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Sakura viewing spots expecting blossoming around March 31st
Wakayama Prefecture
Maruyama Park
There is a tomb surrounded by a moat which is said to belong to either Sakanoue Tamuramaro or Achinoomi in the park. It is located to the north of Hashimoto Station, and is known as a major spot to view flowers with several hundred cherry trees mostly Someiyoshino looking out over Kinokawa River.
Kyoto Prefecture
Path of Philosophy (Tetsugaku-no-michi)
The Path of Philosophy is the 2-km-long path along the drainage from Ginkakuji Temple to Wakaoji Shrine, where philosophers such as Nishida Ikutaro walked while he thought. There is a poem monument of Nishida’s on the way. Rows and rows of cherry trees form a tunnel of gorgeous blossoms, and the walk is best when the wind makes a shower of petals.
Path of Philosophy
Tenryuji Temple
Tenryuji Temple is a Zen Temple and is said to be the top of five head temples of Kyoto. From the main gate to the temple hall line up cherry trees on both sides of the approach and the garden with Mt.Kameyama is especially worth having a look. You can see about 200 cherry trees on the temple ground, and the cherry flowers blossoming as to fall from the sky is absolutely beautiful.
Joshokoji Temple
Joshokoji is a hidden temple located about 8 km north from the town center. The Kokonoezakura (nine-layered sakura) is a noble tree registered as national natural monument, which in spring produces exuberant small pretty blossoms adding elegance to the ancient air.
Heian Shrine
Heian Jingu was founded in 1895 commemorating the 1,100th anniversary of the Heian capitol relocation. As you set one step inside the shrine grounds, you will find yourself in a splendid garden of weeping cherry trees. The sight is exactly like a flamboyant scene in the picture roll drawing the ancient dynasty, and is also depicted in Tanizaki Junichiro’s Hosoyuki. Beautiful cherry flowers blossom on every bit of the thin branches
Heian Jingu
of about 200 cherry trees. The scene of full blossoming and the water reflection is so beautiful that it looks other-worldly.
Byodoin is an old temple situated on the left bank of Uji River in Uji, an area very famous for its green tea. The history of this temple dates back about 1,000 years ago when Fujiwarano Yorimichi reformed his father Michinaga’s villa into a temple. As the cherry trees on the temple grounds re-creating the Buddhist heavenly pure land pompously blossom, the glory of the Fujiwara rule is remembered.
Shojiji Temple
Shojiji is where the Buddhist priest Saigyo, a man who loved cherry blossoms and died while traveling, had set up his residence. The woods of more than 400 cherry trees all started with a single root of cherry he planted then. The cherry trees of Shojiji are so beautiful that the temple is otherwise known as the “flower temple”. Cherry blossoms cover up every corner of the temple ground in spring.
Daikakuji Temple
Daikakuji is located at a place of fine view right next to Osawa Pond near Arashiyama Station. There are about 100 Yamazakura cherry trees on the shores of the pond, and the beauty of the cherry trees in full blossom is more than words. Along with the Hirosawa Pond to the east of Daikakuji, the place is known to be a major spot for viewing cherry blossoms and the moon.
Kasagiyama Natural Park (Kasagiyama Shizen Koen)
Kasagiyama Natural Park is located in the deep mountains near the border of Kyoto and Nara Prefectures, southeast of Kyoto. The gorgeous cherry blossoms can also be seen around Kasagiyama Station and is a very popular spot for train maniacs to take pictures.
The Kyoto Botanical Garden (Kyoto Furitsu Shokubutsu-en)
The Kyoto Botanical Garden is one of the hidden great spots to view cherry blossoms in Kyoto. It is located on the eastern side of Kamogawa River between Kitaoji Street and Kitayama Street. The garden with a vast area is one of the representative botanical gardens of Japan, and has 700 cherry trees of nearly 110 different kinds.
