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Japanese Cherry Blossom Season is Here!

Pink cherry blossoms in the foreground, Mount Fuji in the background, large lake in between.

It's cherry blossom viewing season right now! 


Japanese cherry blossoms are deeply rooted in Japan's landscapes and culture, and their diversity and beauty are quite enchanting. There are over 600 varieties of cherry blossoms in Japan, each with its unique characteristics such as their color, number of petals, and blooming period. When these cherry blossoms are in full bloom, people gather in parks, along rivers, and at temple and shrine grounds for flower viewing parties called "Hanami." It's a traditional scene in Japan to enjoy the cherry blossoms with friends and family while eating Hanami bento (picnic lunch). 

 

Today, we're here to introduce five popular Japanese cherry blossom spots selected as part of Japan's "Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots".


 

1. SUMIDA PARK - Tokyo, Sumida Ward

It is said that the cherry blossoms along the Sumida River originated from those planted by the order of the fourth shogun of the Edo period, Tokugawa Ietsuna. In 1717 (the 2nd year of Kyoho), the eighth shogun, Tokugawa Yoshimune, is recorded to have added 100 cherry trees, and now there are about 300 cherry trees planted on the Sumida Ward side and about 600 on the Taito Ward side. Cherry blossom trees line both banks of the Sumida River for about 1 km, offering a beautiful collaboration with the Tokyo Skytree. 



 

2. HITOME SENBONZAKURA - Miyagi, Ogawara-Machi

Against the majestic Zao Mountain Range, the cherry blossom trees, primarily Somei Yoshino, bloom profusely along the banks of the Shiroishi River, creating the "Hitome Senbonzakura" (thousand cherry trees at a glance). The clear blue of the Shiroishi River, the splendid light pink of the Senbonzakura, and the remaining snow-white of the Zao Mountain Range weave together a three-layered landscape that is a breathtaking sight unique to this location.



 

3. JAPAN MINT - Osaka, Kita-Ku

Within the Osaka Mint Bureau's main office compound, there is the iconic passageway full of cherry blossoms that spread over 560 meters. This famous spot boasts approximately 140 varieties and around 340 cherry blossom trees in full bloom, including late-blooming double-flowered cherry blossoms, beautifully adorning the path along the former Yodo River.



 

4. DAIGOJI TEMPLE - Kyoto, Fushimi Ward

Known as the "Hana no Daigo" (the best of all flowers) since the Heian period, this famous cherry blossom spot boasts around 700 cherry trees, including weeping cherries, Somei Yoshino, wild cherry trees, and double-flowered cherry blossoms. It is also known for Toyotomi Hideyoshi's extravagant "Daigo no Hanami" (flower viewing at Daigo) in his later years. Following this tradition, the "Ho-tai-kou Hanami Gyo-retsu" (Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s Flower Viewing Parade) is held every year on the second Sunday of April. 



 

5. MIHARU TAKIZAKURA - Fukushima, Miharu-Machi

The renowned Miharu Takizakura, is counted among Japan's three greatest cherry trees. Located in Miharu-Machi, Tamura District, Fukushima Prefecture, this cascading cherry tree received the first designation as a natural monument in Japan for a cherry tree in 1922 (Taisho 11), marking its centennial in 2022. Estimated to be over 1000 years old, it stands at a height of 13.5 meters with branches spreading 25 meters east-west and 20 meters north-south.



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