The annual blooming of cherry blossoms is a major event in Japanese travel, and it is also difficult to choose the best places to watch the cherry blossoms. This article selects the most distinctive cherry blossom viewing spots, including Moka Railway with the steam train as the background, the historical city Himeji Castle, the Japanese ionic Mt. Fuji, and “the top three best cherry blossoms spots” that the Mt. Yoshino at Nara, the Takato Joshi Park at Nagano and the Hirosaki Park at Aomori, that is wonderful, beautiful and amazing.
Ionic Cherry Blossoms Mt.Fuji background- Lake Kawaguchi
One of the most beautiful cherry blossoms places in Japan is definitely Mount Fuji. Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan and one of Japan’s iconic landmarks.
If you want a representative place to enjoy cherry blossoms, then Mount Fuji must be included. The north bank of Lake Kawaguchi is definitely the first choice, especially during the cherry blossom season in mid-April, which is an incredible sight. Lake Kawaguchi has the longest shoreline, and because of its early development, the convenient transportation, and the perfect attraction of construction have attracted many tourists to visit, making Lake Kawaguchi the most famous landmark for pilgrimage to Mount Fuji in Japan.
Other famous cherry blossom viewing locations such as Chureito Pagoda, Shizuoka Takido Bridge, Oshino Hakkai, etc. are not far from Lake Kawaguchi, so you can drop by to visit them.
Best food of Lake Kawaguchi
Walk for five minutes from Kawaguchiko Station, and you can find this restaurant “Tesuyaki”. All dishes will be served directly on the iron plate. The hot plate can keep the cooking temperature, so you can taste it hot from the beginning to the end. You can eat hot steaks, chicken, and other meat dishes, as well as Japanese dishes such as Edo-yaki, fried noodles, and fried chicken.
The atmosphere in the restaurant presents a Japanese warm feeling and no matter what kind of food is delicious. In Japan, the review rate of customers is very high, plus the distance you can walk from Kawaguchiko Station, so please come and try the hot food here!
Strawberries of Oruson San
This cafe is located in the Kawaguchiko Kinohana Art Museum, where you can enjoy the delicious food and the beautiful scenery “Strawberries of Oruson San”. You can see Mount Fuji from the seats in the store, so you can relax while enjoying the food. The most popular meal is the strawberry sundae. Strawberries are also in the name of the store because the strawberry sundae here is made by smashing fresh strawberries.
How to get to Lake Kawaguchi
Take the Lake Kawaguchi shuttle bus (Red Route) at Kawaguchiko Station and get off at the 16th stop.
Shuttle bus to Lake Kawaguchi
JR Rail Pass Cherry Blossom Forecast
Mt.Yoshino, Nara–The Magnificent Cherry Blossoms.
The cherry blossoms full of Mount Yoshino in Nara, together with Takato Castle Park in Nagano and Hirosaki Castle Park in Aomori, are “the top three best cherry blossoms spots” in Japan. The scenery is so unforgettable that you should never miss it. Mt. Yoshino has a vast area, and it takes a full day to see it all. Although it is hard to hike all the way, it is the more and more expansive view of the pink cherry blossoms. Mount Yoshino also has a number of historical sites listed as “World Heritage”. There are now 200 species of 30,000 cherry trees on the mountain.
The whole mountain is divided into Shimosenbon, Nakasen, Kami, and Okusen, with different flowering periods. It can be as long as 1 month, and you can investigate the area before you leave, and then use the cable car or sightseeing bus on the mountain, which will be more efficient in viewing!
Although Mount Yoshino is a “mountain”, there is no difficult mountain path. There are prosperous shops and restaurants along the road. The more difficult one is the sloping road from Kintetsu Yoshino Station to Shimo-Senmoto, but visitors can choose to walk up or choose the cable car, and during the cherry blossom season, they can take the shuttle bus directly to Nakasen which saves a lot of time for hiking.
In addition to the beautiful scenery of 10,000 cherry blossoms in spring, Mt Yoshino also has hydrangea in full bloom in summer. It is also a famous place for viewing maple in autumn and snow in winter. With different festivals and festivals, visitors are endless. It is also a famous Buddhist place.
The Best Food of Mt. Yoshino
When the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, there are many delicacies related to cherry blossoms on Mount Yoshino. There are traditional sakura mochi, sakura jelly, sakura ice cream, sakura-shaped wagashi with Yoshino kudzu and sakura as filling, or senbei shortcake made with sakura leaves. The most recommended is sakura wine, Three cherry blossoms and gold leaf are added to the pink wine. The taste of the wine is sweet and rich and the bottle packaging is gorgeous, It let both the eyes and taste buds may feel the spring smell of cherry blossoms.
