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Beautiful Even At Night! 4 Cherry Blossom Spots In Niigata
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  • Beautiful Even At Night! 4 Cherry Blossom Spots In Niigata

Beautiful Even At Night! 4 Cherry Blossom Spots In Niigata

Niigata 2019.03.13 Bookmark

When you think of a Japanese spring, viewing the cherry blossoms comes to mind. For travelers this spring, we’d like to introduce you to spots easily accessible from Niigata Station where you can view the cherry blossoms, based on the 2018 forecast.

Translated by MATCHA_En

Written by madoka hasegawa

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The cherry blossoms in Niigata city, Niigata prefecture, bloom slightly later than those in Tokyo and the rest of western Japan; fully blooming at around the beginning of April until about halfway through the month. For those who’ve come all this way to Japan but didn’t make it in time to see the cherry blossoms in full bloom, why not make your way to Niigata prefecture and enjoy the cherry blossoms there?

From out of all the wonderful spots to view the cherry blossoms in Niigata, we’d like to share with you those spots that are easy to get to from Niigata Station either by bus, train, or just by simply walking.

1. Hakusan Park Open Air Garden: Cherry Trees That Look Beautiful in the Evening

新潟桜:空中公園

Photo courtesy of: Niigata Sightseeing Convention Association

This is the Hakusan Park Open Air Garden, which is about a ten-minute walk from Hakusan Station. Hakusan Station is one station before Niigata Station - a five-minute train ride away.

The cherry blossoms at this park are next to one of the best shrines in Niigata prefecture, Hakusan Shrine; this is a spot visited by many during sakura season. Upon walking through the torii gate, you will find yourself on a road with cherry trees lining both sides. If you continue along the slope you will find yourself overlooking landscape with nothing but these magnificent cherry trees to enjoy.

At night, these trees are lit up and you can enjoy a different view than what you’d normally see during the day. There is a channel, pond, and even a waterfall here too, and the sight of the cherry blossoms reflected on the water's surface is fantastical.

空中庭園

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park

2. Shinanogawa Yasuragitei Ryokuchi Park

新潟桜:やすらぎ堤

Photo courtesy of: Niigata Sightseeing Convention Association

Walk through the Hakusan Park Open Air Garden and you’ll end up at the Shinano river embankment; this is the calm left bank of a river which just happens to be the longest embankment in Japan.

Both sides are lined with cherry trees and you can enjoy a nice long walk to the Bandai Bridge which is on the lower reaches of the river here. It also seems like the perfect spot to sit down and enjoy the cherry blossoms to your heart’s content as you talk the night away.

Annually from the beginning of April to the beginning of May from 18:00 - 21:00 bonbori (a small type of paper lantern or a type of light) are lit here as well. You can enjoy the cherry blossoms in different ways depending on what time you view them, so for those that can spare the time, why not view the cherry blossoms in both the day and the evening?

信濃川やすらぎ堤緑地 (左岸)

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park

3. The Cherry Blossoms at the Former Niigata Customs House

新潟桜:旧税関

Photo courtesy of: Niigata Sightseeing Convention Association

This is the former Niigata Customs House, one area that we would like very much for history buffs to visit. At the end of the Edo period the Edo shogunate signed a treaty guaranteeing amity and commerce with foreign nations, and in doing so, made Niigata Port one of the five ports open to international ships in Japan.

After the Edo era came the Meji period, and on the 1st of January 1869 Niigata’s port was officially opened up. The Niigata Customs Office was built in order to handles the customs and tariffs that the newly opened port would require. Now an Important Cultural property, the former Niigata Customs House is the only one of the five original ports to have retained its original style.

Although it has some aspects of Western architecture, this building was constructed by local carpenters, and as a result, it is known as a 'giyofu kenchiku' or 'quasi-Western architecture'. Here you can enjoy the sight of this unique building built in 1869 alongside a profusion of cherry blossoms. This is an unusual treat as here you can enjoy scenery that has largely remained unchanged since the Edo and Meji eras.

Unfortunately, the former Niigata Customs House will most likely be closed for repairs until December 2018. While the grounds of the structure will still be open to the public, certain portions of the building will not, and this will change through the course of the year.

旧新潟税関庁舎

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4. The Shinano River Water Shuttle - A Flower Viewing Cruise

新潟:桜ウォーターシャトル

Photo courtesy of: the Shinano River Water Shuttle

The water shuttle - a waterway 'bus' that travels along the wide Shinano river through the heart of Niigata city, starting at the mouth of the river and ending at Niigata Furusatomura, a popular sightseeing spot. There are roughly 1000 sakura trees growing on either side of this calm river, which makes it an idyllic place to enjoy the sights of the city and cherry blossoms.

Even though there are many opportunities to view cherry blossoms from a riverside, it's quite rare to get to view them from the middle of a river. By making a reservation for this cruise, participants will receive a bento lunch box, making it possible to enjoy a picnic as you view the sakura from the river itself. This is a fabulous way to enjoy the spring in Niigata to the fullest.

Period: Held when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom
**Contact for specific dates
**Minimum of 10 people required for cruise
Fee: Bento fee + drink fee + boat ride fee = 3200 yen (per person)
Length of boat ride: about 45 minutes
Meeting spots: Toki Messe Convention Center, Bandai Bridge's west, plus 3 other spots in Bandai city
Reservation: Required
Phone number: 025-227-5200 (9:00-18:00, Japanese only)

信濃川ウォーターシャトル乗船場

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Come See Niigata's Own Cherry Blossom Sights

Cherry blossoms, the natural, poetry-inspiring landscape of Japan's spring. The only downside of these charming pink blooms is their extremely short blossoming season.

For those that may have missed their chance to view the sakura in Tokyo and Western Japan, you may still have a chance to catch them in full bloom in Niigata! Why not make the trip there and enjoy these and other views of the magnificent spring blossoms.

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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