3 lesser-known cherry blossom viewing spots
Partners Information: Japan’s spring cherry blossoms are a must-see for visitors. In late March to early April, when temperatures begin to warm following the cold winter, cherry blossoms bloom across the country.
Today, we’ll introduce 3 lesser-known cherry blossom viewing spots.
This article is brought to you by Tobu Japan Trip.
1. Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa Memorial Park, Tochigi
Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa Memorial Park, built in 1899, was a holiday home for the Taisho Emperor. Of all Imperial Villas still standing it is the largest and is a designated Important Cultural Property.
The building and gardens offer insight into the architectural culture of Japan at that time and the grounds feature a variety of seasonal flowers. The centrepiece is the 400 year old weeping cherry tree, which is most beautiful around mid-April. The combination of historic beauty and the elegant weeping cherry make for a memorable and authentic Japan experience.
We suggest using the Nikko Pass – All Area to visit Nikko and also stop by Nikko Toshogu Shrine and Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa Memorial Park (separate entry fees apply).
2. Tsuruga Castle, Fukushima
Tsuruga Castle (restored in 1965) is notable for being the only castle in Japan with a red-tiled keep. The castle is the symbol of Aizu Wakamatsu and is an important historical site. In spring, around 1,000 Somei Yoshino cherry blossom trees bloom at the castle, which has been named one of Japan’s 100 Best Cherry Blossom Viewing Locations. Nighttime illuminations from April through May add to the experience.
We recommend the Yuttari Aizu Tobu Free Pass as it makes it easy to travel in comfort between Kinugawa and Aizu while also visiting other areas.
3. Gongendo Park, Saitama
Gongendo Park features around 1,000 Somei Yoshino cherry blossom trees which form a 1km long tunnel. It is one of the most well-known cherry blossom viewing spots in the Kanto Region, but practically unknown to international visitors.
The contrast between the blue sky, pink cherry blossoms and yellow rapeseed flowers in bloom is picture-perfect.
Nearby you can visit Tobu Zoo, another great cherry blossom viewing spot that includes an amusement park. Satte City is just under an hour away from Tokyo and makes for the perfect day trip off the beaten tourist trail.