Nagano Prefectural Tourism Official Mail Magazine
Published by Nagano Prefecture Tourism Department Tourism Promotions Division
International Tourism Promotions Office
We send this mail magazine to those who have exchanged business cards with members of our office.
We hope you’ve been well during these winter months.
Thank you again for reading our Nagano Prefecture Official Mail Magazine. This time, we’d like to introduce you to a flower-filled spring trip in Nagano.
From the peaks of the Northern, Central, and Southern Japanese Alps to the Yatsugatake mountain range, Nagano prefecture is surrounded by mountains. Over the course of the year, the peaks and valleys of Nagano take on the changing scenery of the four seasons. Spring in particular is magical. The warmth of the sun cuts through the winter frost and makes the distant, snow-covered mountains glimmer. In the valleys, apple, peach and cherry blossoms burst forth underneath a clear blue sky. Enjoy the lingering snow, warm breeze, and sweet scents of spring.
Using this mail magazine as your guide, take a trip to the flowering fields of Nagano!
Table of Contents
Special Feature: A Flower-Filled Spring Trip in Nagano
In April, Nagano abounds with cherry blossoms. In local parks and neighborhoods, sightseeing spots and castles, cherry blossoms burst forth as a symbol of spring.
Cherry Blossoms around Nagano Prefecture
Takato Castle Ruins Park (Ina City)
With views of the Southern Alps, Takato Castle Ruins Park is home to over 1,500 Edo Kohigan cherry trees. The scale and loveliness of the blooms has earned the park the name the best cherry blossoms under the stars. The park is famous nationwide and has been selected as one of the country’s 100 best cherry blossom spots.
More Information: Takato Castle Ruins Cherry Blossom page
Garyu Park (Suzaka City)
One of Japan’s 100 Best Cherry Blossom Spots, Garyu Park has a large pond surrounded by about 200 Somei Yoshino cherry trees which reflect clearly on its surface. In total, there are 800 cherry trees around the park. The blossoms are also lit in the evening and are a sight to see.
More Information: Suzaka Tourism
Nezama-no-Toko (Agematsu Town)
Around the bizarre rock formations of Nezame-no-Toko, you can enjoy Somei Yoshino and Yaezakura cherry blossoms. You can also enjoy the sight of pink petals floating down the jade waters of the Kiso River.
Ueda Castle Ruins Park (Ueda City)
Ueda Castle, built by Sanada Masayuki, is famous for repelling not one but two sieges by the Tokugawa army. The remains of the castle are now covered with 1,000 cherry trees which are illuminated during the evening.
More Information: Ueda City Homepage
Tatsuoka Castle Goryokaku (Saku City)
Cherry blossoms bloom in force along the moat surrounding the former Tatsuoka Castle grounds, carved into the shape of a five-pointed star. The trees here are not just your typical Somei Yoshino, rather including Beniyamazakura blossoms as well, so you have a longer window to see the trees in bloom. The petals cover the surface of the water. The five-pointed fortification is one of the only two of its kind in Japan, the other being in Hakodate, and has been registered as a national historical landmark.
More Information: Saku Tourism Homepage
Shinshu Takayama Godaizakura (Takayama Village)
In the countryside of Takayama Village are a group of 20 weeping cherry trees that are over 100 years old. Among them, five have been named the “Shinshu Takayama Godaizakura.” These large cherry trees bloom from mid to late April, creating spectacular scenery in Takayama’s idyllic landscape. During the bloom, the trees are illuminated at night and various tours are offered.
More Information: Shinshu Takayama Homepage
Koboyama Kofun (Matsumoto City)
Over 4,000 Somei Yoshino and Oyamazakura cherry trees bloom on the hillside of Koboyama, from which one can enjoy clear views of Matsumoto City and the distant Japanese Alps.
More Information: Matsumoto Tourism Homepage
National Treasure Matsumoto Castle (Matsumoto City)
The national treasure, five-story-six-floor Matsumoto Castle is brought to life in spring by the 300-some Somei Yoshino cherry trees planted along its outer moat. The annual evening illuminations are elegant.
More Information: Mastumoto City Homepage
Komoro Kaikoen (Komoro City)
The cherry trees of Komoro Kaikoen include Somei Yoshino, Yaezakura, weeping shidarezakura and more. Since their bloom periods differ slightly, you can enjoy Kaikoen’s cherry blossoms over a long period of time.
