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Cherry Blossoms In Hyogo 2020: 14 Incredible Spots For Seasonal Blooms

Cherry Blossoms In Hyogo 2020: 14 Incredible Spots For Seasonal Blooms

Translated by Sandy Lau

Written by Jacky Chen

Hyogo 2020.04.01 Bookmark

In the springtime, avoid the crowds in Osaka and Kyoto by visiting Hyogo, home to amazing cherry blossom spots. This article introduces fourteen excellent places to view the blossoms, from hidden gems in Kobe to countryside areas and hot spring towns. Do visit these places once in Kansai!

14 Incredible Cherry Blossom Spots in Hyogo

Well-known hanami (cherry-blossom viewing) spots in Kansai are in Kyoto and Osaka, but there are many other places with gorgeous blooms.

One is Hyogo Prefecture. Many locals frequent these lesser-known sakura spots, so they're great for travelers who are reluctant to check out the seasonal blooms due to crowds.

This time, we introduce 14 places to view the sakura in Hyogo. We cover locations all over, from central Kobe's to the castle town of Himeji, more rural areas, to coastal spots along the Pacific Ocean and Sea of Japan! Head to Hyogo if you’re considering to partake in the annual tradition of hanami in Western Japan.

1. Kobe Oji Zoo

Oji Zoo

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Kobe Oji Zoo is the only zoo in Japan where giant pandas and koalas are bred.

It's also visited annually by many cherry blossom viewers in the spring. Kobe Oji Zoo is great for those who want to see the seasonal blossoms with adorable animals!

Place Details

Hanami Season: Late March to early April
Address: Hyogo, Kobe, Nada, Ojicho 3-1
Access: Take the Hankyu Railway bound for Kobe and offboard at Oji-koen Station. Walk for 3 minutes to the destination.

Kobe Oji Zoo

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zoo

2. Shukugawa Park

shukugawa park

Located along the riverside, Shukugawa Park is one of Japan’s Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots. The four-kilometer-long riverbank is lined with cherry blossom and pine trees, creating a contrast of pink blossoms and lush green that can be enjoyed when spring arrives.

Place Details

Hanami Season: Late March to early April
Address: Hyogo, Nishinomiya, Oidecho
Access: Take the Hankyu Kobe Line and get off at Shukugawa Station

Shukugawa Park

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park

3. Cherry Blossom Tunnel in Takaodori, Kobe

takaodori

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Takaodori is located near the Maya Cable Station, the access point for Mt. Maya's peak. There’s also a nearby hill called Sakurazaka (literally "Sakura Hill") in the residential area. Both sides of the street are lined with cherry blossoms, creating an incredible tunnel of sakura in the spring. It’s a flower viewing spot that’s a well-kept secret among Kobe locals.

Place Details

Hanami Season: Late March to early April
Address: Hyogo, Kobe, Nada, Takaodori
Access: Take the Kobe City Bus Route 2 and get off at the Kanonji Bus Stop. Walk for 3 minutes to the destination.

Kobe City's Sakurazaka Takaodori

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4. Arima Onsen

arima onsen

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Arima Onsen is designated as one of Japan's three ancient springs, with a history spanning over 1,000 years. This hot spring district is said to have been used by major Japanese generals since ancient times to relax. In the springtime, it's also a famous cherry blossom spot.

The sakura near the Arima River flowing through the hot spring town are a must-see. The cherry blossoms go into full bloom each spring. Visitors can bask in the town's elegant atmosphere, enjoying the seasonal flowers and listening to the sound of the flowing water while strolling along the sidewalk.

Place Details

Hanami Season: Early April
Access: Take the Kobe Electric Railway to Arima Onsen Station

Arima Onsen

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5. Yuzuruha Shrine

yuzuruha shrine

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Located ten kilometers east of Kobe, Yuzuruha Shrine has become a famous pilgrimage spot for fans of the Japanese figure skater, Yuzuru Hanyu. In addition to having the same name as the champion skater, Hanyu has also reportedly visited the shrine himself.

Over 70% of the ema (wooden wishing plaques) hung at the shrine are written for Hanyu. There are shidare-zakura (weeping cherry) trees in front of the main sanctuary of the shrine, and a 50-meter long cherry blossom tunnel.

Place Details

Hanami Season: Late March to early April
Address: Hyogo, Kobe, Higashinada, Mikagegunge 2-9-27
Access: Take the Hankyu Railway bound for Kobe and alight at Mikage Station. Walk for 5 minutes to the destination.

Yuzuruha Shrine

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6. Akashi Park

akashi castle

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Akashi, west of Kobe, is a scenic coastal city facing the Seto Inland Sea. In the city, Akashi Park is a viewing spot that is also ranked among Japan’s Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots. Crowds of tourists visit each spring to see the 1,000 cherry blossom trees bloom in the park.

Place Details

Hanami Season: Late March to early April
Address: Hyogo, Akashi, Akashi Park 1-27
Access: Depart at either JR Akashi Station or Sanyo Akashi Station, then walk for 5 minutes

Akashi Park

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7. Himeji Castle

himeji castle

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Himeji, further to the west of Akashi, is home to the snow-white Himeji Castle and its magnificent castle tower. The cherry blossom trees planted around the castle have joined the ranking of Japan’s Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots. This stunning sight of Japan brings together spring, cherry blossoms, and the castle all into one view. Himeji locals typically enjoy spreading picnic sheets in Sannomaru Square for cherry blossom viewing.