The kudzu produced in Yoshino is very famous, and the wagashi, various desserts, and kudzu soup made from Yoshino kudzu are very distinctive. The kudzu cake made from kudzu can not only be combined with traditional soybean powder but also can be made into frozen desserts. The texture is a bit like jelly but relatively smooth， It is a unique dessert on Yoshino Mountain.
How to get to Mt. Yoshino
The transportation to Yoshino Mountain is convenient. Starting from Osaka, you can transfer to Kintetsu Abenobashi Station and take a direct train to Yoshino, which takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Transportation on Mt.Yoshino
Cable Car of Mt.Yoshino
Takato Joshi Park, Nagano–The Best Cherry Blossoms in the world
The cherry blossoms in Takato Joshi Park can be called “the best cherry blossoms in the world” because of their special history. The site of Takato Castle is the site of the remains of Takato Castle, the city of samurai. It is estimated that Takato Castle was built around the 14th century, but the exact year is still unknown.
During the Japanese Warring States Period (16th century), this was the castle of the ruler of Yamanashi Prefecture, “Takeda Shingen”. But in 1582, the Oda clan launched a fierce attack on this place and successfully captured the castle. The history of this castle has thus become magnificent.
After the end of the Edo period, Japan embarked on the development path of a modern country. With the flood of history, Gaoyuan City was abandoned in 1872. Most of the palaces, gates, and other buildings in the city, as well as garden stones and trees and other decorations, have flowed into the people, and now there is no trace of it.
“Sakura no Horse Farm” is the horse farm under Takato Castle, where the samurai trained their horses during the Edo period. In 1876, the local samurai excavated many cherry trees from the “Sakura no Horse Farm” and transplanted them into the park. These transplanted cherry trees have become the source of cherry blossoms in the current Takato Castle Park. There are now more than 1,500 cherry trees around the city site, of which 20 are old trees over 140 years old and 500 are old trees over 50 years old.
In addition, the cherry blossoms in Takato Castle Park are characterized by small flowers and red colors. The dragon-like trunk, winding and circling, is an inherent species, named “Takato-kohiigan cherry blossom”. In 1960, the Takato Kohigan Cherry Blossom Forest was designated as a natural monument of Nagano Prefecture.
Best food of Nagano
“kurofune-nagano” is considered a high-priced restaurant, so it is recommended to come at noon, and you can enjoy exquisite cuisine at a more cost-effective price. There are four choices for the meal content at noon, among which the one with the highest C/P value is “Heavy Box Bending”! There are three types of parent-child don, steak don, and seafood hand-kneaded sushi. Others also have small hot pots and other meals. Each dish is quite rich. With exquisite meal design, it can greatly satisfy both taste and vision.
Shinshū soba no kusabue MIDORI Nagano mise
One of Nagano’s famous dishes, “Soba”, is one of the must-eat dishes in Nagano, no matter what, you must leave one of the meals to it! But who should I choose for the soba shops full of soba noodles on the street? In the “Nagano Station Midori” food street where you can enjoy Nagano’s cuisine, you can enjoy many dishes with Nagano characteristics.
This time I asked the local people not only for convenient transportation but also for delicious soba noodles. The shop immediately recommended this “Shinshu Buckwheat No Grass Flute”. Not only is Nagano famous for its soba noodles, it is also one of the best in the country for its walnut production. The signature here is the “walnut soba” that combines the two famous Shinshu products.
How to get to Takato Castle Park
Takato Castle Ruins Park is located in Ina City, Nagano Prefecture. It takes about 4 hours to arrive from Nagoya Station after changing trains and buses.
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Hirosaki Park, Aomori–The Largest Cherry Blossom.
It is said to be the largest cherry blossom in Japan’s Hirosaki Park. It is said to have been planted in the castle by 25 cherry trees including Kasumi Sakura brought back from Kyoto by Tsugaru Domain in 1715. After entering the Taisho era, it gradually became a magnificent scale full of cherry blossom trees.
