2020 blossoms are expected from mid-March to early April in Chubu.
Nagoya is the capital of Aichi Prefecture inside the mountainous Chubu region in central Japan. The Chubu region itself is home to a copious amount of iconic Japanese imagery, including Mt. Fuji and the most sacred shrine in Japan, Ise-jingu. During the cherry blossom season, the natural scenery of Aichi, and surrounding prefectures such as Shizuoka, Toyama, and Yamanashi, are splashed with beautiful pink and white colors.
Constructed in 1609 under Tokugawa Ieyasu, Nagoya Castle was once one of the most important castle towns in feudal Japan. Nearly 3,000 cherry blossom trees are planted around the castle grounds—including elegant weeping cherry varieties. The vibrant pink cherry blossoms contrast beautifully with the castle’s walls. It’s the perfect photo opportunity to capture an iconic Japanese landscape.
Over a kilometer of the Yamazaki riverbank is lined on both sides with vibrant cherry blossom trees. This is considered one of the Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots in Japan. The soft grass is perfect for a hanami (cherry blossom viewing picnic). During the peak blooming period, the blossoms are illuminated in the evening.
Tsuruma Park highlights two particular ways to enjoy sakura (cherry blossoms)—strolling around the pond to look at the flowers reflecting beautifully in the water’s surface and viewing them at night when illuminated. Around 1,200 cherry sakura trees are in the park, so it can get packed with people having hanami picnics.
The small, but elegant Inuyama Castle is one of only a handful of castles with its main keep recognized as a national treasure. A row of 400 sakura trees beside the Kiso River leads to the castle. Visitors can even ride boats up and down the river for a better view. A parade of puppets and floats gather in front of the castle during the castle’s sakura festival, Inuyama Matsuri.
This massive 2.1 million meter square cemetery comes to life in spring with around 8,000 sakura trees. You might find it odd to enjoy flower viewing in a graveyard, but sakura has traditionally been used to symbolize the duality of life and death. Celebrate cherry blossom season by honoring the natural cycle of life.
Around 40 different species make up the 3,000 sakura trees throughout this enormous park. You can actually spot sakura blooming from the end of September here, but the best season is, of course, in spring. There is a sakura festival every first and second of April, where you can see live performances and eat sakura steamed buns. There’s even a cherry blossom museum located in the park if you just can’t get enough sakura.
If you are trying to knock off a few items from your Japan bucket list then this spot is for you. Thousands of cherry blossom trees line the shores of Lake Kawaguchi on all sides. The most famous of which is the walking path near Kawaguchi Enkei Hall. Some 200 sakura trees are located here along with breathtaking views of Mount Fuji.
From early to mid-April, the Fuji Kawaguchiko Cherry Blossom Festival takes place here with an awesome nighttime illumination. Thirty minutes from the lake itself is the iconic Chureito Pagoda. Seeing cherry blossoms hanging above the pagoda with Fuji in the background is quite the whimsical experience.
Takaoka Castle only stood for a few years during the Edo Period before being demolished in 1615. Only the castle’s ramparts and moat remain, but the thousands of cherry trees that bloom here in spring make it a major sakura viewing spot in Toyama Prefecture. The trees around the moat are illuminated beautifully at night during the cherry blossom festival at the beginning of April.
This park’s 1,500 cherry blossom trees have earned it a spot among the world’s best sakura viewing locations. The ruins are also famous for its Showa era architecture and arched bridge. The bridge is particularly popular for sakura viewing. Near the park’s north gate is a tall drum tower that also makes for a unique photo spot
Takada Park is one of Japan’s best spots for viewing sakura at night. About 50 hectares in size, it’s home to around 4,000 cherry blossom trees, a vermillion bridge stretching across the castle moat, and the recreated triple turrets of the original Takada Castle. The park shines and sparkles at night, thanks to around 3,000 paper lanterns. Additionally, the evening offers plenty to eat as numerous food stalls pop up on the grounds.
Contest details coming soon! In the meantime check the hashtag #GaijinPotSakura on social media to see last year’s entries.