If you're planning to travel in spring (Mar - May), be sure to check out the "Sakura Zensen" or "The cherry blossom front" which refers to the advance of the cherry blossoms throughout Japan. Although cherry blossoms may already be visible on the island of Okinawa, off in the southern part of Japan, from as early as February. The main stream of cherry blossoms will start from Kyushu in March and will end in Hokkaido in May.
If you're planning to travel in summer (Jul - Sep), explore Hokkaido when the fields turn into nature's magnificient piece of art. A must-see landscape, includes the famous lavender fields of Furano, attracting large numbers of visitors, both domestic and from overseas. Or head to Hirsohima to learn about the rich history of Japan and watch the fireworks light up the night skies in summer. Explore the different kind of "natsu matsuri", of Japanese summer festivals, that will be held throughout the months of July and August.
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Admire the symbolic pastel pink sakura - the Japanese cherry blossoms, by planning your trip to this amazing country during the spring season. In 2018, the cherry blossoms are expected to start blooming through the main islands of Japan in late March, from the southern island of Kyushu. View the "Sakurajima", the iconic mountain of Kagoshima, enjoy the famous food stalls or yatai of Fukuoka, and relax in the soothing hot springs or onsen of Beppu or Yufuin in Oita Prefecture.
Cherry blossom 2018 forecast
Estimated best viewing dates: April 1 to April 7
Blooming start: March 25
Hokkaido, the northern island of Japan, is one of the country's attractive destination spots. Not only including the various array of delicious cuisines, including their famous and tasty miso ramens and fresh seafood, the island is also the home of Shiretoko National Park, an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Visitors can explore the various faces this island holds, but it is only during the summer where one can awe at the amazing site of beautiful flower fields, including the town of Furano which is famous for their lavender cultivation. Be sure to take the train and explore the neighboring towns, including Biei, and come taste the popular lavender ice-cream in person.
Lavender blossom 2018 forecast
Early July - early August
There are many who wouldn’t argue with the idea that Okinawa is the very finest beach in all of Japan. Try Furuzamami Beach on Zamami Island or Kondoi Beach on Taketomi Island. Do also explore the 300,000-year-old Gyokusendo Cave and savour the famous Menya 7.5 Hz restaurant that specialises in cooking Takaida ramen (a representative of Osaka ramen).
Check out the Lily Festival on Ie Island, a 30-minute ferry ride away from mainland Okinawa. Moving around in Okinawa is easier if you rent a car since train service is limited on the island.
Lily Festival 2018
End April - beginning of May (1 week)
One of the highlights of planning a trip to Japan in the summer is to see the breath-taking lit night sky during one of the Hanabi Taikai (firework festivals) held throughout Japan during the months of July and August. Find spectacular firework performances - the Miyajima Fireworks Festival in Hiroshima Prefecture.
There are two world heritage sites in Hiroshima - Itsukushima Shrine (the only shrine in the world which has a torii-gate and shrine building in the middle of the sea) and Atomic Bomb Dome (where the first atomic bomb was dropped) of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial. This is a must-see heritage that you should see at least once in your lifetime!
Cherry blossom 2018 forecast
Estimated best viewing dates: April 4 to April 10
Blooming start: March 27
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