Spring in Japan can only mean one thing: cherry blossom season. Here are some of the top spots for viewing the country in a beautiful shade of pink.
Meguro Canal, Tokyo
This concrete canal offers a wonderful contrast between manmade and natural as you wander down through the cherry blossoms. Aim to arrive from late March to early April, when the blossom will be at its best.
Daikaku-ji Temple, Kyoto
Daikaku-ji is a Shingon Buddhist temple in Uky?-ku, not far from Kyoto. Various emperors ruled from the fantastic grounds of the temple, whose cherry trees still blossom every spring.
Nara Park, Nara
This public park sits at the foot of Mount Wakakusa and is one of the oldest parks in Japan. Almost 2,000 cherry trees are planted across the park, which is also home to thousands of deer, making it one of the most pleasant hanami spots in Japan.
Goryokaku Fort Park, Hokkaido
This star fort in the Japanese city of Hakodate is one of Hokkaido's most popular cherry blossom destinations. The Goryokaku Tower Observatory gives a wonderful view from above of the surrounding fort and its spring blooms.
Hirosaki Castle Park, Aomori
The grounds that surround this famous Japanese castle are a famous for their fantastic cherry trees. Well over 2,000 trees fill the park and often bloom during Japan's Golden Week, at the end of April into the beginning of May.