Usuzumi Cherry Blossoms in Motosu City, Gifu
Spring, it is the best time to visit Japan! The cherry blossoms are so gorgeous that nothing can compare. There are tons of places to go cherry blossom viewing in Japan, but you will be missing out if you don’t put Usuzumi cherry blossoms, in Motosu City, Japan on your list.
Motosu City is in the countryside of Gifu, and the main attraction is the Usuzumi cherry blossoms. At the park, there is one very large, old tree on display. The explanation next to the tree, in all Japanese, explains that Usuzumi is over 1500 years old and is considered one of three great cherry blossom trees in Japan. The tree is so large and heavy that there are support beams for the branches.
The Japanese people cherish this tree very much. In fact, a few years ago, the tree was at risk of dying, so they gave it a root transplant. It is that important to them. There is also the fact that the government listed it as a national treasure.
When you visit, the old, large tree is the main attraction, but there are a few other cherry blossom trees nearby. They have a lighter pink than most cherry blossoms, so they appear to be almost white.
Usuzumi-zakura is located in the mountains, so if you frame your picture just right, you can capture a beautiful image containing both.
When the trees are in full bloom, Motosu City holds a festival nearby. This means that you are able to purchase traditional Japanese fare. One specialty I did notice was fresh grilled fish on a skewer. The smell was heavenly but unfortunately, the line was quite long! I decided to get a cheese dog instead. They also had some souvenir food shops in the lineup. Another alternative is to pack a picnic with you. You can never go wrong when pairing a picnic with beautiful cherry blossoms, so pack whatever you heart desires.
If you stick it out until night, or come later, they have a night light up event as well. It is quite popular, so if you go by car, I would recommend leaving early so that you are not stuck in traffic. The light up runs from 6:40pm until 9:00pm.
In order to get to Usuzumi-zakura, you can either go by car, or hop on the Tarumi line. The Tarumi line is accessible from Ogaki Station. There is parking available nearby. Entrance into the park is free, but the parking is paid parking. Aside from that, the only money you will need is for your food and goodies, should you purchase any.
If you are going by car, I recommend that you check out some of the other things that Motosu City has to offer including: The Neo Seismic Fault Museum and a delicious hole-in-the-wall restaurant called Shani Muni that serves mazesoba and tsukemen.