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13 Top Cherry Blossom Spots Near Hiroshima, Tottori, And Shikoku
  • 13 Top Cherry Blossom Spots Near Hiroshima, Tottori, And Shikoku

13 Top Cherry Blossom Spots Near Hiroshima, Tottori, And Shikoku

2019.03.10 Bookmark

These are 13 great places to view cherry blossoms in 2019 in Hiroshima, Tottori, Ehime, Kagawa and other parts of Japan's Chugoku and Shikoku areas. With traditional gardens and beautiful nature, these are sakura destinations not to be missed!

Translated by Shinji Takaramura

Written by MATCHA

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See Cherry Blossoms and the Best of Spring!

When spring hits Japan, you will be able to see the many cherry blossoms throughout the country. However, the flowers are here for a short time and last about one week after they reach full bloom.

Since they wither so quickly, it is common for even people living in Japan to not fully enjoy hanami (flower viewing). If you wish to immerse yourself in this tradition during the cherry blossom season, we suggest planning in advance.

This time, we would like to feature 13 locations in Hiroshima, Tottori, and Okayama prefectures in the Chugoku area. We also include destinations in Kagawa and Ehime prefectures in Shikoku.

These highly-recommended cherry blossom spots reveal a magnificent landscape with mountains, sea, and flowers. Even locals are awestruck when they visit.

Contents:

1. Miyajima, Hiroshima: Cherry Blossoms Leading to Itsukushima Shrine
2. Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima: Cherry Blossom Corridor for Peace
3. Kozan Sera Village of Friendship, Hiroshima: Street of Weeping Cherries
4. Senkoji Park, Hiroshima: Gaze Down at Sakura from the Mountain Top
5. Ueno Park, Hiroshima: Blossoms Reflecting in the Lake
6. Tsuyama Castle Kakuzan Park, Okayama: A View with the Stone Walls
7. Kurashiki River, Okayama: 1,000 Blossoms Along the Riverside
8. Utsubuki Park, Tottori: Dreamy Nighttime Illuminations
9. Kintaikyo Bridge, Yamaguchi: Beautiful Wooden Arches
10. Hii River, Shimane: A 2-kilometer Cherry Blossom Tunnel
11. Ritsurin Garden, Kagawa: An Award-Winning Three Michelin Star Garden
12. Shiudeyama, Kagawa: Islands Floating Past the Cherry Blossoms
13. Hirakiyama Park, Ehime: Family-Friendly Spot

Chugoku Area

1. Miyajima, Hiroshima: Cherry Blossoms Leading to Itsukushima Shrine

宮島

Picture courtesy of Hiroshima Prefecture
Designated as a World Heritage Site, Miyajima is well-known for Itsukushima Shrine. During the spring, nearly 1,900 cherry blossom trees throughout the island will be in bloom. With the sea as its background, the lovely pink blossoms against the blue waters make a beautiful contrast in color.

At the historical Komyoin Temple, you can see the cherry blossoms lit up at night in front of the Tahoto Pagoda, designated as an Important Cultural Property of Japan. The flowers illuminated by the bonbori (*1) lanterns create a dreamy atmosphere.

*1 Bonbori: A lantern made of paper or silk. A miniature andon.

Average Bloom Period:

End of March through early April

Miyajima

Address: Hiroshima, Hatsukaichi, Ebisumachi, Miyajima Google Map
Access: 10-minute walk from Miyajimaguchi Sanbashi Bridge. Ferry to Miyajimaguchi Sanbashi Bridge (180 yen) and walk 10 minutes.
Website: http://www.miyajima.or.jp (Japanese)

2. Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima: Cherry Blossom Corridor for Peace

原爆ドーム

Picture courtesy of Hiroshima Prefecture
After the bombing during World War II, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park was constructed with the hopes for world peace. This is where the World Heritage Site, the Atomic Bomb Dome, is located.

This location is also known for its stunning cherry blossom corridor. During the spring, nearly three hundred somei yoshino cherry blossoms bloom along the riverside and are lit up at night. We are sure you will feel at peace seeing the flowers surrounding the Atomic Bomb Dome.

Average Bloom Period:

End of March through early April

3. Kozan Sera Village of Friendship, Hiroshima: Street of Weeping Cherries

ふれあいの里

Picture courtesy of Hiroshima Prefecture
The Kozan Sera Village of Friendship is known for its street filled with weeping cherry blossoms. After strolling through the path of magnificent sakura arching above you, you will find a variety of different cherry blossoms such as the somei yoshino and the yaezakura. There is an expansive park in the village, making it a popular flower-viewing spot for families with young children.