The cherry blossoms in Aomori Prefecture begin to bloom at the end of April. In addition to the main Somei Yoshino Sakura, there are approximately 2,600 cherry trees in Hirosaki Park, including weeping and double cherry blossoms. It is a well-known cherry blossom viewing spot in Japan. All visitors were amazed by the cherry blossoms in Hirosaki Park. The cherry blossoms in Hirosaki Park are full of various charms, whether it’s the cherry blossom buds lightly on the water or the gorgeous cherry blossoms next to historical buildings such as the castle tower in the Tsugaru period.
Although the cherry blossoms of Hirosaki Castle look beautiful during the day, they will show a dreamlike beauty after lighting up at night. Under the light, the cherry blossoms are reflected on the water of the moat at night, creating a uniquely beautiful scene.
Best food of Aomori
Hirosaki is known as a Western-style restaurant and French cuisine street. In its representative restaurant “Restaurant Yamazaki”, you can taste Hirosaki French cuisine made with local organic ingredients. The “Cold Soup” is especially made here with the famous “Miracle Apple” in the country. The so-called “miracle apples” are apples grown by the apple farmer Mr. Akunori Kimura for his wife who fell ill due to frequent exposure to pesticides, using a cultivation method that does not use pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers, but uses natural forces alone.
There is even more (Miracle Apple Full Course), which can be enjoyed at noon or evening. As the menu may change according to the season, please check with the store before visiting the store.
Sakana Dining SHIN
“Sakana Dining SHIN” has original sushi chefs who show their skills to make sushi and sashimi for customers. You can taste creative dishes here. One of the recommended items is the signature menu at the time of the opening, “Grilled Salmon Belly Roll Sushi.” This kind of sushi is made by rolling up the salmon belly that has been simmered quickly, and then filling it with salmon roe. I also recommend others such as “Special Sashimi Platter (Special)”, this luxurious platter is filled with fresh fish that the chef personally went to the market to buy, and there is also the “Chef with Sushi Special”, you can taste the season that is delivered directly on the day Fresh fish.
Iwaya Gourmet Yakiniku Restaurant
Yakiniku Gourmet IWAYA is a long-established Yakiniku restaurant in Aomori, where you can taste the finest meats at a cheaper price, but our set menu is also very popular. A set meal such as beef short ribs, flower sticks, and bibimbap set “Gourmet Iwaya set meal”, or a set meal consisting of many meat products such as high-grade diaphragm meat, high-grade pork belly, high-grade ribs, and salt-grilled beef tongue. “Two-person set meal” and so on, the items are very rich. In particular, our restaurant also has a set menu of meat, rice, salad, or soup for about 1,000 yen during lunch, which is perfect for lunch.
How to get to Hirosaki Park
Take the circular route bus from the Honan Bus stop in front of JR Hirosaki Station (it takes about 15 minutes), get off at the city hall and walk for about 4 minutes.
Cherry Blossom Trail-SL Steam Train of Moka Railway
Moka Railway is a local train with a total length of 41.9km that connects Shitadate Station in Ibaraki Prefecture to Mogi Station in Tochigi Prefecture. On Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, there is an SL (steam train) that only goes back and forth once a day which you can enjoy the steam train, the pink cherry blossom trail, and the golden yellow rapeseed flower field limited in spring at the same time. Those who are interested can also be very satisfied with the recommended spots. The cherry blossom wall and rape flower field have been extended from the “Kitamaoka” station to the neighboring “Nishidai” station.
Moka City is a quiet town, and it is full of cherry blossoms. Walking from Kita Moka Station to Nakanojuku Park is an ideal location for shooting cherry blossoms. If you already hate the cherry blossom park full of people, you must fall in love with it.
Best food of Tochigi
Growing up in the nature of Utsunomiya, the Japanese beef with rich flavor is “Utsunomiya beef.” “炭火焼肉レストランおおつか” is a charcoal grilled meat restaurant that serves Utsunomiya beef and Tochigi Wagyu beef. Since this restaurant is directly operated by a beef wholesaler, you can enjoy high-quality meat dishes at an affordable price.
If you want to eat the basic food and dumplings of Utsunomiya City, Tochigi Prefecture, let’s come to this shop! “Utsunomiya MINMIN”, founded in Showa 33, is an ultra-popular store with the largest number of indoor exhibition stores in Utsunomiya. The menu only has 3 types of fried dumplings, boiled dumplings and fried dumplings! One of the most recommended is the crispy fried dumplings!
Pallet – Fruit Dining Utsunomiya
“PALLET” is a restaurant that uses ingredients from Tochigi Prefecture and has a southern French style. The super popular menu of this restaurant is the luxurious strawberry sandwich made with “TOCHIOTOME” from Tochigi Prefecture.
