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Five Magical Destinations to See Japan’s Cherry Blossoms With the Tobu Railway

October 1, 2020 Visit North Asia No Comments Email Email

Spring is one of the most enchanting times to visit Japan. From late March to early April, the whole country springs to life as the weather warms up and the country’s national flower comes into bloom.

The Tobu Railway operates in Tokyo and in neighbouring northern prefectures Saitama, Tochigi and Fukushima which boast some of the nation’s most spectacular cherry blossom destinations. Starting in Tokyo, here are five of the best cherry blossom viewing spots along the Tobu Railway’s tracks. It’s time to plan the Japan trip you’ve been dreaming of.

1. Look up at TOKYO SKYTREE® through the blossoms at Sumida Park

Look up at TOKYO SKYTREE® through the blossoms at Sumida ParkListed in the top 100 Cherry blossom spots in the country, Sumida Park stretches along both sides of Sumida River in downtown Tokyo with around 700 cherry trees along the one-kilometre stretch of riverbanks. Due to Sumida Park’s proximity to the popular historic and cultural suburb of Asakusa and Tokyo’s iconic 634-metre-high TOKYO SKYTREE, it is a popular spot for locals and international travellers alike to enjoy the blooms.

Bring yourself a blanket and try ‘hanami’ – Japan’s version of spring-picnics with drinks under the pastel pink blossoms with views of Tokyo icons.

Access Point:

Get to Sumida Park in just 5 minutes by foot from Asakusa Station.

2. Take a leisurely boat ride under the cherry blossoms at Kawagoe

Kawagoe is a small town located just 30-minutes north of Tokyo which is overflowing with historic charm. Kawagoe is known as ‘Ko-Edo’, meaning little Edo. This is because time here seems to have stopped in the Edo Era (1603-1867) – a time of Samurai.  The town’s quaint streets are lined with heritage buildings, shops selling traditional souvenirs and Japanese food.

In spring Kawagoe overflows with cherry blossoms, and after exploring the town you can rest your feet and soak in the sunshine and scenery on a ‘kawabune’ boat. As your boatman navigates you through the gentle waters of the Shingashi River lined with more than 100 cherry blossoms trees blooming on its banks.

Access point:

Tobu Railway’s Kawagoe Station. Tobu Railway has a special pass for visitors to Kawagoe offering discounts at tourist facilities, shops and restaurants in the area as well as a return trip from Tokyo.

3. Pink and yellow blossoms at Gongendo Park Sakura Tsutsumi

Gongendo Sakura Tsutsumi in Saitama Prefecture is a one-kilometre tunnel of around 1000 cherry blossom trees. Adjacent to the tunnel is a field full of yellow rapeseed flowers which create a wonderful contrast of vibrant colours, making this park one of the most popular places to see cherry blossoms in Saitama Prefecture.

Every year there is a cherry blossom festival where the trees are lit up and around 100 stalls pop-up selling food and drinks, making it a great place to sample the best of Japanese festival snacks such as chocolate-covered banana’s and baby castella cakes.

Access point:
The Gongendo Sakura Tsutsumi can be accessed in 15 minutes by bus from Tobu Railway’s Satte Station.

4. See sacred blossoms after dark at Kinugawa Onsen Gokoku Shrine

Take a ride north on Tobu Railway’s limited express from Asakusa and in under 2.5 hours you can find the small town of Kinugawa Onsen situated on the edge of the Nikko National Park in Tochigi Prefecture. It is known as a natural hot spring getaway and a great place to experience a stay at a traditional ryokan. During spring, the Kinugawa Onsen Gokoku Shrine located up the Kinugawa River is one of the best places to see cherry blossoms in the town.

Every April a cherry blossom festival is held at the shrine allowing visitors to see the flowers lit up at night, and because the shrine sits at the foot of a mountain away from the lights of town, the lit-up blossoms brightly stand out against the darkness, making the experience even more magical.

Access point:
A 15-minute walk from Tobu Railway’s Kinugawa-Koen Station to the Kinugawa Onsen Gokoku Shrine. Tobu Railway’s NIKKO PASS gives travellers a return trip from Tokyo, unlimited travel on trains and busses in the area as well as special discounts at some tourist facilities, shops and restaurants.

5. See Japan’s only Red-tiled castle surrounded by clouds of pink blossoms 

After the heavy snowfall of winter, Fukushima Prefecture’s historic icon –Tsuruga Castle seems to come back to life with spring bringing the somewhat 1,000 cherry trees on its grounds into bloom. Being Japan’s only red-tiled castle, it creates a warm contrast against the blossoms and is no wonder that it is another spot chosen as one of the top 100 cherry blossom spots in the country. Due to Fukushima’s location further north in Japan, the cherry blossoms come into bloom a little later and can be seen from April through to May.

Access point:
From Aizu-Wakamatsu Station, take the Aizu Loop Bus and get off at ‘Tsurugajo Kitaguchi’.

Get to Tsuruga Castle with ease using the YUTTARI AIZU TOBU FREE PASS
The Tobu Railway offers this special pass to this area which includes a return ticket from Tokyo and allows you to explore historical landmarks including Tsuruga Castle, and offers it’s users special discounts at some tourist facilities, shops and restaurants.

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