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Castles And Japanese Gardens! Top 5 Cherry Blossom Spots In Hokuriku
  • Castles And Japanese Gardens! Top 5 Cherry Blossom Spots In Hokuriku

Castles And Japanese Gardens! Top 5 Cherry Blossom Spots In Hokuriku

Toyama 2019.03.12 Bookmark

The Hokuriku Region of Japan can be easily reached from Tokyo by bullet train. It includes the beautiful cities of Kanazawa, Toyama and Fukui. Today, we will introduce the best cherry blossom viewing spots to visit in this area.

Translated by Jelena Kitamura

Written by chia

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Hokuriku Region includes the three prefectures of Ishikawa, Toyama, and Fukui. This region is on the northern side of the main island of Japan and is close to the Japanese Sea. Although it was once hard to reach from Tokyo due to limited transportation, you can easily reach the Hokuriku Region now via the Hokuriku Shinkansen, which has brought more travelers to the area.

This spring, we encourage you to visit the popular Hokuriku Region and surround yourself with lovely pink cherry blossoms at fascinating history-rich places such as Kanazawa Castle and Kenrokuen Garden!

Cherry Blossoms Forecast

Below are the first bloom and the full bloom forecasts for the Hokuriku Region in 2019.

Place First Bloom Day Full Bloom Day
Kanazawa March 30 April 1
Fukui April 2 April 7
Toyama March 30 April 2

Famous Cherry Blossom Viewing Spot in Ishikawa

Ishikawa Prefecture is a very famous area in the Hokuriku Region. It is also referred to as a “Little Kyoto” for its traditional Japanese atmosphere. Here you will discover many cherry blossom viewing spots where you can encounter Japan's history.

1. Kanazawa Castle

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Picture courtesy of HIDE & JELLY

Kanazawa Castle is a Japanese castle that was built by the clan of Maeda Toshiie, who ruled the Kaga Domain (*1). It is also considered one of the 100 top castles in Japan.

*1: Kaga is the former term for the southern area of present-day Ishikawa Prefecture. The use of "domain" refers to a certain region, or an organization, in which the land was divided during the Edo Period, which was ruled by a lord.

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Picture courtesy of HIDE & JELLY

The prominent figure of Kanazawa, Maeda Toshiie, was a daimyo during the Sengoku Period. He embraced the newest trends and helped developed Kanazawa, laying the foundations for its current economic, cultural, and educational structure.

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Picture courtesy of HIDE & JELLY

The life of Maeda Toshiie was portrayed and shown to the public with the 2002 NHK period drama television called “Toshiie to Matsu: Kaga Hyakumangoku Monogatari.” The drama tells about the love between Toshiie and his wife Matsu. It was popular with domestic viewers and helped Kanazawa gain popularity, too.

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Picture courtesy of HIDE & JELLY

Although some of the structures of Kanazawa Castle remain intact, the main tower (tenshukaku) and most main buildings, were lost to fire. Still, the harmony of the white walls and pink cherry blossoms are worthy of admiration and are entertaining to all visitors.

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Picture courtesy of HIDE & JELLY

Be sure to capture a photo of Ishikawa Gate. The cherry trees in full bloom along the castle walls make the gate stand out beautifully.The snowstorm-like blossoms dancing around it is truly moving.

2. Kenrokuen Garden

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Picture courtesy of HIDE & JELLY

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Picture courtesy of HIDE & JELLY

Kenrokuen is one of Three Great Gardens of Japan, along with Kairakuen in Mito, and Korakuen in Okayama. This traditional garden was built for the lord who ruled this domain in the past. It is situated next to the castle, connected by the castle’s Ishikawa Gate and Ishikawa Bridge, and only 5 minutes away from it.

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Picture courtesy of HIDE & JELLY

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Picture courtesy of HIDE & JELLY

The spacious garden of Kenrokuen was designed to be enjoyed while strolling. In addition to the cherry and plum (ume in Japanese) trees, you can also admire various flowers and trees. You can look forward a beautiful view no matter when you visit.

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Picture courtesy of HIDE & JELLY

The magnificent and refined culture of the Kaga Domain is preserved here in Kenrokuen and is a major sightseeing spot in Kanazawa.

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Picture courtesy of HIDE & JELLY

The path connecting the Kenrokuen and the Kanazawa Castle is decorated with many different species of the cherry tree. Upon admiring the two buildings that are a gift to posterity, we suggest relishing some warm and delicious tea and dango (rice dumplings) under a full-blossomed tree and reliving the glorious past of the Kaga Domain.

Toyama Prefecture

Toyama Prefecture lies east of Ishikawa Prefecture. It is known for the snow wall of Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, as well as the fairytale-like Gokayama historic village. You can also see some of the most fascinating cherry blossoms!