The season for flower viewing is very short so it is advised to look at the blooming status (Japanese) on the official website prior to your visit.

Average Bloom Period:

Mid-April through late April

Kozan Sera Village of Friendship

Address: Hiroshima, Sera, Sera, Otani 1049 Google Map

Access:
20-minute taxi ride from Kawasa Station on the JR Fukuen Line.

Website:
http://www.kouzan-f.com (Japanese)

4. Senkoji Park, Hiroshima: Gaze Down at Sakura from the Mountain Top

Picture courtesy of Onomichi Tourism Association Institute

Onomichi is among Hiroshima's top travel destinations. Along with shrines, temples, historical landmarks, the Shimanami Kaido is a popular biking road allowing riders to see the beautiful blue waters of the Seto Inland Sea. One of the best cherry blossom viewing spots in Onomichi is Senkoji Park.

The park extends from the summit of Mt. Senkoji down the middle of the mountain, located roughly one hundred meters above the Seto Inland Sea. From the park, you can get a great view of the city along with the many islands in the Seto Inland Sea. During the spring, you can get this picture-perfect scenery with the cherry blossoms.

From the station, you can go to the summit on a ropeway and relax as you enjoy the panoramic view.

Average Bloom Period:

Early April

Senkoji Park

Address: Hiroshima, Onomichi, Nishi Tsuchido 19-1 Google Map

Access:
From Shin Onomichi Station, transfer to the bus bound for Onomichi Station via Nagae for 10 minutes. Get off at Nagaeguchi bus stop (190 yen). Transfer to the ropeway right by the bus stop and get off at the Sancho Station (adults fee: 320 yen).

Website:
https://www.city.onomichi.hiroshima.jp/site/onomichikanko/1316.html (Japanese)

Please note that Shin Onomichi Station and JR Onomichi station have similar names but are two different stations that are 45 minutes apart on foot. Shin Onomichi Station is for the Shinkansen (bullet train).

5. Ueno Park, Hiroshima: Blossoms Reflecting in the Lake

Picture courtesy of Hiroshima Prefecture

Ueno Park is famous for its cherry trees, which surround the two-kilometer-diameter Ueno Lake. Within the park, you can explore an ancient kofun (*2) that is designated as a prefectural historical spot.

At night during the Shobara Ueno Cherry Blossom Festival held annually in April, you can see the red bridge and bonbori lanterns illuminating the pink blossoms beautifully.

*2 Kofun: A massive grave for the ancient rulers of Japan.

Average Bloom Period:

Early April through mid-April

Ueno Park

Address: Hiroshima, Shobara, Higashi Honmachi Google Map

Access:
10-minute walk from Bingo-Shobara Station on the JR Geibi Line.

Website:
https://shobara-info.com (Japanese)

Note: Shobara City is located about an hour by car from Hiroshima City. It is advised to rent a car or take the bus if you plan on traveling in Hiroshima.

6. Tsuyama Castle Kakuzan Park, Okayama: A View with the Stone Walls

津山城

Picture courtesy of Tsuyama City Tourism Association

Tsuyama Castle is considered one of the top one hundred castles of Japan. The stone walls standing at ten-meters high add to the impressiveness of the castle. Apparently, there is a heart-shaped stone hidden somewhere in the castle walls.

The castle is also one of the top one hundred cherry blossom spots in the country. Over 1,000 cherry trees dye the castle in pink during the spring. At night, the flowers are lit up. Drawing many visitors, this is considered a staple sightseeing spots in Tsuyama. Admission to the castle is 300 yen for adults and children under middle school can enter for free.

Average Bloom Period:

Early April through mid-April

Tsuayama Castle (Tsuyama Park)

Address: Okayama, Tsuyama, Yamashita 135 Google Map

Access:
10-minute walk from Tsuyama Station on the JR Tsuyama Line.

Website:
http://www.tsuyamakan.jp/en/index.html

7. Kurashiki River, Okayama: 1,000 Blossoms Along the Riverside

倉敷千本桜

Picture courtesy of Kurashiki Convention & Visitors Bureau

倉敷美観地区(桜)

Picture courtesy of Kurashiki Convention & Visitors Bureau

Kurashiki is a popular tourist spot with retro machiya townhouses. There are many cherry blossoms in the Bikan area, but we recommend traveling further to see more.