During the evenings when the park is lit with paper lanterns, the glowing stone walls and cherry petals create a mystical, timeless atmosphere.
More Information: Komoro City Komoro Kaikoen Festival Page
Kozen-ji Temple’s Weeping Cherry Trees (Komagane City)
The grounds of Kozen-ji, with its rows of several-hundred-year-old cedars, glowing moss, temple hall and pagoda, is revered as one of Southern Nagano’s most sacred places. Its 70 weeping cherry trees bloom beautifully in spring and are illuminated in the evenings.
More Information: Komagane Tourism Homepage
Cherry Blossoms along the Yokokawa River (Okaya City)
Cherry trees are planted along both sides of the Yokokawa River, forming two long arcs. About 400 Somei Yoshino cherry trees line the river for a length of about four kilometers. From the tunnel of cherry blossoms you can also see the glistening spring snow atop Mt. Hachibuse in the distance.
More Information: Okaya Tourism Homepage
The Colorful Flowers of Nagano in Spring
As the sun’s rays grow stronger and the cherry blossom season wanes, Nagano takes on a new look as other spring flowers burst forth. Among them, fruit-bearing trees show off elegant white flowers, fields are covered in bright yellow nanohana, and pink and red momohana peach blossoms decorate quiet hot spring villages.
Anzu no Sato: Chikuma’s Apricot Village (Chikuma City)
The grand scale of the Apricot Village’s orchard earned it the motto, “10,000 branches in a single glance.” The apricot flowers bloom in early April.
More Information: Homepagehttp://chikuma-kanko.com/tourist-guide/shinanonosato/
Apple Orchards (Nakano City and Yamanouchi)
In spring, the apple orchards around Nakano and Yamanouchi bloom with elegant, white flowers. Due to the area’s extensive apple farming, these fields of white blossoms extend across the town.
Tankakyou (Iizuna Kogen)
The hills of the Iizuna plateau are covered in apple and peach orchards. Around the golden week holiday at the beginning of May, the gentle pink peach blossoms and white apple blossoms burst forth. With Mt. Myoko in the background, it is a grand spectacle.
More Information: Iizuna Kogen Tourism Homepage
Suwa Lakeshore Quince Trees (Suwa City)
230 quince trees line the a 1.2-kilometer stretch of the Suwa lakeshore and bloom from eary to mid-May. The faintly pink blossoms are simply adorable.
More Information: Suwa City Homepage
Nakayama Kogen (Omachi City)
The buckwheat fields of the Nakayama plateau are a popular sightseeing spot for yellow nanohana blossoms during May.
More Information: Omachi Tourism Homepage
Nanohana Park (Iiyama City)
The idyllic countryside of Iiyama comes alive in late April when the nanohana blossoms carpet the fields along the Chikuma River. In the distance, the Sekida Mountains are still covered in snow, so visitors are delighted by a multicolored canvas of white, yellow, and blue.
More Information: Iiyama Nanohana Festival Page
While the temperature continues to fluctuate between hot and cold, it seems that spring is soon upon us. Even in my yard at home, small buttercup flowers have poked their heads out of the ground as if to say, “It’s time for spring!”
Out of all the seasons, my favorite has to be spring. I love the clear air and blue skies, and even more so the May showers. As a child, I often used to head into the hills with my umbrella and rain boots after school. I loved the sound of the rain, how it gathered in pools on leaves, how it made ripples in the river, and how it cascaded off rooftops.
Spring also made me excited. After the rain stopped, everything buzzed anew with life. Rivers swelled, grasses and leaves glistened with dew, and fresh blossoms looked brighter than ever. I found these memories of my childhood once again in Nagano, which must be why I love it here. Nagano awaits those who look forward to the simplicity of warmth of springtime. Forgot the everyday and lose yourself in the refreshing sensations of Nagano’s spring.
In the next edition of Nagano’s mail magazine, we’ll be delivering summer adventures (June to August). Stay tuned!
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Nagano Prefecture Mail Magazine (Published Quaterly)
Editing: Nagano Prefecture Tourism Department
Tourism Promotions Division International Tourism Office
Tel: 026-235-7252 Fax: 026-235-7257
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