Here is another edition of our TIC 2016 Sakura Special~!
This time I am introducing the annual Cherry Blossom Festival held in Hirosaki Park located in Aomori prefecture in the Tohoku region.
Hirosaki Park is considered one of the best cherry blossom viewing sites in Japan!
There are over 2,600 trees all around the castle. Moreover, since Aomori prefecture is famous for its apples, it seems that the local apple farmers at Hirosaki Park help prune the cherry blossom trees, thus making them grow more beautifully than elsewhere. (Source)
Photo by N. Kanamura
One of the main features of Hirosaki Park in the spring season is the view of a flowing carpet of pink petals when the cherry blossoms start to flutter down the moats.
This year, the 2016 Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival will be held from April 23 to May 6. Here are some of the best spots to check out!
The Western Moat
The western moat area at the Hirosaki Castle is the perfect spot to enjoy the cherry blossoms! To fully immerse in the sakura viewing experience, you can rent a boat and row around the moat, which is surrounded by cherry blossoms tree all around.
** Boat rental: 9am – 5pm, ￥1000 for 60 minutes
However, don’t worry if you’re not in the mood to row! There is a tunnel made up of cherry blossom trees at the west moat area where you can take a slow stroll to appreciate Japan’s pink treasure in full bloom.
If you plan to spend the whole day at Hirosaki, be sure not to miss the sakura illumination at night during the Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival period.
The illumination of the lights emphasizes the elegant beauty of cherry blossoms, offering the unique scenery of 夜桜 (yo-zakura: night sakura).
Hirosaki Castle and Gejobashi Bridge
Another spot you shouldn’t miss is the view of Hirosaki Castle and Gejobashi Bridge under the pink cherry blossoms in full bloom. It’s the classic spring scenery in Japan that everyone adores: a majestic castle, a simple red bridge, and cherry blossoms branching out from the sides.
One of the most famous landmarks of Aomori prefecture, Mt. Iwaki, can be seen from this particular area at the Hirosaki Castle. The combination of the snow-capped mountain and sakura trees planted at the Honmaru area also offers a spectacular view for a memorable picture of your stay in Japan!
Hirosaki park is also one of the best place to enjoy Sakura Blizzard (besides Philosophy’s path in Kyoto in my opinion).
What is Sakura blizzard? check out this cool clip from Discover Nihon.
Dates: April 23, 2016 – May 6, 2016
Time: 7:00 – 21:00
Admission: ￥310 Adults (Groups ￥250)
￥100 Children -15 and under (Groups ￥80)
*This admission fee is for entering the Honmaru, which is the central part of the castle.
To get to Hirosaki from Tokyo, take the Tohoku Shinkansen to Aomori (3 hours 20 mins) and then take the Tsugaru limited express train to Hirosaki Station (30 mins).
Hirosaki Park can be reached from Hirosaki Station with a 30 minute walk or a 10 minute taxi ride.
That’s all for today. See you next blog!