3. Matsukawa Park

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Matsukawa River is a river in Toyama City that flows by Toyama Castle. It used to protect the Toyama Castle, and had the important role of a waterway for transport and travel purposes.

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Picture courtesy of HIDE & JELLY

There are more than 500 cherry trees on the both sides of the Matsukawa River. Since the river isn’t that wide, the branches from the both sides intersect, creating a stunning cherry-blossom tunnel. This area is designated as one of the Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots in Japan.

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Picture courtesy of HIDE & JELLY

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Picture courtesy of HIDE & JELLY

If you’re planning your hanami (flower viewing) at the Matsukawa River, ride in a Matsukawa sightseeing boat. You’ll get to admire the wonderful pink ceiling completely made of the cherry blossoms. You’ll feel as if you somehow ended up in a fantastical paradise.

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Picture courtesy of HIDE & JELLY

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Picture courtesy of HIDE & JELLY

You’ll see seven bridges at the wider part of the river. Another fun part of riding the sightseeing boat is exchanging greetings with the people crossing.

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Picture courtesy of HIDE & JELLY

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Picture courtesy of HIDE & JELLY

It certainly is an enjoyable experience to witness the cherry blossoms reflecting against the blue sky early in the morning. However, gazing upon the flowers at night and the illuminated Toyama Castle creates a one-of-a-kind feeling. This is an opportunity to admire yet another beautiful cherry blossom scene.

Fukui Prefecture

Fukui Prefecture is known as the “kingdom of dinosaurs” due to the prominent Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum. It is a hidden gem for viewing cherry blossom viewing.

4. Cherry Tunnel of the Asuwa River

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Picture courtesy of HIDE & JELLY

Six hundred cherry trees grow beside the Asuwa River and create a spectacular tunnel when in full bloom. It is known as the “most magnificent cherry promenade in Japan” and it is also designated as one of the 100 Best Cherry Blossom Spots in Japan.

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Picture courtesy of HIDE & JELLY

The cherry tree tunnel of the Asuwa River is 2.2km long. It is is a popular walking path in spring for people living in Fukui Prefecture.

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Picture courtesy of HIDE & JELLY

The riverbed is overflowing with cherry trees. The harmony of pink cherry blossoms with other colorful flowers will make you want to spend a whole day just lying on the riverbank admiring the scenery.

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Picture courtesy of HIDE & JELLY

As the sun goes down and it gets darker, the illumination brightens up the ambiance. From afar it looks truly picturesque.

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Picture courtesy of HIDE & JELLY

There aren’t as many people around at night, so you can enjoy a relaxing evening of cherry blossoms.

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Picture courtesy of HIDE & JELLY

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Picture courtesy of HIDE & JELLY

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Picture courtesy of HIDE & JELLY

We also recommend seeing Asuwa Shrine, a prominent local shrine, where you’ll find a 370-year old shidare (weeping) cherry, and can experience both day and night cherry blossoms.

You can observe the graceful beauty of the single shidare cherry and the impressive sight of hundreds of cherries trees.

Asuwa River
Address: Fukui, Fukui, Tsukumo 1 Google Map
Access: 15 minutes by foot from JR Fukui Station
Official Webpage: https://www.fuku-e.com/lang/english/places_to_visit/sakura.php

5. Maruoka Castle

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Picture courtesy of HIDE & JELLY

Maruoka Castle, also known as Kasumigajo, is, alongside the Asuwa River. It is another spot that on the list of the 100 Best Cherry Blossom Spots in Japan.

Furthermore, it has one of the twelve remaining main castle towers in Japan and is designated as one of the Top 100 Castles in Japan. It is renowned for its stunning evening night cherry blossoms.

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Picture courtesy of HIDE & JELLY

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Picture courtesy of HIDE & JELLY

Maruoka Castle was built on a small hill, so it takes some climbing to reach it. However, the walk is very pleasant and romantic as you get to admire the cherry blossoms along the way up.

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Picture courtesy of HIDE & JELLY

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Picture courtesy of HIDE & JELLY

The remarkable sight of golden sunlight finding its way through the cherry blossoms will stop you in your tracks and make you forget about the time.

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Picture courtesy of HIDE & JELLY

When the sun sets, the night cherry blossom festival begins, allowing the visitors to take in a different view of the castle.

See the Cherry Blossoms!

The Hokuriku Region is an area where you can really appreciate cherry blossoms in the peaceful surroundings. This lovely region receives relatively fewer visitors compared to the Kanto and Kansai regions so you can enjoy the flowers leisurely. How about strolling and admiring cherry blossoms in Hokuriku this spring?

**This is a rewritten 2019 version, of an article published on March 2, 2017.

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.

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