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Cherry Blossoms 2007
*ttv=tentative
Please note that due to the warm winter the blossoming of sakura this year is slighlty earlier than previous average.
Many of the sakura festivals will begin in late March depending on the blossoming conditions.
Iiyama Joshi Sakura Festival
The ruins of Iiyama Castle built by the orders of feudal lord Uesugi Kenshin is one of the very best sakura locations in northern Shinano region. About 400 someiyoshino blossoms cover the entire mountain in pink, and the cherry blossoms the narcissus blooming during the same season are equally gorgeous. From the castle ruins you can have a grand view of the Chikuma River (aka Shinanogawa the longest river in Japan) flowing down, and the mountainscape of Shiga Koen with snow left on its peak.
[Dates] mid April to early May (may change due to blossoming conditions)
[Place] Iiyama Joshi
Iiyama City, Nagano Prefecture
[Access] 15-min-walk from JR Iiyama Station
[Admission] Free
[Inquiry] 0269-62-2162 (Iiyama Chamber of Commerce and Industry)
>> Nagano Sakura Forecast and Spots
>> Nagano Prefectural Guide
 
Aizu Domain Tsurugajo Castle Fair
The Tsurugajo Castle Fair is a festival full of chances to experience Aizu traditional crafts at the same time as appreciating the cherry blossoms on the castle ground. The blossoms of the castle chosen as one of the 100 Best Cherry Blossoms Spots of Japan are illuminated at night from April 6th through May 6th.
[Dates] April 21st (Sat) – May 6th (Sun)
[Place] Tsurugajo Castle
Aizu Wakamatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture
[Access] 15-min-busride from JR Aizu Wakamatsu Station: short walk from Tsurugajo-Kita bus stop
[Admission] Free
[Inquiry] 0242-27-4005 (Aizu Wakamatsu Tourist Association)
[URL] http://www.tsurugajo.com/ (Aizu Wakamatsu Tourist Association)
>> Fukushima Sakura Forecast and Spots
>> Fukushima Prefectural Guide
 
Hakodate Sakura Festival and Night Sakura Illumination
600 sakura trees put on marvelous blossoms one after another, and the illumination and festival provides a fun and cheery atmosphere to view the night blossoms. Hakodate being a city with many western influences is one of the earliest places that started night blossom illuminations, which back then were gaslights.
[Dates] late April to early May
[Place] Hakodate Park
Hakodate City, Hokkaido Prefecture
[Access] 3-min-walk from Shiden Aoyagicho stop (tram)
[Admission] Free
[Inquiry] 0138-21-3431
(Hakodate City Forestry Promotion)
>> Hokkaido Sakura Forecast and Spots
>> Hokkaido Prefectural Guide
 
Kitakami Tenshochi Sakura Festival
Kitakami Tenshochi
10,000 sakura trees line along the Kitakami River for about 2 kilometers creating a marvelous sight in the springtime. During the cherry blossom festival there will be special flower-viewing boats touring down the river as well as sightseeing horse carriages going through the tunnel of pink and white. As the Children’s Day (May 5th) approach, 300 koinobori (cloth-made carps for Children’s Day) stream in the wind above Kitakami River. The blossoms are illuminated at night.
[Dates] April 18th (Wed) – May 5th (Sat&Hol)
[Place] Kitakami Park Tenshochi
Kitakami City, Iwate Prefecture
[Access] 10-min-busride from JR Kitakami Station: 0-min-walk from Tenshochi bus stop
[Admission] Free
[Inquiry] 0197-65-0300 (Kitakami Sightseeing Association)
[URL] http://www.kitakami.ne.jp/~ksa/
(Kitakami Sightseeing Association, Japanese)
>> Iwate Sakura Forecast and Spots
>> Iwate Prefectural Guide
 
