Amazing Views! 4 Sakura Viewing Spots In the Kanto Region
FOUR SEASONS

Amazing Views! 4 Sakura Viewing Spots In the Kanto Region

2017.01.27

In order to enjoy the amazingly beautiful sight of the cherry blossoms, it is worth going on a one day trip out of Tokyo. We introduce here the best sakura viewing spots in eastern Japan.

Translated byShinji Takaramura

Born in 1959. Currently working as a freelance translator, after 21 years in various companies.

Written by Mami Wakamatsu

The Japanese welcome the spring rejoicing, as it is the sakura (cherry blossoms) season. There is a great number of hanami (sakura viewing) spots in the Tokyo metropolitan area, but if you venture into the nearby areas, you can also find hanami spots in hot spring areas, and also a little further in Kamakura.

In this article, we will introduce four unique spots in the Kanto Region, all of them offering sights that are a little different from Tokyo.

Also read: Japanese Encyclopedia: Kantō Region

1. Yokohama: Sankeien Garden

Photograph provided by Sankeien Hoshokai Foundation

Sankeien is an expansive Japanese garden, 175,000 square meters in size, located in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture. The garden, celebrating its 110th anniversary in 2016, started as a place to help and support young artists. It is said that many works of modern Japanese-style painting were drawn at Sankeien.

In spring, 300 sakura trees bloom in the garden. Precious historic buildings relocated from Kyoto and Kamakura are also spread out on its grounds, blending beautifully with the sakura. Yokohama is close to Tokyo, but you can enjoy a Kyoto-like, traditional Japanese scenery at Sankeien.

Sankeien Saryo, a teahouse in the garden, offers matcha tea and Japanese-style confections. In the spring, you can enjoy here ’Sakura Ice’, which contains small pieces of cherry blossoms and has a flavor that reminds of sakura-mochi, a traditional sweet specific to the season of the cherry blossoms.

2. Izu: Kawazu-cho

Photograph provided by Kawazu Tourist Association

The Izu area in Shizuoka Prefecture is famous for its hot springs. Many people visit this area, as it is only about two-and-a-half hours away from Tokyo.

Kawazu Station is one of the most prominent hanami spots in Izu. The Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival is held every year from February to March, and during the festival, free ashiyu (foot bath) spots open in three locations. There are various bathing spots as well, and some offer a view of the sakura.

Photograph provided by Kawazu Tourist Association

During the Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival, the sakura trees are illuminated at night. The riverside nighttime view is truly impressive and completely different from the daytime. It may be fun to compare them.

The temperatures are still low in the hanami season, but in this area, visitors can take in the view while soaking in a hot spring.

3. Kamakura: Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine

Photograph provided by Tsurugaoka Hachimangu

Kamakura, the old capital surrounded by natural settings, is an hour away from Tokyo. Tsurugaoka Hachimangu, a prominent shrine, is located here. The contrast between the pink sakura flowers and the shrine grounds is truly a beautiful sight.

The view of the shrine buildings and sakura against the backdrop of the hills surrounding the area is a sight that can only be seen at Kamakura. So walk around the vast shrine grounds, and take in the view of the sakura. From the station, it is a ten minutes walk to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu. Visitors can also enjoy strolling around the various souvenir shops and restaurants near the approach to the shrine.

4. Yamanashi: Lake Kawaguchi

Photograph provided by the Tourism Division of Fujikawaguchiko

From Kawaguchiko (Lake Kawaguchi) in Yamanashi Prefecture, visitors can enjoy the view of Mt. Fuji. The lake, about two hours away from Tokyo, is famous for its views of the mountain, which change every season.

In spring, sakura can be viewed along with Mt. Fuji. The altitude of this area is higher than Tokyo's, meaning that the sakura bloom in late April. Those who missed the sakura in Tokyo should visit Kawaguchiko instead.

Nagasaki Park is located by the lake and offers a great view of Mt. Fuji. Along with the sakura, the whole scene looks like it is a work of art. In mid-April, the sakura will be in full bloom, and the view in the crisp air should make a long, lasting memory.

Ohanami spots located around historic sites, in a hot spring area or near Mt. Fuji - they all have their appeals. Whether it is in an urban area or the countryside, whether it is night or day, sakura can be viewed in many different ways. Going to an hanami spot in an urban area may be convenient, but viewing the sakura in a natural surrounding on a sightseeing trip may also be fun.

Information

Sankeien Garden
Address: Kanagawa, Yokohama, Naka ward, Honmoku-sannotani 58-1
Business Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (The entrance closes at 4:30 p.m.)
During the "Kan’ou no Yube" (night viewing) period, the garden is open until 9:00 p.m. and the entrance closes at 8:30 p.m.
Fixed Holidays: From December 29th to 31st
Nearest Station: Negishi Station (JR Keihin-tohoku and Negishi Lines)
Access:
From Negishi Station/ Ten minute ride on the Yokohama City Bus to the Honmoku bus stop, and ten-minute walk to the garden.
From Yokohama Station Higashiguchi (East Entrance)/ Thirty-five-minute ride on the Yokohama City Bus to the Honmoku Sankeien-mae bus stop, and five-minute walk to the garden.
From Sakuragi-cho Station/ Twenty-five minute ride on the Yokohama City Bus to the Honmoku Sankeien-mae bus stop, and five-minute walk to the garden.
From Motomachi-chukagai Station (Minatomirai Line) Exit No.4/ Twenty-five minute ride on the Yokohama City Bus from Yamshita-cho bus stop to the Honmoku Sankeien-mae bus stop, and five-minute walk to the garden.
Admission: Junior High School Students and Up 500 yen, Elementary School Children/ 200 yen
Phone Number: +81-45-621-0635
Website: Sankeien

Kawazu-cho
Address: Shizuoka, Kamo district, Kawazu-cho, Hama, and nearby areas.
Business Hours:
During the Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival the sakura will be illuminated from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Nearest Station: Kawazu Station (Izu Kyuko Line)
Access: The sakura trees are located in front of the station.
Admission: Free
Phone Number: +81-558-32-0290
Website: Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine
Address: Kanagawa, Kamakura, Yukinoshita 2-1-31
Business Hours: 6:00 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Fixed Holidays: There are no fixed holidays.
Wi-Fi: Not Available
Credit Cards: Not Accepted
Nearest Station: Kamakura Station (JR Yokosuka Line, Enoshima Electric Railway)
Access:
From JR Kamakura Station Higashiguchi (East Entrance)/ Ten minute walk to the shrine.
From Enoshima Electric Railway Kamakura Station / Ten minute walk to the shrine.
Admission: Free
Religion: Shinto
Telephone Number: +81-467-22-0315
Website: Tsurugaoka Hachimangu

Nagasaki Park
Address: Yamanashi, Minamitsuru-gun, Fujikawaguchiko-cho, Oishi and Kawaguchi
Credit Cards: Not Accepted
Nearest Station: Kawaguchiko Station (Fujikyu Railway)
Access: From Kawaguchiko Station, take the bus headed for the Oishi area, and get off at Sanide-mae Nagasaki Koen Iriguchi bus stop. It is a three-minute walk to the park.
Admission: -
Phone Number: +81-555-72-3168 (Tourism Division, Town of Fujikawaguchiko)
Website: Cherry Blossoms of Nagasaki Park

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