Photo:Emran Kassim on Flickr

Top 3 Cherry Blossom Spots in the Tokai Region

Most people know where to go to find the cherry blossom adoring throng in places like Tokyo and Kyoto.  But what does one do in some of the lesser talked about locations in Japan?  This is a brief list of a few enchanting spots to see cherry blossoms in the Tokai region of Japan.

3. Tsurumai Koen(鶴舞公園), Aichi

Photo by kyu3 on Photozou

Located in Nagoya, Tsurumai Park is the quintessential Hanami location in Aichi prefecture.  Comparable to Murayama park in Kyoto or Yoyogi park in Tokyo, Tsurumai park is full, literally packed, with hanami goers and cherry blossom enthusiasts throughout the duration of the viewing season.  Some even camp out over night in order to ensure a good location for their blue tarp in the morning.

Although colloquially referred to as Tsurumai, the original name is Tsuruma which means “a place where water runs”, and this is appropriate for the park as it boasts both a large pond and a fountain.  The spaces around both of these are prime real estate by the end of March and early April.  If one is in Nagoya, don’t miss an opportunity to hanami at the premiere location in Aichi, Tsurumai park.

The Best Time to View : End of March - Beginning of April

Highlight: Sakura trees surround the tower and fountain. Illuminated at night during hanami season. Various street vendors operate during the season.

Price: Free

Place: Aichi-ken Nagoyashi Showa-ku Tsurumai1 (愛知県名古屋市昭和区鶴舞1)

2. Shinsakai River (新境川), Gifu

Gifu is a lesser-known prefecture neighboring Aichi, in central Japan.  In the past it was considered a vital central location for control of the country.  Today, Gifu is well known for it’s abundant nature, slow-paced life style and locally sourced gourmet cuisine.  It’s also known for having beautiful cherry blossoms.  An astounding display of these can be found along the Shinsakai River.

レルバ on Wikimedia Commons

Located in Kagamigahara City, the banks of the Shinsakai River are popular hanami destinations.  Many people flock to the area during the season.  In the evening, the trees are illuminated so people can enjoy “Yozakura” or night sakura.  It’s listed as one of the top 100 “Sakura Spots” in Japan.

The Best Time to View: End of March–Beginning of April

Highlight: 1200 sakura trees along the Shinsakai River. Various street vendors operate during the season.

Price: Free

Place: Gifu-ken Kakamigahara-shi Nakamonzencho (岐阜県各務原市那加門前町)

1. Mitake (三多気), Mie

アラツク on Wikimedia Commons

Yes, technically Mie prefecture is part of Kansai, but it is a neighbor of Nagoya and if one was in the area, popping in to check out the cherry blossoms wouldn’t be so difficult.  This is where Mitake makes its entrance.  Like Shinsakai River, Mitake is ranked as one of Japan’s top 100 spots to view cherry blossoms.

Surrounded by foothills and meticulously maintained, Mitake does more than simply provide a place for cherry blossom trees to grow, rather it presents them to you, framed within the beautiful natural landscape of the area.  Reflecting pools carved into the hillside enhance the effect of the forever-falling pink petals. This is a location not to miss for the sakura aficionado.

The Best Time to View: Beginning of April–End of April

Highlight: Illuminated at nighttime during hanami season. Various street vendors operate during the season.

Price: Free

Place: Mie-ken Tsushi Misugichomitake (三重県津市美杉町三多気)

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