Hirosaki Sakura Festival
Hirosaki Park
Hirosaki Park spreading around Hirosaki Castle is rich in nature particularly sakura, with its varieties ranging to about 50 including someiyoshino, shidarezakura and yaezakura and the number of trees counting roughly 2,600. The trees are already beautiful to view during the day, yet the sight of the night blossoms illuminated from sunset to 23:00 is truly breathtaking. The Sakura Festival hosts the National Competition of Tsugaru-jamisen (three stringed musical instrument native to Tsugaru region), Tsugaru Five Grand Folk Song Competition (Spring Neputa). The park is one of the 100 Best Cherry Blossoms Spots of Japan.
[Dates] April 23 (Mon) – May 5 (Sat&Hol) *may change due to blooming condition
[Place] Hirosaki Park area
Hirosaki City, Aomori Prefecture
[Access] From JR Hirosaki Station take bus for 15min to Shiyakusho-mae Koen Iriguchi bus stop: short walk
[Admission] Free for blossom viewing
Castle tower: Adults… Y300 / Children…Y100 (9:00-17:00)
[Inquiry] 0172-37-5501
(Hirosaki City Tourism Center)
[URL] http://www.hirosaki.co.jp/index.html
(Hirosaki Tourism and Convention Bureau, JPN / ENG / KOR)
>> Aomori Sakura Forecast and Spots
>> Aomori Prefectural Guide
 
Matsumae Sakura Festival
Matsumae Sakura Festival
The scale of the cherry blossoms in one of the most prominent sakura locations in Japan has about 10,000 cherry trees of 250 varieties, blossoming one after another for one full month. This park is one of the best places to have a grand view of various cherry blossoms together with the water as the park looks across the Tsugaru Straights. During the festival stages of folk entertainment such as Matsumae Kagura will take place and there is also a chance to try on warrior armors and take photos. The legendary Kechimyaku (Blood Vein) Cherry Blossom is placed on the temple grounds of Kozenji Temple located nearby.
[Dates] April 28th (Sat) – May 20th (Sun)
[Place] Matsumae Park & Matsumae Castle area
Matsumae Town, Matsumae County, Hokkaido Prefecture
[Access] 90-min-busride from JR Kikonai Station: 0-min-walk from Matsushiro bus stop
[Admission] Free
(*charged for castle tower entry)
[Inquiry] 0139-42-2746 (Matsumae Tourist Association)
[URL] http://www.e-matsumae.com/sakurakk/
(Matsumae Tourist Association, Japanese)
>> Hokkaido Sakura Forecast and Spots
>> Hokkaido Prefectural Guide
 
Tendo Sakura Festival Human Shogi
“Ningen Shogi”, real human shogi (Japanese chess), is a widely-known seasonal event of Tendo, the number one shogi piece producing city in Japan. The event has its origin in the story of Taikou Hideyoshi (Toyotomi Hideyoshi: one of the prominent rulers during the civil war era) enjoying an outdoor shogi game with his advisor, using his pages and maids as his pieces (pawns) under the full blossom of sakura at Fushimi Castle. This year the game is played at the top of Maizuru Mountain when its 2,000 sakura trees come into full blossoming. Other events take place as well during the sakura festival. Because there will be traffic regulation on the weekend of the game, free shuttle buses are available from stations including Tendo Station.
[Dates] Festival: April 8th (Sun) – April 29th (Sun)
Human Shogi: April 21st (Sat) – April 22nd (Sun) 13:00-15:00
[Place] Maizuru Mountain Peak
Tendo City, Yamagata Prefecture
[Access] 5-min-busride from JR Tendo Station: 15-min-walk from Tendo Terminal
[Admission] Free
[Inquiry] 023-654-1111
(Tendo City Tourism)
[URL] http://bussan-tendo.gr.jp/
(Tendo City Tourism Info)
>> Yamagata Sakura Forecast and Spots
>> Yamagata Prefectural Guide
 
Shibata Sakura Festival
Within this park known as one of the 100 Best Cherry Blossoms Spots of Japan grow roughly 1,000 sakura trees and the festival of the season hosts stages of Taisho-goto (Japanese harp), drums and dance performances in addition to the night blossom viewing and flea markets.
[Dates] April 10 (Tue) – April 25 (Wed)
[Place] Funaoka Joshi ParkShibata Town, Shibata County, Miyagi Prefecture
[Access] 15-min-walk from JR Funaoka Station
[Admission] Free
[Inquiry] 0224-55-2123 (Shibata Town)
>> Sakura Forecast and Spots
>> Miyagi Prefectural Guide
 