Daigoji Temple
From the top of Mt.Daigo down to the foot is the temple ground of Daigoji. The Goju-no-toh (five-layered tower) here is the oldest in Kyoto, being the only tower retaining the original figure of when it was built. The story of historical figure Toyotomi Hideyoshi viewing the gorgeous “flowers of Daigo” in the last days of his life is very famous, and the “blossom-viewing march” is re-created every spring remembering his days. About 900 cherry trees produce marvelous blossoms on the temple ground.
Omurozakura (Ninnaji Temple)
The Omurozakura of Ninnaji Temple has been known as a major spot to view cherry blossoms since the Heian Period. Cherry trees here blossom a bit later as compared to other places, and the trees are barely 2 meters high. Most of them are Satozakura kind, and because they put on white, eight-layered blossoms even to the lowest branches just above the ground, Omurozakura is otherwise known as “Otafukuzakura” (sakura with many fortune).
The marvelous view of Arashiyama started with the transplanting of hundreds of cherry trees from Yoshino by Emperor Gosaga, at the time of the construction of his detached palace in this area. Here, you can appreciate a unique and refined scene of Yamazakura cherry blossoms blossoming against the forest of Japanese red pine. The views from Togetsukyo Bridge and Kameyama Park are also wonderful when the faint pink blossoms emerge from the sea of green.
Hyogo Prefecture
Himeji Castle
Himeji Castle has been known as one of the best castles in Japan, being registered as a national treasure and a World Heritage. It has a grand appearance with the main castle tower and three smaller castle towers built on top of Himeyama mountain. In spring nearly 1,000 cherry trees produce magnificent blossoms as to surround the castle with a blanket of splendid pink.
Himeji Castle
Sumaura Park
Sumaura Park spreading from Sumaura coastline to the whole of Mt. Hachibuse is the stage for Genpei Ichinodani Battle. Around 2,000 cherry trees are planted from the middle to the foot of the mountain dying the mountain in brilliant pink in April.
Akashi Park
Akashi Park is a huge park with an area of 55ha (136 acres) built on the ruins site of Akashi Castle. 200 kinds of trees on top of 2,000 Someiyoshino cherry trees grow in the park looking out over Seto Inland Sea. The remaining Tatsumi-yagura (tower at the southeast) and Hitsujisaru-yagura (southwest) are national cultural assets.
Okayama Prefecture
Yugasan Rendaiji Temple
Yugasan Daigongen, the guardian god of ocean, is enshrined in the deep and beautiful mountains of Yugasan and has been worshipped by laypeople from a long time ago. In spring about 3,000 cherry trees blossom like pink haze. The temple grounds also show different beauty every season - especially fresh green in summer, and crimson and gold leaves in autumn.
Hiroshima Prefecture
Omoto Park
Miyajima, an island floating in the Inner Seto Sea is so beautiful that it is counted as one of the Three Great Sceneries of Japan. The park with the main shrine of Omoto Shrine located on the west side of the island is known as a good spot for blossom-viewing, where about 1,000 Someiyoshino and Yaezakura cherry trees put on marvelous blossoms surrounding the Tahotoh Tower.
Ozorayama Park
Kure is an industrial city which developed as a military port city before WWII, and as a trade port afterwards. Ozorayama - once called as Hodaiyama (missile battery mountain) - is located in the southeast of Kure City and looks out over Aga Port. 1,200 cherry trees produce beautiful blossoms in spring.
Senkouji Park
Senkouji Park is a park centering around Senkoji Temple which is located on the mountainside of Taihozan Mountain at the north of the city center. From the park you can get a marvelous view of the numerous islands of the Seto Inland Sea, but the best view you can get here is perhaps the blossoming of 10,000 cherry trees in spring. The blossoms are also very beautiful at night as well.
Kosanji Temple
Kosanji is a temple standing on Ikuchi Island of Geiyo Islands in Seto Inland Sea. A number of major Buddhist architecture from different periods are revived on the temple grounds including a full-size re-creation of Yomeimon Gate of Nikko Toshogu. Gorgeous cherry trees are planted along the approach and beautifully colors the temple grounds.
