10 Different Types of Cherry Blossoms in Japan
10 Sakura Species that can be found in Japan
Sakura (桜) is the Japanese term for cherry blossoms. It symbolizes birth and death, beauty and violence, which we can compare to human life.
In Japan, cherry blossoms are very sacred and are considered to be their national flower. There are laws that forbid cutting down every tree as well as picking flowers and there are corresponding penalties.
Although there are cherry blossoms in different countries, Japan is better known for having beautiful cherry blossoms.
Usually, the cherry blossom season in Japan is between March and April. When the flowers bloom it symbolized the spring.
However, their life is very short and last only about two weeks from the peaks of it’s beauty and then it gradually falls off.
One thing you might not know is that there are actually different types of cherry blossom trees in Japan. Some of which are found only in Japan. In this article, I will introduce 10 of these cherry blossom trees.
1. Somei Yoshino
Somei Yoshino (染井吉野) is the most common type of cherry tree in Japan. It is also known as Yoshino cherry and it is also the most planted cherry tree in Japan.
It’s appearance is beautiful, having pink with white coloring. It is pink at first but it turns white while it blossoms.
It usually blooms before the end of March up to the first week of April, especially in the Tokyo area.
By the way, the Sakura blossom forecast is based on this species.
2. Edo Higan
Edo Higan (江戸彼岸桜) are commonly seen in Honshu (Japan’s main island), Shikoku and Kyushu. It is also one of the wild species of cherry trees native in Japan.
It is also known as one of the longest-lived flowering cherry trees, said to live over 1,000 years.
Edo Higan usually start to bloom between the end of March to April. They have beautiful pinkish-white colored flowers with five petals.
Yamazakura (山桜) can be compared to the Yoshino cherry. It is one of the most basic kinds of Sakura in Japan. These are commonly seen in the Kanto area and the southern parts of Japan.
One of the characteristics of Yamazakura is that the leaves appear at almost the same time as it blossoms.
The blossoms usually start in mid-March for Kyushu and April for Kyoto and the Tokyo area.
4. Oshima Sakura
The Oshima Sakura (大島桜) or Oshima Cherry, has its origins in Izu Oshima Island. It is also one of the ornamental trees because of its large and white petals that appear alongside blossoms.
It is also one of the late-blooming cherry trees, usually blooming in April.
These are mostly seen in the Tokyo and Kanagawa area.
Kanzakura (寒桜) is one of the early blooming cherry trees in Japan. these usually bloom in March, but sometimes they can bloom as early as January. Hence the name Kanzakura, which literally means “Cold Sakura”.
Its appearance is light red and blooms in a small single flower.
The Kanhizakura (寒緋桜) is one of the more popular cherry trees which are mostly seen in the southern areas of Japan such as Okinawa and Kyushu.
It is also known for having a unique appearance. The shape of it’s flower is like a bell with vivid pink colors.
The blossoms usually begin between January and February.
Similar to the Yaezakura tree, the Kanzan cherry tree (カンザン) is also known as a “double blossoms” cherry which can have more than 20 petals per flower. Its color is a bright pink with lots of bunches.
Oyamazakura (大山桜) has its origin in Hokkaido and is mostly seen in the northern areas of Japan such as Hokkaido and the Tohoku area. It is also known as Ezoyamazakura.
The appearance of the leaves and blossoms are similar to yamazakura, having a vivid pink color.
The blossoms are usually between late April to the beginning of May.
Ukon cherry tree (うこん桜) is considered as an ornamental tree because of the extraordinary color that makes it stand out among the other sakura trees.
It has a bright yellowish-white color. It also belongs to the double blossoms cherry family whose petals reach 20 per blossoms.
10. Kawazu Sakura
The last cherry blossom tree type on this list is the Kawazu Sakura (河津桜). The name comes from the Kawazu town where there is a large number of such cherry trees.
Every year, the Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival is held in the town from the middle of February to March.
Kawazu Sakura belongs to the cherry tree family that blooms early. Unlike other cherry trees, it has a long blossom period which can be as long as an entire month.
You can check the best viewing spots for Kawazu Sakura in Japan from the below:
These are some of the different types of Sakura here in Japan.
Although there are some people who don’t like spring due to pollen allergies, many people look forward to admiring its inherent beauty.
For more info related to cherry blossoms, check out these other articles!