Kanazawa’s Best Cherry Blossom Spots

Greg Lane

With its snowy, Sea of Japan climate, Kanazawa’s cherry trees are in no hurry to flower, usually bursting forth from early to mid-April. This means the Kanazawa blossoms are usually about 10 days behind their cousins in Tokyo. So if you’ve mistimed your trip to see the fickle flowers in Tokyo, you can always hop on a train or bus to this lovely city. That said, the beautiful setting of Kanazawa makes doing hanami here a more than worthwhile trip all on its own.

kanazawa cherry blossoms
Photo by Gregory Lane

One of the great things about Kanazawa, is its compactness, so you could even do them all in one day. Luckily, most spots also encompass some of the city’s biggest attractions so you won’t be missing anything.

1. Along the Sai River

The Sai River is one of two rivers that run through Kanazawa, this one on the western side of the city. The main cherry blossom zone is on the east bank. Sitting under the trees, you can admire the ryokan and temple covered hillside of Teramachi which ascends on the other side of the river. Teramachi is also home to the Ninja Temple and neighbors the Nishi Chaya district, so this is a great spot to relax either before or after visiting these attractions.

 Sai River Riverbank Park

Photo by Gregory Lane

2. Kazue-machi Chaya district

One of the three famed teahouse districts of Kanazawa, Kazue-machi lines Kanazawa’s other major river, the Asano River. While teahouses line one side of the street, the other is lined with mature cherry blossom trees overhanging the river. In the evening, the blossoms are illuminated with lanterns.

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 Kazue-machi Chaya District

Japanese script:主計町茶屋街
Address:Kazuemachi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture
kanazawa cherry blossoms sakura
Photo by Kimon Berlin used under CC

3. Kanazawa Castle

Adjacent to Kenrokuen gardens, Kanazawa Castle provides a classical backdrop to the large cherry trees. While the view can be enjoyed at any time of day, the petals and castle are especially impressive after dark when they are illuminated with spotlights.

 Kanazawa Castle

Japanese script:金沢城
Address:1-1 Marunouchi, Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa-ken
Phone:076-234-3800076-234-3800
Hours:9am to 4:30pm
kanazawa cherry blossoms kenrokuen garden
Photo by Kyle Hasegawa used under CC

4. Kenrokuen Gardens

Right next door to the castle (accessible via a pedestrian bridge that spans the road dividing the castle and the gardens), Kenrokuen is not surprisingly the top spot in Kanazawa to get your hanami fix. With various varieties of sakura scattered throughout the park, you can just wander to your heart’s content. Be prepared for big crowds no matter what time of day. Kenrokuen is one of Japan’s most celebrated gardens and the reputation is deserved.

On the castle side of the park, you will find a small avenue of shops selling green tea and mochi sweet sets, ice cream and beer.

 Kenrokuen Garden

Japanese script:兼六園
Address:1 Kenrokumachi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture 920-0936, Japan
Phone:+81 76-234-3800+81 76-234-3800
Hours:March 1st to October 15th: 7am to 6pm; October 16th to end of February: 8am to 5pm

Read our Tokyo to Kanazawa travel post for all the ways to get there.

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Filed under: Things to Do
Tags: Castle, Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots, Cherry Blossoms, Flowers, Garden, Getaway, Hanami, Nature, Sakura
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