Tottori Prefecture
Shikanojo Castle
The castle ruins of Shikanojo with Shikano Hot Springs is surrounded by mountain on three sides, and is located about 500 meters south from the town center. The site has been a location for several battles and today only the stonewalls and the moat remains. A number of old cherry trees line up along the moat and colors the site in pink.
Minatoyama Park
The Japanese Garden, Sakura Garden, Observatory hill, Jiyu-hiroba, and ruins of Yonagojo Castle create a vast relaxation and recreation park for all generations. Sakura Garden literally is a famous spot for cherry blossoms. The trees put on pretty white-pink blossoms which make the park look like it has got pink haze.
Hisamatsu Park
Hisamatsu Park spreads out on Hisamatsuyama Mountain seen from Tottori City, and is also where Tottori Castle once stood. The area is open to the public as a park today. About 600 cherry trees along the inner moat blossom at once in spring, which wonderfully blends into the scenery with the Renaissance designed Meiji architecture Jinpukaku.
Utsubuki Park
Utsubuki Park was made in 1904 at the foot of 204-meter-high Mt. Utsubuki. Even though it is placed right next to the urban zone, the park is covered with wildwood of tabu and sudajii. In spring 4,000 Someiyoshino and Higanzakura cherry trees puts on gorgeous blossoms and attract many viewers. From early April to mid May the Kurayoshi Festival is held where you can see humorous performances of the well-known hanasaka-jiisan.
Shimane Prefecture
Matsue-Jozan Park
Matsue is a city of water, having Ohashi River cutting through the city, Chukai in the east and Lake Shinjiko in the west. On the hill looking out over the city stands the grand castle main tower of Matsue Castle which is registered as a cultural asset. The area is opened as a public park with more than 300 Someiyoshino, Yamazakura and weeping cherry trees blossoming in spring. Besides during the castle festivals held every April, you can enjoy the blossoms at night when they're lit up.
Yamaguchi Prefecture
Kintaikyo Bridge
The five fabulous arches of Kintaikyo Bridge, known to be the symbol of castle town Iwakuni for nearly 300 years, has been built without a single nail and is referred to as one of the Three Amazing Bridges of Japan. 3,000 cherry trees are planted around the bridge and the magnificent blossoms are lit up at night.
Kagawa Prefecture
Marugame Castle Ruins
Marugame Castle has four layers from the inner moat to the castle tower, and its height of 60 meters is highest in Japan. About 1,000 Someiyoshino blossom at once on the castle grounds in spring. The view from Mikaerizaka is especially great.
Kikaku Park
Kikaku Park, counted as one of the 100 best sceneries of Sanuki (Kagawa) spreads on the hills of Tsurugasan including Hachiman Pond. Nearly 500 cherry trees are planted along the 200-meter-long bank connecting Kameshima and Tsurugasan, forming a beautiful line of cherry. The blossoms are even more beautiful when they are reflected on the water surface.
Kotohiragu Shrine
Kotohiragu has rooted in many people as the "Kotohira-san of Sanuki" from a long time ago. About 1,000 cherry trees are beautifully arranged on the shrine grounds gathering attention of the worshippers visiting the shrine. Every year on April 10 the Ohka Festival (Cherry Flowers Fes) is held, which the priests, priestesses and dancers walk through the town with a branch of cherry tree telling the arrival of spring to Sanuki.
Tokushima Prefecture
Bizan Park
Bizan Park is a 280-meter-high mountain sitting on the southern side of the city. The mountain has been named Bizan (eyebrow mountain) for its shape which looks like an eyebrow. The foots of Bizan is the best place in the prefecture to view blossoms with 1,500 cherry trees in 8 kinds mostly Someiyoshino. There is a ropeway connecting the foot to the peak, and you can get a grand view of the city from the peak.
Myokenzan Park
This park is located on a hill on the east side of the city and looks out over the Naruto Channel famous for the uzushio (vortex). On the top of the hill sits the restored Okazaki Castle. Several hundred Someiyoshino are planted in the park, adding some color to the grand.
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