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Get Lost in Tranquility in Gifu During Cherry Blossom Season

March 31, 2021 Visit North Asia No Comments Email Email

Cherry blossom – also known as sakura – season is a magical time of the year where certain trees flower with a fairytale-like white or pink bloom.  Visitors from around the globe flock to Japan to see this breathtaking display of nature each March/April, and there is no better place to witness this spectacle than in Gifu.  The prefecture is fortunate to have multiple great cherry blossom spots, and thanks to the altitude differences between northern and southern regions, the viewing window is longer than other prefectures. 

Unfortunately, COVID will prevent international visitors from getting the chance to experience this stunning display of colour in person this year – but that does not mean we can’t enjoy the blooms from afar and start planning for 2022.  

Here is a list of Gifu’s best viewing spots where you can get lost in the tranquility and beauty of cherry blossom season. 

1.       Gifu City, Chūjō-hime Seigan-sakura Cherry Tree (otherwise known as Gifu’s Cinderella Story) 

This 1,200 year old tree located on the grounds of Ganjō-ji Temple, is designated a Natural Monument by the national government.  Legend says that long ago, when Princess Chūjō fell ill, this tree was planted to pray for her recovery.  The tree is 8.1 meters tall, the trunk is 1.5 metres in diameter, and each flower consists of twenty to thirty petals of pale cherry pink. But what is most amazing is that despite its great age the tree still blooms every year.   

 In more recent years however, the Chūjō-hime Seigan-sakura Cherry Tree has gained greater fame across the world since a seedling from the tree was taken to the International Space Station in 2008.  Upon the seedlings return to earth, it was planted in Gifu Prefecture, and in 2014, the tree bloomed for the first time – an incredible 6 years sooner than anticipated, as most sakura take approximately 10 years to bloom for the first time.   

2.        Takayama City, Sakurano Park.  It is said that in the late 1300’s, 7 different species of cherry trees, totaling 500 trees in all, were transplanted to this location from Mt. Yoshino in Nara Prefecture. 300 trees remain to this day, and   often these trees bloom later than most, between mid to late April.   For a unique way to experience sakura, visit Sakurano Park in the evening to see these majestic trees illuminated by Japanese lanterns.

3.       Takayama City, Enago River.  Meandering through Takayama’s traditional and narrow streets the Enago River is a charming waterway with numerous cherry blossom viewing locations to enjoy.  Visitors to this region are often treated with billowing sakura branches overhanging mossy green bricks, creating the most picturesque cherry blossom image of them all.  

4.       Gero City, area surrounding Gero Station.  Gero City is world renowned for its pristine hot springs.  The town is regarded as one of the three great hot-springs locations across all of Japan due to the quality of the water found here.  In April, visitors arriving at Gero via shinkansen are often greeted by the many cherry trees that bloom along the railroad tracks right outside the station.   

As we are unable to experience the full bloom of the cherry blossom season in person this year, immerse yourself in the beauty by watching a live feed here from locations all over Japan including Gifu Prefecture. 

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