Where to watch cherry blossoms on Okinawa 2022 Version

Where to watch cherry blossom on Okinawa

What you need to know about cherry blossom in Okinawa. 

  • The cherry trees in Okinawa and mainland Japan are two different species.
  • Okinawa cherry trees bloom earlier than those in mainland. Sakura season in Okinawa starts from January and lasts till mid-February. In mainland Japan, sakura season starts from end of March thru 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 mainland.
  • At the end of the blooming, the petals of Okinawa sakura fall intact to the ground, whereas sakura in mainland lose their petals one by one.
  • Most cherry blossom festivals around the island have been canceled in 2022 due to COVID. 
Okinawa Cherry Blossom Locations

Nakijin Castle Ruins, Nakijin

Nakijin Castle Ruins is a world heritage site. The fallen of the Ryukyu Kingdom started here after 3000 men from mainland Japan seized control of the Nakijin Castle. From Nakijin, they marched south and took control of the entire island with little resistance. 

Nakijin Castle Ruins provide a unique experience of enjoying sakura at night. 

Nakijin Castle Ruins Cherry Blossom at night

Number of Sakura trees: 400

Special Event
Sakura at night: Jan 26 – Feb 6, 2022, 18:00 – 21:00

Google Pin: https://goo.gl/maps/1Z5Jd8tU27Ao4tcr9

Sakura blooming history in 2021

Jan 16, 2021: 50% blooming
Feb 1, 2021: 70% blooming
Feb 6, 2021: 100% blooming


Yaese Park, Yaese

Yaese Park is a popular spot to enjoy sakura in South Okinawa outside Naha. Here you can enjoy a lovely walk up the hill with sakura on both sides and be rewarded with a fantastic view at the top. 

Okinawa Yaese Park cherry blossom

Number of Sakura trees: 500

Google Pin: https://goo.gl/maps/VPCYHcnkh6H5y5dTA


Mt. Yae, Nago

Mt. Yae is the largest cherry blossom site on Okinawa. During the blooming season, the entire mount turns pink. 

Mt. Yae Okinawa cherry blossom
Photo source: https://www.instagram.com/p/CLIiFkEDdRp

Number of Sakura trees: 7000

Special Event: Festival canceled.

Google Pin: https://goo.gl/maps/Q2jWUmz5izjiCsFK7

Sakura blooming history in 2021

Dec 31, 2020: start blooming
Jan 16, 2021: 20% blooming
Jan 26, 2021: 50% blooming


Nago Central Park, Nago

Nago Central Park is the most popular sakura site in Okinawa. This park has been one of the 100 most famous cherry blossom watching spots in the country for the last decade. 

Nago central park Okinawa cherry blossom spot
Photo Source: https://www.instagram.com/p/CKzuRW1jMuH/

Number of Sakura trees: 20,000

Special Event: Festival canceled.

Blooming period: Feb 1st – 14th, 2022

Google Pin: https://goo.gl/maps/Gswodr2xMLvybgWN9


Manko Park, Naha

Naha city Okinawa Manko park cherry blossom

Manko Park is an oasis in the busiest city in 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 eco system in Okinawa. 

Number of Sakura trees: 1,000

Google Pin: https://goo.gl/maps/ffyxzUhVt6m2no488


Yogi Park, Naha

Yogi park is a small park in the middle of the city. It is not a large place, and parking spots are difficult here. 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 thing.

Naha city Okinawa Yogi park cherry blossom

Google Pin: https://goo.gl/maps/4CWrECyDVmoRUwMYA

Are these all the sakura blooming sites on Okinawa?

Of course not.

After living on the island for six years, I still find more hidden spots every year. These are by no mean THE BEST, rather just popular because they have the most parking space available. The following are the hidden spots that TV and magazines don’t cover. They hide behind quiet neighborhoods all over the island. I love this list because I can genuinely enjoy myself with fewer people around at these locations. 

Hidden Sakura Spots on Okinawa, 2022 list

Nuri Creek Sakura Trail, Uruma City

A hidden gem deep in the heart of Uruma City. I have been to this site for the last few years. It is a quiet neighborhood with few people. It is a great place to enjoy sakura for those in central Okinawa and don’t want to follow the crowd. 

Number of Sakura trees: 1,000

Google Pin: https://goo.gl/maps/VZcoutEEqmVteKwd6

Izumi, Motomu

The cherry blossoms here are different from the rest on the island. The petals are almost white, and they bloom nearly one month later than other sakura on the island. 

Number of Sakura trees: 1,000

Google Pin: https://goo.gl/maps/3jAmUN9PR9pba1H47


Nuri Creek Sakura Trail, Uruma City

A hidden gem deep in the heart of Uruma City. I have been to this site for the last few years. It is a quiet neighborhood with few people. It is a great place to enjoy sakura for those in central Okinawa and don’t want to follow the crowd. 

Number of Sakura trees: 1,000

Google Pin: https://goo.gl/maps/VZcoutEEqmVteKwd6


21 Century Forest Park, Nago

I once stumbled upon this location and found many cherry trees blooming in the park. This hidden location is not mentioned anywhere, but the cherry trees are the tallest I have seen on Okinawa. This park is massive and has a beautiful, long beach. It is a beautiful way to spend the day here and get some quality time with the sakura.

Number of Sakura trees: 200

Google Pin: https://goo.gl/maps/7wUUYfT45H9xGcbU6


Awase Bay Ave. Trail, Okinawa City

This is a 5km long walking trail along the Awase Bay Ave. in Okinawa City. This trail is not known as a cherry blossom watching spot because the trees are in low density, but they are planted throughout the entire trail. The trees here usually bloom later in February. For those who miss the peak of the blooming season, here is a fantastic spot to catch up with the flower and enjoy a walk through a beautiful neighborhood. The trail is divided into a few sections by intersections on the main street. When you come to the end of a section, you will find yourself standing in front of an intersection. Look pass the intersection, and you will see the next section of the trail. 

Starting Point: https://g.page/awasebayfamima?share

End Point: https://goo.gl/maps/jLC2q6NLdZXcatAy5


Kakazutakadai Park

This is a hidden park in the local neighborhood & a site of the Battle of Okinawa, with play areas, an observatory & cherry trees. With cherry trees along the stairs cheering your way to the hill top, a spectacular view awaits. There is a huge play area for children to play and run, it is a great place for family. 

Bring your own drinks and snacks. There is no easy access to the convenience store at this location.  

Google Pin: https://goo.gl/maps/7dbqEG1p5MvbzCgy8

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