Strawberry Sandwich is a sandwich made up of a lot of strawberries and fresh cream. The portion is full! Strawberries are very present! Large juicy strawberries and slightly sweet whipped cream are a perfect match. I believe it will definitely be very popular among women. When you want to taste delicious desserts in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, I recommend you to try “PALLET” strawberry sandwiches!
How to get to Nishidai station
How to get to 1:
From Akihabara Station, take the Tsukuba Express train bound for Tsukuba to Moriya Station and transfer to the regular bus rapid train to Shitadate Station.
How to get to 2:
From Shinjuku Station, take the JR Shonan Shinjuku Line in the direction of Koganei to Oyama Station and then transfer to the JR Mito Line in the direction of Tomobe and get off at Shimotate Station.
Himeji Castle,Hyogo-Cherry Blossom in Historical Old Castle.
Himeji Castle, located in Hyogo Prefecture, Kansai Prefecture, is one of the most representative historical Japanese castles. It is also called “Egret Castle” because of its snow-white exterior walls. It was the first building in Japan to be listed as a World Cultural Heritage, and it was awarded the highest rating of “Japan’s No. 1 City”. Himeji Castle was first built in 1333 and expanded until it reached its current size in 1617. It was once the residence of Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
Himeji Castle is beautiful all year, attracting many tourists and flower viewers during the annual cherry blossom season, enjoying the beautiful scenery of the blue sky, white castle, and pink cherry blossoms. Every year from the end of March to mid-April, the cherry trees surrounding Himeji Castle are in full bloom, turning this well-known ancient city into one of the best cherry blossoms in Japan.
There are more than 1,000 cherry blossom trees in Himeji Castle. When the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, the white exterior wall seems to be suspended in a sea of pink flowers. You can already watch the blooming cherry blossoms on the city wall, but if you enter the city to watch it, it is another feeling. If you want to avoid the crowds, please arrive before noon.
Best food of Himeji
The “SORA NIWA” restaurant on the sixth floor overlooks Himeji Castle and uses carefully selected ingredients to make creative French dishes. The meals served here use local vegetables, fresh fish and meat, etc., with selected ingredients in each season. You can enjoy Japanese-style French cuisine and even use chopsticks. Here you can taste delicious French cuisine while enjoying the beauty of Himeji Castle.
YAKINIKU RIKI Shirasagi
YAKINIKU RIKI Shirasagi is about a 2-minute walk from JR Himeji Station. It is a Yakiniku restaurant that offers meat dishes centered on high-quality Kuroge Wagyu beef. You can taste high-quality Wagyu beef slowly in a private box. You can also have dinner with a group of people in a refined and peaceful atmosphere.
The restaurant also offers all-you-can-eat set meals or à la carte dishes. The amount of meat in the meal is sufficient, and even a la carte can be very full. When tasting Kuroge Wagyu beef, we recommend not to over-cook it to maintain the original flavor of the beef. Come to “YAKINIKU RIKI Shirasagi” to taste high-quality beef with a sweet taste and soft texture. You will definitely be satisfied with this high-level luxurious roasted meat
How to get to Himeji Castle
The transportation part of Himeji Castle is very convenient regardless of coming from Kyoto, Osaka or Kobe. If you want to save money, you can take the JR New Express (Himeji Line), and you can take the Sanyo Shinkansen to save time. Basically, it is a direct connection and doesn’t need to transfer. Himeji Castle takes about 10 minutes to walk from Himeji Station.
Kawazu Sakura, Shizuoka–The Earliest Cherry Blossom.
Kawazu is the birthplace of the earliest cherry blossom- Kawazu Sakura, in Japan. The “Kawazu Sakura Festival” will kick off at the beginning of February until March every year. Kawazu Sakura is characterized by its large pink flowers and a long flowering period. It is the first cherry blossom in Honshu, Japan, so it is very famous.
There are a total of 8,000 Kawajin Sakura trees planted in the Hejin area, and the main cherry blossom viewing spot extends from the station to the cherry blossom tunnel on the banks of the Hejin River. Among them, along the “Kawaji Sakura Namiki Road” by the Kawajin River, there is a 4km-long pink tunnel formed by nearly 850 Kawaji sakura trees. It is in harmony with the blooming rapeseed flowers on the riverside. It is like a colorful and moving scene with the blue sky and white clouds, like a feast of colors.
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