Nihonmatsu Sakura Matsuri
Kasumigajo Castle is a mountain castle spreading out on the mountainsides of a mild hill and its terrace park is a great place to enjoy cherry blossoms both from within and to view from outside. The park also offers a fabulous nightscape with about 1,000 paper lanterns illuminating the blossoms from 18:00-22:00. Kasumigajo Park is one of the 100 Best Cherry Blossoms Spots of Japan.
[Dates] April 10th (Tue) – May 6th (Sun)
[Place] Kasumigajo Park
Nihonmatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture
[Access] 20-min-walk from JR Nihonmatsu Station
[Admission] Free
[Inquiry] 0243-23-1111 (Nihonmatsu Tourist Association)
[URL] http://p133.pcsn.co.jp/~nihonmatsu (Nihonmatsu Tourist Association)
>> Fukushima Sakura Forecast and Spots
>> Fukushima Prefectural Guide
 
Koma Kaido Sakurasaku
In addition to the street stalls, food stands, local specialty booths and the illumination along the Kanchogai Street, horse carriages and horseback riding programs will take place as part of the cherry blossom festival in this city of horses. Many of the trees in this area are between 80 to 100 years old with graceful and dignified appearances as well as rich blossoms. The blossoms are good to see from any spot, but the most beautiful may be along the Kanchogai street as the deep green of the red pine trees and the faint pinkish white of the someiyoshino blossoms create a marvelous contrast.
[Dates] April 20th (Fri) – April 30th (Mon&Hol)
[Place]

Kanchogai-dori, etc.
Towada City, Aomori Prefecture

[Access] 10-min-busride from Towadashi Station (Towada Kanko Dentetsu Line): 1-min-walk from Chuo Byouin-mae bus stop
[Admission] Free
[Inquiry] 0176-24-1111 (Towada Chamber of Commerce and Industry)
[URL] http://www.towada.or.jp/
harumatsuri/harutop.htm

(Towada City, Japanese, photos)
>> Aomori Sakura Forecast and Spots
>> Aomori Prefectural Guide
 
Takada Castle Million People Sakura Viewing
Takada Park
Among all the famous cherry blossoms viewing locations in Japan, Takada Park boasts one of the best with rich green, unusual yet refined figure of the castle and water, attracting thousands of blossom viewers from across the country. In the vast park grow approximately 4,000 someiyoshino trees providing a soft and graceful sight during the day. The park gives an even more excellent and illusionary sight at night when the trees and castle are illuminated with the soft lights of 3,000 paper lanterns, casting reflections on the quiet water surface.
[Dates] April 6th (Fri) – April 22nd (Sun)
[Place] Takada Castle
Joetsu City, Niigata Prefecture
[Access] 6-min-busride from JR Takada Station: 0-min-walk from Takada Koen Iriguchi bus stop
[Admission] Free
[Inquiry] 025-543-2777 (Joetsu Tourism Convention Association)
[URL] http://www.city.joetsu.niigata.jp/
(Joetsu Tourism Convention Association)
>> Niigata Sakura Forecast and Spots
>> Niigata Prefectural Guide
 
Bunsui Sakura Festival Oiran Parade
The Bunsui Area is known as a great place to view cherry blossoms and is designated as one of the 100 Best Cherry Blossoms Spots of Japan. Bunsui Sakura Matsuri Oiran Dochu* is a beauteous parade of 3 oiran (courtesans of the old days) walking among the cherry blossoms in full bloom with 70 servants accompanying them. The sight of the three oiran Shinano, Sakura and Bunsui dressed in heavy yet gorgeous sets of dress kimono, wearing 15-cm-high geta sandals and walking in the distinctive manner called “soto-hachimonji” is so beautiful that the parade is otherwise called “Echigo no yume-dochu”, the Dream Parade of Echigo. Today the event is widely known and popular across the country that more than 100 people from all over Japan apply for the 3 oiran roles of the parade, and more for the servants.

*do(u)chu(u): dochu is a short name for oiran-dochu, and is the name for the walk the top courtesans made around the quarters, or the parade they made to escort their guests.
[Dates] Oiran Parade: April 15th (Sun) 12:30-14:00
Sakura Festival: 4/6 Fri - 4/28 Sat
[Place] Ohkozu Bunsui Riverbanks and Jizodo Honcho Area
Tsubame City, Niigata Prefecture
[Access] 20-min-walk from JR Bunsui station
[Admission] Free
[Inquiry] 0256-97-2111
(Tsubame City Tourism Bureau)
[URL] http://www.city.tsubame.niigata.jp/
kankou/event/od_66th.html
 
(Tsubame City Tourist Association Official Website, Japanese, video (left column middle button))
>> Niigata Sakura Forecast and Spots
>> Niigata Prefectural Guide
 
 
 
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