard and spread across the gardens, while the neighboring castle grounds are decorated by another 200 trees. Additionally, there are countless cherry tress along the river that flows northeast around Korakuen along what is known as the "Asahi River Cherry Road" (Asahigawa Sakura Michi).

Takebenomori Park

Early to mid April
45-60 minute car ride north of central Okayama
Takebenomori Park is a spacious park in the hills north of Okayama with about 15,000 spring flowering trees of one hundred different varieties, including many weeping cherry trees. Lawned areas with views into the hills and wooden platforms for picnics provide a wonderful environment for hanami activities.

Ratings:    best of the best    best of Japan    outstanding

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