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2024 Where to Watch Cherry blossoms on Okinawa

What you need to know about cherry blossom in Okinawa vs in mainland Japan

  • The cherry trees in Okinawa and mainland Japan are two different species 🌳.
  • Okinawa’s cherry trees bloom earlier than those on the mainland. Sakura season in Okinawa starts from January and lasts until mid-February 🗓️. In mainland Japan, sakura season starts from the end of March through mid-April 🌸.
  • Okinawa’s cherry blossoms have a bell shape and hang down from the tree 🌺. The petals are dark pink compared to the almost white petals of the cherry trees on the mainland 🌼.
  • At the end of the blooming season, the petals of Okinawa’s sakura fall intact to the ground, whereas the sakura on the mainland lose their petals one by one 🍂.”


Cherry Blossom Sites in Northern Okinawa

Northern Okinawa is the home to the native species of Okinawa sakura 🌸. Due to the high altitude, rich soil, and moisture, Okinawa sakura usually starts blooming in the northern region and spreads south across the island 🏝️. Many people travel up the mountains to watch the cherry blossoms, and major festivals are held during the season 🎉. It is the best place to enjoy cherry blossom season in Okinawa 🌺.

Nakijin Castle Ruins, Nakijin Village

The 2024 Nakijin Castle Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates both the breathtaking sakura bloom and the rich history of Okinawa at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Nakijin Castle. This festival offers a unique experience for visitors to explore the illuminated pathways of the castle, surrounded by cherry blossoms, while reflecting on the island’s diverse heritage and culture, including its historical significance during the Ryukyu Kingdom era. This event not only showcases the natural beauty of sakura but also allows visitors to connect with the deep historical roots of the Nakijin Castle, where the downfall of the Ryukyu Kingdom began.

📅 Event Dates: January 20th (Saturday) to 28th (Sunday)

Mt. Yae, Nago City

The 46th Motobu Mt. Yae Cherry Blossom Festival, taking place from January 20th to February 4th, 2024, is a must-visit event for nature lovers and cherry blossom enthusiasts in Okinawa. This festival, set in the stunning Mt. Yae Sakura no Mori Park, features a scenic 4 km drive through over 7,000 Kanhi cherry trees, culminating in a breathtaking view of pink blossoms against the backdrop of the Motobu Town sea. Additionally, the festival weekends are enlivened with various stalls offering snacks and sweets, enhancing the experience amidst the serene beauty of cherry blossoms.

📆 Event Dates: January 20 – February 4, 2024

Nago Castle Park, Nago City

The Nago Sakura Festival, set for January 27th and 28th, 2024, is a renowned celebration of cherry blossoms in Okinawa, marking the onset of spring in Japan. The 61st edition of this festival will be held across various locations in Nago City, including Nago Central Park and Sakura Park, and is expected to attract a large audience, as seen in the previous year with about 170,000 visitors. Key attractions include cherry blossom viewing at Nago Castle Park, various performances and live music at Sakura Park, a festive parade along Nago Crossroads, and the Flower and Garden Festival at Nago Fishing Port.

📆 Event Dates: January 27th and 28th, 2024

Cherry Blossom Sites South Okinawa

Yaese Park, Yaese Town

The 2024 Yaese Cherry Blossom Festival, the 17th edition, offers a captivating experience amidst the cherry blossoms in Yaese Park, Okinawa, from January 22 to February 4. Festival-goers can enjoy a scenic stroll along a 200-step staircase surrounded by about 500 cherry trees, indulge in the panoramic views of the Kerama Islands and East China Sea from the top, and explore the natural beauty through hiking trails. Special features include night illumination with 150 lanterns, a relaxing foot bath at the observatory, a petting zoo on certain days, and live streaming of the event, adding to the festival’s appeal for nature lovers, families, and photography enthusiasts.

📅 Event Dates: January 22 to February 4, 2024

Manko Park, Naha City

Naha city Okinawa Manko park cherry blossom

Manko Park is an oasis in the busiest city of Okinawa. Besides cherry trees, there are many species of native plants, birds, and butterflies to be found in this park – a great way to learn about the ecosystem in Okinawa. In Manko Park, there are about 1,000 Hikan cherry trees (Taiwan cherry), and every year in early February, the cherry blossoms cover the park in dark pink. It is a popular place for walking and strolling.