Cherry trees bloom for three kilometers starting at Irifune Bridge in southern Kurashiki, blooming along the Kurashiki River. The cherry blossoms planted here are the kawazu zakura variety. Enjoy the lovely view of the flowers along the serene riverside.

Average Bloom Period:

Early March through late March

1,000 Cherry Blossoms of Kurashiki River

Address: Okayama, Kurashiki, Funagura and Aruki Google Map

Access:
20-minute walk from Kurashiki Station on the JR Sanyo Main Line.

Website:
https://www.kurashiki-tabi.jp/feature/2708/ (Japanese)

8. Utsubuki Park, Tottori: Dreamy Nighttime Illuminations

Picture courtesy of Tottori Prefecture

Mt. Utsubuki, considered a symbol of Kurayoshi City in Tottori Prefecture is listed in the top one hundred forests, designated by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishers. Utsubuki Park is located at the foot of Mt. Utsubuki. It is a wonderful place to see a variety of cherry blossoms. At night, 500 bonbori lanterns of all different sizes are lit up, transforming the cherry blossoms into a magical scene.

Another unique spot is at the Hagoromo Pond in the park. According to legend, if you release hodokigami, a special piece of paper, into the waters, any past incidents you want to forget will be erased. It is also said to grant future wishes.

You can purchase hodokigami at the Kurayoshi Shirakabedo Zogun Information Center so why not get one to forget the past, write your future wishes, and let it go into the pond?

Average Bloom Period:

Late March through early April

Utsubuki Park

Address: Tottori, Kurayoshi, Nakanocho Google Map

Access:
15 minutes by city bus bound for the city hall from JR Kurayoshi Station. Get off at Shiyakusho Utsubuki-koen Iriguchi bus stop (230 yen) and walk.

Website:
https://www.city.kurayoshi.lg.jp/gyousei/div/kensetsu/kanri/5/ (Japanese)
Please note that the Kurayoshi Shirakabedo Zogun Information Center is also right by the same bus stop listed above.

9. Kintaikyo Bridge, Yamaguchi: Beautiful Wooden Arches

錦帯橋(桜)

Picture courtesy of Iwakuni City

Kintaikyo Bridge is an iconic sightseeing spots in Yamaguchi. It is considered one of the Japan's three main bridges of Japan, in addition to Meganebashi in Nagasaki and Nihonbashi in Tokyo.

Kintaikyo consists of five bridges connected together. It is a wooden arch bridge that is considered unique even in the world. After its completion in 1673, it was destroyed due to typhoons but has been continuously restored by skilled technicians for over three hundred years.

During spring, Kintaikyo undergoes a stunning transformation. The cherry blossoms along the river are in full bloom and the area becomes very lovely. You can also board the Sakuraso boat to cruise down the river to enjoy the scenery (pay for the cruise when you ride).

There are also many seasonal flowers at the Kikko Park nearby that is also worth visiting.

Average Bloom Period:

Late March through early April

Kintaikyo

Address: Yamaguchi, Iwakuni, Yokoyama Google Map

Access:
15-minute bus ride bound for Kintaikyo from Iwakuni Station on the JR Sanyo Main Line. Get off at Kintaikyo bus stop (350 yen) and walk.

Website:
http://www.city.iwakuni.lg.jp (Japanese)
Note: The bus connecting Kintaikyo and Shin Iwakuni Station only runs once or twice every hour. Please be aware that it is not a convenient connection from the bullet train.

10. Hii River, Shimane: A 2-kilometer Cherry Blossom Tunnel

斐伊川堤防桜並木

Picture courtesy of Unnan City Tourism Association

This cherry blossom corridor extends two kilometers long on the banks of the Hii River! This location is also part of the top one hundred cherry blossom viewing spots. Over 800 trees brighten up up the riverside in the spring.

During the night, the bonbori lanterns are lit and create a fantasy-like atmosphere. With its many shops and stalls in business, this is considered one of Shimane's best flower viewing spots.

Average Bloom Period:

Late March through mid-April

Hii Riverbank Cherry Blossoms

Address: Kisuki, Unnan City, Shimane Google Map

Access:
Right by JR Kisuki Station.