Place Details

Hanami Season: Late March to early April
Address: Hyogo, Himeji, Honmachi 68
Access: Get off at either JR Himeji Station or Sanyo Himeji Station, then walk for 15 minutes

Himeji Castle

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8. Sumaura Park

sumaura park

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Part of Kobe’s Top 50 Flower Spots, Sumaura Park is still a hidden gem as a flower-viewing spot among international visitors. The park comes alive during the cherry blossom season, and is open 24-hours and is free to enter. The Japanese literary author, Masaoka Shiki, once visited this park during his recuperation, resulting in the many literary monuments on the grounds.

Place Details

Hanami Season: Late March to early April
Address: Hyogo, Kobe, Suma, Ichinotanicho
Access: Take the Sanyo Electric Railway to Sumaura-koen Station

Sumaura Park

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park

9. Ikutagawa Park

ikutagawa park

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Ikuta River is a 1.6-kilometer-long river in front of Shin-Kobe Station, which is used almost exclusively for the Shinkansen (bullet trains). The riverbank is lined with rows of cherry blossom trees that form the charming Ikutagawa Park. This is a wonderful spot where locals enjoy flower viewing during the spring.

The cherry blossoms, leisurely enjoyed by park-goers along the river, are similar to another famous viewing spot in Tokyo called Oyokogawa Shinsui Park. Try going flower viewing here when you come to Shin-Kobe!

Place Details

Hanami Season: Late March to early April
Access: Offboard at Shin-Kobe Station, then walk for 5 minutes

Ikutagawa Park

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park

10. Hana no Michi (Takarazuka Grand Theater)

flower road

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The Takarazuka Grand Theater, home to the all-female Takarazuka Revue musical troupe, is located about 30 kilometers to east of Kobe in Takarazuka, a city near Osaka. Hana no Michi (literally "Flower Road"), leading to the Grand Theater from Takarazuka Station, is a hanami spot as its name suggests. Both the cherry trees in full bloom and the European-style streets are must-sees.

Place Details

Hanami Season: Late March to early April
Address: Hyogo, Takarazuka, Sakaemachi 1
Access: Get off at JR Takarazuka Station or take the Hankyu Takarazuka Line to Takarazuka Station, then walk for 5 minutes

Takarazuka Hana no Michi

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11. Tatsuno Park

tatsuno park

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Tatsuno, located east of Himeji, is a city known for its rich history and Tatsuno Castle Ruins. The surroundings were made into Tatsuno Park, which have since become a famous cherry blossom-viewing spot adored by locals.

There are three walkways in the park. The path that starts from the Akatombo Monument (in honor of the classic children’s song “Red Dragonfly”) and ends at Shuen-tei, a historical structure, is nicknamed the Path of Literature. This pathway is a must-visit destination on your travel itinerary. Visitors can enjoy a cherry blossom tunnel formed by 3,000 sakura trees in the park, too.

Place Details

Hanami Season: Early to mid-April
Address: Hyogo, Tatsuno, Tatsunocho, Nakakajo
Access: Get off at Hon-Tatsuno Station along the JR Kishin Line, then walk for 25 minutes

Tatsuno Park

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park

12. Sasayama Castle Ruins

sasayama castle

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Tamba-Sasayama is a nature and history-rich city bordering Kyoto in east Hyogo, known for the symbolic Sasayama Castle. Take a look at its remaining stone walls and the magnificently restored Oshoin (a wooden building in the castle's center), and you'll come to understand the importance of this historic structure.

Sasayama Castle and the nearby Ojiyama Park are famous flower viewing spots in Hyogo Prefecture. The castle stone walls against a backdrop of cherry blossoms are sure to draw the attention of those lucky to see this view.

Place Details

Hanami Season: Early April
Address: Hyogo, Tamba-Sasayama, Kitashinmachi
Access: Take the bus from JR Sasayamaguchi Station and get off at Nikaimachi Bus Stop. Walk for 6 minutes

Sasayama Castle Ruins

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13. Kinosaki Onsen

kinosaki onsen

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Kinosaki Onsen, located in northern Hyogo, is a hot spring town with around 1,300 years of history. The Otani River winds through the town, with beautiful willow trees planted on both sides. This landscape, with the reflection of the trees in the water, has even appeared in Japanese literature.

Kiyamachi Street in the onsen district is a well-known cherry blossom spot. Both sides of the street are planted with cherry blossoms and, come the spring season, are illuminated with pink paper lanterns. It makes for a romantic stroll while viewing night blossoms.

Place Details

Hanami Season: Early to mid-April
Address: Hyogo, Toyooka, Kinosakicho, Yushima
Access: Walk 15 minutes from JR Kinosaki Onsen Station

Kinosaki Onsen Tourism Association

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travel_agency

14. Izushi Castle Ruins

izushi castle

Photo by Pixta

Toyooka, a city facing the Sea of Japan in southern Hyogo, is home to Izushi Castle Ruins and its preserved historical streetscape. Designated an Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings, you'll feel as if you've traveled back in time to the Edo Period when you visit. It is a beautiful place to see sakura, too.

Izushi Castle was once the center of politics, but only a portion of the castle still exists today. Despite this, the ruins are stunning against the cherry blossoms that go into full bloom each year.

Place Details

Hanami Season: Early to mid-April
Address: Hyogo, Toyooka, Izushicho, Uchimachi
Access: Take the bus for 30 minutes from JR Toyooka Station and get off at the last stop. Walk for 5 minutes.

Izushi Castle Ruins

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Put Hyogo on Your List for Hanami Spots

Hyogo is the only prefecture in Japan that borders both the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan. Thanks to its vast size, it also has plenty of cherry blossom viewing spots. No matter where you go, these locations won't be as crowded as Kyoto or Osaka. If you've never experienced the much-adored tradition of hanami, why not head to Hyogo?

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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