Takada Park is a 50-hectare wooded area in the heart of Joetsu City that surprises visitors with natural gems all year round. The major attraction of the park is undoubtedly the picturesque scenery in both day and night.
You’ll find the triple turret Takada Castle and moat that used to belong to the sixth son of Tokugawa Ieyasu — one of Japan’s most important military dictators who unified the country and established the Edo Period.
When the moat around the castle is calm, it gives a beautiful reflection of the triple turret structure. In addition to the castle, you will also find an athletic stadium, a baseball stadium, bronze sculptures and multiple playgrounds.
However, if you think that Takada Park is like any other park, you may want to rethink.
Cherry blossom festival in Spring
Every year from early to mid-April, Takada Park turns into a massive sea of pink with its 4,000 cherry trees.
The park is gorgeous during the day, but it is magical at night with the cherry blossoms illuminated. More than a million visitors are attracted to this park for its thousands of cherry trees and lit up lanterns. A variety of 300 food and games stalls line the park during the two-week festival, showering the surroundings with festivities and warmth.
It’s not difficult to spend up to two hours to finish strolling around the whole park. Although the park is lit up almost throughout the park, the “Sakura Road,” in particular, is lit up with pink, blue and purple lights. Get ready for a magical ceiling of cherry blossom trees — just one of the reasons it is considered one of Japan’s “Top 3 cherry blossom viewing spots.”
Get ready for a magical ceiling of cherry blossom trees — just one of the reasons it is considered one of Japan’s “Top 3 cherry blossom viewing spots.”
To do it the Japanese way during the day, picnic at the park while dense cherry blossoms canopy above you. Children can hang around the park’s play equipment while adults (of course, children, as well) can enjoy local band and dance performances on the “Sakura Stage.”
Still, it is an outdoor event and it is generally quite chilly in April in rural Niigata, so layer up and bring plenty of hand warmers.
In other seasons
Besides the cherry blossoms in April, Takada Park turns into another natural spectacle from late July to mid-August, when hundreds of lotus flowers are in full bloom at the park’s moat and expansive pond. There, you will have the chance to see white, yellow and pink lotuses with moist, translucent petals.
Needless to say, Takada offers wonderful autumn foliage and turns into a serene winter wonderland when January rolls around. Because of all the mind-soothing strolls Takada Park allows, it is revered by locals all year-round, so don’t miss out on the fun! Please note, however, nearby accommodation books up fast around the city area in April so look for something early.