Website:
http://www.unnan-kankou.jp/contents/sakura/59 (Japanese)

Shikoku Region

11. Ritsurin Garden, Kagawa: An Award-Winning Three Michelin Star Garden

Picture courtesy of Kagawa Ritsurin Park Tourism Office

Known for its udon noodles, Kagawa's famed Japanese garden is located in Ritsurin park. Constructed during the Edo Period, it is a famous historical garden.

The southern garden in the park continues to maintain its 300-year-old ambiance. It is the only designated Important Cultural Property of Shikoku. In 2009 it was nominated with three stars of must-go places on the Michelin Green Guide of Japan.

With six lakes and thirteen hills, the garden is filled with around 320 cherry trees. It is a place where you can enjoy traditional and natural beauty. There are restaurants to savor matcha green tea and lunch, so you can spend a day relaxing in the park.

This is a great cherry blossom viewing spot to see both the mountains and ocean landscapes. The serene atmosphere of nature is very comforting and the delicate, light pink blossoms allows you to relax even more. Why not take a moment to enjoy the peace along with the beautiful flowers? Admission is 410 yen for adults and 170 yen for elementary and middle school students.

Average Bloom Period:

Late March through mid-April

12. Shiudeyama, Kagawa: Islands Floating Past the Cherry Blossoms

紫雲出山

Picture courtesy of Mitoyo City Tourism Station

Mt. Shiude is on the western peninsula of Kagawa Prefecture that extends into the Seto Inland Sea. Here, you can see nearly one thousand cherry blossom trees in bloom. There is also a stunning view from the summit with islands floating in the sea.

People lived on the summit around 2,000 years ago. You can see the artifacts of the ancient inhabitants in the Mt. Shiude History Museum. Inside the museum, there is a cafe to enjoy some coffee while gazing at the wonderful view outside.

Average Bloom Period:

Late March through mid-April

Mt. Shiude

Address: Kagawa, Mitoyo, Takuma, Ohama 451-1 Google Map

Access:
30-minute bus ride bound for Nabuto from JR Takuma Station. Get off at Ohama bus stop. Transfer to the Shonai line (west loop) bus and ride for 5 minutes. Get off at Shiudeyama Tozanguchi (100 yen).

Website:
http://www.mitoyo-kanko.com (Japanese)

Please note that when you transfer buses, receive a transfer ticket. From the Shiudeyama Tozanguchi bus stop, it takes around an hour and a half to two hours to the summit.

13. Hirakiyama Park, Ehime: Family-Friendly Spot

Picture courtesy of Imabari City Tourism Division

Ehime Prefecture is renowned for Dogo onsen hot springs, said to be the oldest hot springs in Japan. Hirakiyama park is in Imabari City, on the 149-meter tall summit of Hirakiyama. During the spring, there are nearly one thousand cherry blossom trees, including the popular Somei Yoshino in full bloom.

The observatory, in particular, has a wonderful view. You can see Hakata Island, Oshima Bridge, Omishima Bridge, and Tatara Bridge. In the spring, the scenery with bridges, seas, and mountains get colored with cherry blossoms. In the park, kids can also have fun sliding down a thirty-six-meter long slide and play at the jungle gym. Families and people of all ages can hike, making this an ideal place to enjoy the seasonal flowers.

Average Bloom Period:

Early April through mid-April

Hirakiyama Park

Address: Ehime, Imabari, Hakatacho, Ikata 108-38 Google Map

Access:
40-minute bus ride bound for Oshima from Imabari Station on the JR Yosan Line. Get off at Hakatajima Bus Stop (860 yen.) Transfer to the island bus Hakatajima loop line (looping Kitaura) for 5 minutes. Get off at Kumago (120 yen) and walk 20 minutes.

Website: https://www.shikoku.gr.jp/spot/1004 (Japanese)

Take in the Cherry Blossoms in Central Japan and Shikoku

Chugoku and Shikoku areas are filled with many areas with great wildlife and historical structures. When you visit during the cherry blossom season, you will see unforgettably gorgeous flowers. As some of these places are difficult to access, we advise preparing in advance and giving yourself enough time when visiting.

This article was originally published on February 15, 2016, and has been re-written with updated information for 2019.

Cherry Blossom Viewing Basic Guide

Cherry Blossom Spots Around Japan

Hidden Cherry Blossom Spots and Other Tips

The Beauty of Cherry Blossoms

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