Hi all. I’m looking to travel from Tokyo, through the Nagano region on the 14th of April, in the hope to see as many cherry blossom spots as possible. So far all of the top spots that I had in mind have had their season come too early (Matsumoto castle, Takato castle park). I would love it if anyone could recommend spots that are likely to be at full bloom or close to it on the 14th of April.
Is it possible that Iiyama city and Iiyama castle ruins would be looking good on that date? Many thanks in advance.
Also, I did read that Garyu Park only just recently started blooming. Could that be a possibility for April 14th or would it be too late?
The trees at Garyu may begin losing their blossoms on the 14th, but it should still be a spectacular view, especially considering that the fallen petals float on the pond’s surface. Similarly, Takashima Castle should still be worth a visit on the 14th.
If you’ll be driving, I recommend visiting the Nitanda cherry blossoms in Ogawa Village. It’s not easy to reach by public transportation, but it is a great example of Japan’s idyllic countryside. Search for 二反田の桜 on Google for a better idea of how it looks. Omachi’s cherry blossoms probably won’t be in bloom yet, but Mt. Hikarujo in Azumino should be nearing full bloom then.
Another spot to visit would be Takayama Village outside of Suzaka City (where Garyu Park is). Cherry trees that are over 100 years old can be found around the village near temples and farmland. It is also well-known for hot springs of Yamada Onsen. You can see more about the hot springs here, and see a map of the cherry blossoms here. The trees should be near full bloom on the 14th.
Iiyama Castle’s cherry blossoms will probably reach full bloom closer to the 18th, so it may still be too early to see them.
I hope that helps answer your question!
Thanks Blair. Have just noticed that your bloom watch page is showing that Iiyama Castle has started blooming as of this weekend. Does that mean it will likely reach full bloom before the 18th as you previously predicted? Maybe that will turn out to be a good option on the 14th 🙂 I’ll keep a close eye on the bloom watch page. How often is that updated by the way?
The bloom watch page is updated automatically using information from Nagano’s Japanese language tourism webpage. Looking at the Japanese site, it seems that only one portion of the area’s trees have begun to bloom, so I assume our April 18th prediction will still be accurate.
Could I get the website address for that site? I might take a look at it through google translate.
I was also planning to see the cherry blossom at Takato on the 16th, but I am re-planning.
I read your suggestions about Iiyama Castle and Omachi park, but I would love to attend a festival or see the trees illuminated, while these two places look more like parks. Is it correct? Do you have any other suggestions? What about Kurikara park?
Thanks in advance
Iiyama Castle Ruins Park and Omachi Park are both illuminated in the evenings during cherry blossom season. I believe there are also food stalls set up around Iiyama Castle Ruins, but I am not sure about Omachi. Unfortunately, I don’t know anything about Kurikara Park–where is it?
oh good, thanks!
Kurikara park was wrong translated by google :-O
I discovered it is a park next to Oyabe, where apparently the trees are still in bud (how is this possible?!)