Every spring, Japan comes to life with pastel-hued blooms, drawing in crowds from all over the world. In fact, cherry blossom (sakura) season marks the most popular time to visit the diverse country.

Walk around Tokyo in spring, and you’ll see locals taking part in hanami, which is the act of viewing cherry blossoms. Some of the most popular spots include Ueno Park, Yoyogi Park and Yasukuni Shrine, where they enjoy a picnic at the park or host sakura viewing parties at night. However, if it’s your first time viewing cherry blossoms, you may want to choose to go to lesser-known spots — so you can fully immerse yourself in the experience without jostling through the hoards of tourists.

Get away from the crowds at these spots in Japan for a more zen setting for cherry blossom viewing.

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