Practical Information

🌸 Blooming Season: late-January to mid-February
📍Google Pin:
🅿️ Parking: Free

Yogi Park, Naha City

Naha city Okinawa Yogi park cherry blossom

Yogi Park is a small park in the middle of the city. It is not a large place, and finding parking spots here can be difficult. However, for those who live in this city, compared to driving all the way north to Nago or Mt. Yae, Yogi Park is the next best option.

Practical Information

🌸 Blooming Season: late-January to mid-February
📍Google Pin:
🅿️ Parking: Free

Are these all the sakura blooming sites on Okinawa?

Of course not.

There are many hidden spots on the island that continue to be discovered year after year, despite not being widely known. These places are not necessarily the best, but they are popular due to the ample parking space available. The following locations are often overlooked by TV and magazines, tucked away behind quiet neighborhoods across the island. These spots are cherished for the opportunity to enjoy a more peaceful and less crowded experience.


Hidden Sakura Spots on Okinawa, 2024 list

Nuri Creek Sakura Trail, Uruma City

This is a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Uruma City offers a serene spot to enjoy cherry blossoms up close. It’s an ideal place for walking dogs, spending quiet time with family, and a convenient option for those in central Okinawa who prefer to avoid crowded areas.

Practical Information

🌸 Blooming Season: late-January to mid-February
📍Google Pin:
🅿️ Parking: Free at the drug store near by

Izumi, Motobu Town

Discover a unique spectacle of cherry blossoms that stand apart from the rest on the island! These blossoms are characterized by their almost white petals, creating a stunning, ethereal display. Adding to their allure, they bloom nearly one month later than other sakura on the island, offering a delightful and unexpected extension to the cherry blossom season.

Practical Information

🌸 Blooming Season: mid-February to late February
📍Google Pin:
🅿️ Parking: Street Parking

21 Century Forest Park, Nago City

There exists a hidden location, not widely mentioned, where many cherry trees are in full bloom. This secret spot boasts some of the tallest cherry trees on Okinawa, set within a massive park that also features a beautiful, long beach. It’s a perfect destination for spending a day surrounded by the beauty of sakura and enjoying a serene getaway.

Practical Information

🌸 Blooming Season: February
📍Google Pin:
🅿️ Parking: Free

Awase Bay Avenue Trail, Okinawa City

This is a 5km long walking trail stretches along Awase Bay Avenue in Okinawa City, offering a unique cherry blossom viewing experience. Although the trail is not widely recognized for cherry blossom watching due to the low density of trees, cherry trees are planted throughout its entire length. These trees typically bloom later in February, making it an ideal spot for those who miss the peak blooming season to still enjoy the flowers. The trail is interspersed with intersections along the main street, dividing it into several sections. At the end of each section, an intersection leads to the next, allowing for a continuous and scenic walk through a beautiful neighborhood.

Practical Information

🌸 Blooming Season: late February
📍Google Pin
▶️ Starting Point:
▶️ End Point:
🅿️ Parking: Street Parking

Kakazutakadai Park, Ginowan City

A hidden park nestled in a local neighborhood, this site, which witnessed the Battle of Okinawa, offers play areas, an observatory, and cherry trees. Visitors are greeted by cherry trees lining the stairs, leading up to a hilltop with spectacular views. It features a large play area for children, making it an ideal destination for family outings.

Pro Tip: Visitors are advised to bring their own drinks and snacks, as access to convenience stores is not readily available at this location.

Practical Information

🌸 Blooming Season: mid February
📍Google Pin:
🅿️ Parking: Street Parking


As we welcome the new year, the promise of cherry blossoms in Okinawa offers a breathtaking reminder of nature’s beauty. The 2024 cherry blossom season invites you to explore these enchanting sites, each with its unique charm and story. From popular festivals to hidden spots in local neighborhoods to scenic trails, Okinawa blossoms into a tapestry of pink and white, creating memories that will last a lifetime. As you plan your visits to these spectacular locations, we wish you a Happy New Year filled with joy, discovery, and safe travels. May your journey through Okinawa’s cherry blossoms be as delightful and vibrant as the blossoms themselves.

Happy cherry blossom viewing and safe travels! 🌸🎆🌿

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The information provided in this website is for general informational purposes only. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, we cannot guarantee its completeness, reliability, or complete accuracy. Travel information, including attractions, accommodations, and transportation, may change over time. Readers are advised to independently verify details, check travel advisories, and make necessary reservations. We do not assume any liability for loss or inconvenience caused by relying on the information. Remember, travel experiences are subjective and vary based on personal preferences. Tailor your travel plans to your individual needs and interests. Happy travels!