The Best Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots in Okinawa
If you’re fortunate enough to be in Okinawa between late January and early February you will be among the first people in Japan to experience the yearly cherry blossoms. Actually, Spring is a period when the archipelago becomes famous for more than its beaches as there many spots where you can enjoy cherry blossom festivals. Here we will reveal the most recommended spots and festivals you can attend.
Naha Chura Cherry Blossom Festival
The Naha Chura Cherry Blossom festival is held in Manko Park which is a natural wetland area located in Naha City. Throughout the year Manko Park is known for its many bird species, mangroves and walking trails but in the first half of February the place becomes magically transformed as its 1,000 sakura trees go into full bloom.
A weekend festival is held on the first or sometimes second weekend of February. Regardless of whether or not you attend the festival, its still an incredible experience to walk along petal covered trails underneath sakura trees.
|Where?||Manko Park, 3-23-1 Kohagura, Naha, Okinawa 900-0024|
|When?||10 – 11 February||Admission Fee||Free|
Motobu Yaedake Cherry Blossom Festival
In late January the entire Mount Yaedake becomes vibrantly pink as more than 7,000 sakura trees go into full bloom. This is the very first Japanese cherry blossom festival of the year and is celebrated with a number of fun events: The Miss Sakura beauty pageant, a musical performance by the Motobu Junior High School brass band, traditional taiko drumming, various kids shows, a game of tug-of-war and lots of dancing.
People can enjoy picnics in beautiful bright pink settings during the day while the evenings are ideal for taking romantic walks along the breathtaking sakura lined illuminated streets.
|Where?||Yaedake Sakura-no-Mori Park, 921 Namizato, Motobu-cho, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa 905-0222|
|When?||20 January – 4 February||Admission Fee||Free|
Nago Castle Park Cherry Blossom Festival
The Nago Cherry Blossom Festival takes place in the Central Park each year on the last weekend of January. People can enjoy surreal sceneries provided by 25,000 sakura trees while doing forest walks, exploring the castle ruins and the Nago shrine. Also, the festivities extends beyond the park all the way to the downtown area so there’s space for everyone.
Besides the sakura, the Nago Central Park is a highly popular destination in its own right. Other attractions include: Food stalls, an observatory overlooking Nago City with the East China sea, a kids play area and a suspension bridge.
|Where?||Nago Central Park, 905-0012 Okinawa Prefecture, Nago, 5511|
|When?||27 – 28 January||Admission Fee||Free|
Nakijin Gusuku Cherry Blossom Festival
The Nakijin Castle Ruins is a popular tourist destination and for good reason but during the cherry blossom season it becomes so much better. At the festival visitors can enjoy food stalls along with a variety of other activities but it’s the evening illuminations which truly makes the place look surreal.
|Where?||5101 Imadomari, Nakijin, Kunigami District, Okinawa Prefecture 905-0428, Japan|
|When?||28 January – 12 February||Admission Fee||Free|
Yaese Park Cherry Blossom Festival
Yaese Park sits on an elevated piece of land and is part of the Yaese Castle grounds. From here you will see a spectacular view of southern Naha city and the Kerama Islands, however it’s the walkway lined with 500 cherry blossom trees which really stands out. For a truly surreal experience walk the pathway between 6 and 9pm when the sakura trees are beautifully lit up.
|Where?||Tomori, Yaese, Shimajiri District, Okinawa Prefecture 901-0402, Japan|
|When?||4 – 12 February||Admission Fee||Free|
Yogi Park Cherry Blossom Festival
Each year from February to March the 400 sakura trees lined along the Yogi river banks are in full bloom. The actual park is located within Naha City and during cherry blossom season you will see families / couples having picnics along the pink petal covered riverbanks. During the festival you can enjoy a number of cultural presentations and food stalls while kids can be entertained at the petting zoo and large outdoor play area.
|Where?||1-1 Yogi, Naha 902-0076, Okinawa Prefecture|
|When?||8 – 12 February||Admission Fee||Free|
Visit the official website of Yaese Park here.