Translated by Shinji Takaramura
6 Picturesque Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots In Northern Japan
In this article, we introduce 2020's six best cherry blossom viewing spots in the Tohoku Region, located in northeastern Japan. Here you can enjoy cherry blossoms surrounded by amazing natural landscapes in springtime.
Written by MATCHA
Top Cherry Blossom Destinations in Northern Japan
The Tohoku Region in northeastern Japan provides you with a beautiful scenery as well as many wonderful sakura viewing spots. In this article, we will introduce the top six places to enjoy the sight of cherry blossoms in the Tohoku Region in 2020.
1. Iwate: Koiwai Farm
At Koiwai Farm, located in the hills of Mt. Iwate in Iwate Prefecture, sheep roam the pastureland. There is also a cow barn, along with other recreational facilities, so everyone from children to adults can have fun here. In springtime, although the cherry trees at the entrance of the cow barn come into full bloom, the lone cherry tree against the background of Mt. Iwate offers the best scenery. The green pasture, Mt. Iwate, and the single cherry tree create a picturesque viewing spot.
2. Akita: Kakunodate
Photo courtesy of Kakunodate Tourist Association
Kakunodate-machi, surrounded by the mountains in Akita, is an elegant sightseeing spot with samurai houses and rows of cherry trees. Some of the samurai houses are designated cultural assets by the Japanese government. The famous 300-year-old Shidarezakura (weeping cherry tree) of Kakunodate is designated as a natural monument by the government as well, so they are well worth a visit.
3. Yamagata: Matsugasaki Park
Photo courtesy of Yonezawa Tourist Association
Yonezawa City in Yamagata Prefecture is famous for its marbled Yonezawa beef. It is an attractive place to visit, with its wonderful environment and delicious cuisine.
The best spot to visit in Yonezawa is the Matsugasaki Park, a park built on the former site of Yonezawa Castle. Two hundred cherry trees surrounding the moat bloom in spring, and its reflection on the water is truly a sight to behold. Also, don't miss the red bridge spanning over the moat, along with the petals floating on the water.
4. Fukushima: Natsui Senbonzakura
Photo courtesy of: Industrial Promotion Section, Onomachi
There is a sakura spot called Natsui Senbonzakura (the Thousand Cherry Trees of Natsui) at Onomachi in Tamura County, Fukushima Prefecture. About 1,000 trees line up on both sides of the Natsui River stretching over a distance of five kilometers. It's a rural, beautiful landscape in the mountains, with the cherry trees stretching far into the distance.
The visitors can also enjoy the koi nobori (carp streamers), which appear all over Japan in spring, along with the cherry blossoms. Koinobori is usually displayed in the middle of April when the cherry blossoms have ended in the Kanto Region. So, a duet of the Koinobori and the cherry blossom is one of the special sceneries in this area.
5. Aomori: Towadashi Kanchogai Street
Photo courtesy JAPAN PHOTO LIBRARY ©Aomori Prefecture/©JNTO
Towada City, located in southern Aomori, has many sightseeing places, such as Lake Towada and the Towada Art Center.
There is a sakura spot located in the Towadashi Kanchogai Dori (Street), the public agencies district of Towada City, where the ground turns pink with the petals. 150 cherry trees bloom there in spring, coloring the city in soft pink. There are also 165 pine trees nearby, so the contrast between the green and pink makes for a splendid scenery.
Every year, the Towada Spring Festival starts from late April and ends in the middle of May. Open-air stalls appear in the streets, and the observatory lounge of the city hall building is opened to the public. The visitors can enjoy various activities, such as an exhibition of products, rickshaws, horseback riding, Yosakoi* dance performances, and Koto* recitals.
*Yosakoi: A unique style of dance that originated in Japan and that is performed at festivals and events all over the country.
*Koto: a traditional Japanese stringed musical instrument
6. Miyagi: Nishi Park
Photo courtesy of Nishi Koen Hanami Sponsorship
Nishi Koen, located at Sendai City in Miyagi Prefecture, is a famous sakura viewing spot. Visitors can experience Japanese Hanami (sakura viewing) here, enjoying drinks and food while sitting on blue tarpaulins laid out on the ground. Although a reservation is required in advance, air-conditioned tents equipped with cushions are also available, making this park a popular Hanami spot for the citizens of Sendai.
See Beautiful Cherry Blossom with Your Own Eyes
While photographs are incredible to take and look at, being able to see the landscape as it is colored by the cherry blossoms right before your eyes is an entirely different experience. If you have the chance, please go to the spots introduced in this article, and enjoy the real scenery.
Main image by Pixta