Tokyo typically sees cherry blossom season between late March and early April. But if you travel around an hour south to the city of Atami, you can experience the gorgeous blossoms from January!
Main image: ACAO SPA & RESORT
Surround yourself with beautiful blossoms at ACAO FOREST SAKURA BLOOMING
Just 43 minutes south of Tokyo is the seaside hot springs town of Atami. With beautiful beach resorts, onsen ryokan, famous gardens, and a somewhat warmer climate than Tokyo, this area sees cherry blossoms blooming even in January!
One breathtaking place to see the early blossoms is at ACAO FOREST, a spacious 1.5-acre flower park. It's not only home to Japan's iconic sakura but also to 13 themed herb and flower gardens, giving it a magic you can enjoy in every season.
From now until February 27, 2023, the park is holding its ACAO FOREST SAKURA BLOOMING festival, where you can enjoy gorgeous cherry blossoms dying the area in beautiful pink hues, plus fun events!
During the festival, the COEDA HOUSE cafe, designed by famous Japanese architect, Kengo Kuma, will offer a special "hanami" (flower-viewing) set for 3,200 yen.
With baked goods, hot soup, and a drink of your choice for two, it's the perfect way to enjoy the tastes and sights of the season. Blankets and cushions are also available for rent, so you can enjoy your picnic as you like.
You can also try your hand at a variety of fun spring-inspired workshops (from 2,000 yen) at the Herb Workshop, including making spring wreaths, nail oils, and solid perfume with sakura and pink motifs.
To get to ACAO FOREST, take the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Atami Station. Then take the Tokai Bus or "Yu-Yu-Bus" and get off at the "Acao Forest" bus stop.
Admission is 2,000 yen for adults, 1,000 yen for elementary school students, and free for preschoolers. You can buy tickets at the link below for convenience.
ACAO FORESTACAO FOREST
- Address 1027-8 Kamitaga, Atami, Shizuoka 413-0101
Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
(Source, photos: ACAO SPA & RESORT)
While you're in the Atami area, there are several other pretty places to spot blossoms. The Itogawa Sakura Festival will be running from January 7 to February 5, 2023, and is a beautiful event to check out. You can read more in the article below.
If you're visiting the area, note that a trip from Tokyo to Atami is covered under the Japan Rail Pass and the JR Tokyo Wide Pass, which you can purchase at the link below.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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