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This spring, JR EAST PASS will take you to famous cherry blossom viewing spots!

Magazine

UpdateApril 6, 2015
ReleaseApril 6, 2015

Cherry trees burst into blossom in spring only to last less than two weeks. Beautiful delicate blossoms make their brief flowering period and the shower of falling petals even more impressive. Indeed, the cherry blossoms have a special meaning for Japanese people. It is also really enjoyable to dine and drink while viewing cherry blossoms. We picked some famous cherry blossom viewing spots that boast exquisite flowers in eastern Japan. Take a trip with your JR EAST PASS to celebrate cherry blossoms this spring.
*The best period of each cherry blossom spot may vary, give or take a few days depending on the weather conditions.
1. Hirosaki Park
With the view of Mount Iwaki still partially covered with snow as a background, Hirosaki-koen Park is full of spring color with about 2,600 cherry trees in 52 varieties. They are beautiful at night as well.
Peak blossoming season: late April to early May
Access: about 15 minutes by bus from JR Hirosaki Station
http://www.hirosaki-kanko.or.jp/
Also to experience
Sukayu Onsen
The historical hot spring area is known for its highly acidic natural spring water.
2. Kitakami Municipal Park Tenshochi
You can enjoy a 2-km long stretch of rows of cherry trees along the quiet Kitakami-gawa River. There are 700 large trees that are about 90 years old.
Peak blossoming season: mid to late April
Access: 20-minute walk from JR Kitakami Station
http://kitakami-kanko.jp/
Also to experience
Chuson-ji Temple
The Japanese Buddhist temple listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
3. Weeping Cherry Trees in Kakunodate
Over-300-year-old weeping cherry trees are a designated national natural treasure. The black wooden walls and modest samurai houses are adorned with the spectacular cherry blossoms.
Peak blossoming season: late April to early May
Access: about 15-minute walk from JR Kakunodate Station
http://kakunodate-kanko.jp/
Also to experience
Old Samurai Residences
They preserve the style of the Edo era (1603-1868) and some of them are open to the public.
4. Shiroishigawa-zutsumi Hitome Senbon Zakura
You can enjoy 8-km rows of cherry trees stretching along the Shiroishi-gawa River. Cherry trees in full bloom are magnificent against the background of Zao Mountain Range partially covered with remaining snow.
Peak blossoming season: mid to late April
Access: about 3-minute walk from JR Ogawara Station
http://www.miyagi-kankou.or.jp/
Also to experience
Zao Fox Village
Foxes are freely walking around the facility and you can play with them.
5. Tsurugajo Castle Site
There are about 1,000 cherry trees that are mainly the Someiyoshino variety blooming against the background of Tsurugajo Castle with its castle keep made with red tiles.
Peak blossoming season: mid-April to early May
Access: about 20 minutes by bus from JR Aizuwakamatsu Station
http://www.tsurugajo.com/
Also to experience
Higashiyama Onsen
The quiet hot spring area is surrounded by mountains.
6. Cherry Trees of Nikko Kaido
They are the longest rows of cherry trees in Japan, extending between Utsunomiya City and Nikko City for a 16-km stretch. It is the best cherry blossom spot for viewing from buses and trains.
Peak blossoming season: mid to late April
Access: 30 minutes by bus from JR Utsunomiya Station
http://www.utsunomiya-cvb.org
Also to experience
Nikko Toshogu
The Shinto Shrine listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It celebrated its 400th anniversary in 2015.
7. Takada-koen Park
Enjoy the fantastic reflection of the 4,000 cherry trees lit up by 3,000 lanterns on the surface of the moat water.
Peak blossoming season: early to mid-April
Access: 20-minute walk from JR Takada Station
http://www.joetsu-kanko.net/
Also to experience
Sushi “Kiwami”
Enjoy sushi prepared with local seafood known for its highest quality.
8. Matsumoto Castle, a National Treasure of Japan
Three hundred cherry trees are planted around Matsumoto Castle, which is designated a National Treasure of Japan. The black castle keep and the flowers’ pale pink make a beautiful contrast.
Peak blossoming season: early to mid-April
Access: 15-minute walk from JR Matsumoto Station
http://youkoso.city.matsumoto.nagano.jp/
Also to experience
Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route
It is a famous sightseeing route known for the snow corridor that is over 10 meters in height.
The JR EAST PASS is a rail pass offering access to all JR lines in the JR EAST area, the Tokyo Monorail lines, the Izu Kyuko Line, and Hokuetsu Kyuko Line etc. You can use the pass on any five days within a 14-day period starting with the date of purchase (Flexible five-day pass.) It also allows you to hop aboard the Shinkansen trains. The fares of this convenient rail pass are very reasonable: 22,000 yen for adults and 11,000 yen for children. For further details, please refer to the information on the back cover or the URL below.
http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/eastpass/