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Beautiful Sakura At Night! 4 Cherry Blossom Spots In Niigata

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When you think of Japanese spring, viewing the cherry blossoms comes to mind. Niigata Prefecture is an ideal place for seeing the blooms in April. We introduce you to spots easily accessible from Niigata Station where you can view the cherry blossoms, based on the 2021 forecast.

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Cherry Blossoms in Niigata

Beautiful Sakura At Night! 4 Cherry Blossom Spots In Niigata

The cherry blossoms in Niigata City, Niigata Prefecture, bloom slightly later than those in Tokyo and the rest of western Japan. Flowers fully bloom around the beginning of April and last until about mid-April. For those who’ve come all the way to Japan but didn’t make it in time to see the cherry blossoms in other parts of Japan, visit Niigata!

We'll share four spots that are easy to get to from Niigata Station either by bus, train, or just by simply walking. You can enjoy these areas during the day and at night for two spectacular views of spring beauty in Japan.

*Please note that in 2021, many cherry blossom festivals may be canceled in order to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 outbreaks. If you are interested in a particular event, please make sure to check their official website for the latest information.

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

Hakusan Park Open Air Garden

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, close to Niigata Station.

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 the 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 fantastic.

2. Shinanogawa Yasuragitei Ryokuchi Park


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 bank of a river which just happens to have the longest embankment in Japan.

Both sides are lined with cherry trees and you can enjoy a nice long walk to the Bandai Bridge 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.

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 every year. 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?

3. The Cherry Blossoms at the Former Niigata Customs House

Former Niigata Customs House

Photo courtesy of Niigata Sightseeing Convention Association

This is the former Niigata Customs House, a great place 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.

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

Shinano River Water Shuttle

Photo courtesy of Shinano River Water Shuttle

This water shuttle - a waterway 'bus' that travels along the 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 1,000 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.

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?

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