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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Nara Cherry Blossoms – 9 Finest Spots • Simply One Cookbook

Expertise the fantastic thing about Nara cherry blossoms. From historic temples to peaceable parks, uncover one of the best locations to witness these beautiful blossoms in full bloom.

Giant Buddha statue surrounded by cherry blossomsGiant Buddha statue surrounded by cherry blossoms

Chasing cherry blossoms might be aggravating. The ephemeral flowers sprout, bloom, and fall in a matter of a few weeks. Every space blooms at completely different instances, and the climate is a few of the most unpredictable of the yr, making it troublesome to know when one of the best time to go to is. All through this four-part information, I’ll take you thru Nara, Kanazawa, Tokyo, and Japan’s northern area, Tohoku. I’ll introduce a few of the prime spots you have to go to throughout your cherry blossom go to to Japan, in addition to some lesser-known spots that can take you off the crushed path. 

So, let’s get into our first spot, Nara!

Nara Park 奈良公園

Blooming Interval: Late March to Early April
Picture date: April 4th, 2024

It’s not a go to to Nara with out visiting the well-known Nara Park. The countless herds of deer, the famend Todaiji, and Kasuga Taisha Shrine are must-visits irrespective of what number of instances you might have been. As I gained’t go into an excessive amount of depth about what there may be to do right here, you’ll be able to try our full Nara journey information right here.

Deer in NaraDeer in Nara

Undoubtedly, many individuals go to Nara to see the bowing deer. Together with the cherry blossoms scattered all through the park, it feels other-worldly.

Todaiji can also be flanked by cherry blossoms, which paint the revered temple in a splash of pink. To the left is a big cherry tree, making for a picturesque scene!

Right here’s a vital tip on your cherry blossom viewing expertise! It’s higher to be barely late than early when chasing these delicate blooms. Because the pink petals fall, you’ll be handled to a sakura fubuki (cherry blossom snowstorm). The petals, whisked away within the wind as they descend, create a scene straight out of a film. It’s a very particular sight that means that you can recognize the fleeting magnificence of those blossoms absolutely.

Yamato-Koriyama Fort Ruins 郡山城

Blooming Interval: Late March to Early April
Picture date: April 4th 2024

The historic fort is positioned within the southwest area of Nara Metropolis. It has been designated as a part of the “Continued High 100 Japanese Castles” and “100 Finest Cherry Blossom Spots in Japan.”

Castle towerCastle tower

Yamato-Koriyama Fort Ruins is round a 10-minute stroll from Kintetsu-Koriyama Station or a 15-minute stroll from JR Koriyama Station.

When Lord Toyotomi Hidenaga (1540-1591) took over because the proprietor, he wished to create a fort befitting somebody with landholdings of a million goku of rice (the equal of sufficient land to provide rice to feed a million folks for a yr). One of the attention-grabbing factors of the fort is the partitions that Hidenaga constructed. It’s mentioned that there have been not sufficient stones to finish his thought, so he determined to supply from temples, unfinished Buddhist artwork, and even a Jizo statue.

Once I visited, there was a particular cherry blossom pageant. On the fort’s entrance, there was a line of meals stalls providing classics equivalent to yakisoba, okonomiyaki, and takoyaki. You may carry the meals contained in the fort grounds and have your individual picnic!

Whereas the present-day fort is generally ruins, the combo of the meandering moat, historic structure, and pockets of ethereal hues of pink blossoms is a unbelievable approach to benefit from the spring season.

Saho River 佐保川

Blooming Interval: Late March to Early April
Picture date: April 4th 2024

An effective way to discover Nara Metropolis is by bicycle. Its flat grounds within the heart make navigating and getting round easy and stress-free. I stumbled throughout the Saho River, which runs by town’s backbone. Lined with a staggering 5 kilometers of cherry timber, the river jogged my memory of Tokyo’s well-known Meguro River cherry blossoms.

But, as a substitute of the countless crowds in Meguro, I solely noticed locals having fun with picnics on the river mattress and households taking part in subsequent to the water.

River lined with cherry blossom treesRiver lined with cherry blossom trees

Whereas there aren’t any temples, shrines, or lavish landmarks, the river makes for an attractive scenic bike trip. There are spots the place you’ll be able to sit and calm down proper subsequent to the river, good for soaking within the spring surroundings at a extra leisurely tempo.

Matabei-Zakura 又兵衛桜

Blooming Interval: Late March to Early April
Picture date: April fifth 2024

Nara is far more than its central city. The southern components of the prefecture have a few of the finest and most stunning cherry blossom spots. The primary spot is Matabei-Zakura, an iconic weeping cherry tree estimated to be over 300 years previous.

Weeping cherry blossom treeWeeping cherry blossom tree

Legend has it that Sengoku warrior Goto Matabei escaped to this spot and have become a priest throughout the latter interval of his life, therefore the tree’s identify. The spectacular tree is 13 meters tall and has a 3-meter circumference, and the cherry blossoms elegantly cascade down it.

This was, by far, one of the spectacular cherry timber I’ve ever seen and is unquestionably price visiting, particularly in case you are a photographer. 

Whereas Matabei-Zakura is accessible by prepare and bus, it takes practically two hours, involving varied line modifications and plenty of strolling. I like to recommend renting a automobile and exploring the entire of south Nara in a day. 

Tsubosakadera 壷阪寺

Blooming Interval: Late March to Early April
Picture date: April fifth 2024

Positioned on Tsubosaka mountain, this distinctive temple combines Japanese and Indian influences. Accomplished in 717, Tsubosakadera is famend as a spot of therapeutic and profound magnificence. In response to legend, a neighborhood shaman discovered a Senju Kannon (a thousand-armed Buddha) buried right here, which gave him therapeutic powers. The shaman cured the Empress of her eye illness, and in return, she constructed Tsubosakadera. The story and the Senju Kannon have been enshrined within the octagonal Hakkaden Corridor.

Within the heart of the temple is a huge Buddha statue lined in clouds of pink cherry blossoms. On the method to the temple, you’ll be able to see the statue in its entirety.

Head to the correct of the statue and up just a few staircases, which is able to take you to a viewing platform. You” get an iconic view of the Buddha statue’s head poking out from the ocean of cherry blossoms.

To the correct aspect of the temple grounds is a 20-meter-tall Kannon Statue, which India and Japan co-built as an emblem of friendship and compassion. The statue was constructed by hand and took over 4 years to make.

Across the grounds, you will discover a 3-story pagoda inbuilt 1497, a wall of bas-relief sculptures telling the story of the Buddha, and a Taj Mahal-recalling sanctuary. 

There’s a lot to discover and unravel across the temple’s grounds, so take your time exploring each nook and cranny. To not point out the cherry blossoms, which I used to be fortunate to see in peak bloom!

The distinctive composition and mixture of buildings make Tsubosakadera unmatched in comparison with different conventional temples.

Hasedera 長谷寺

Blooming Interval: Late March to Early April
Picture date: fifth April 2024

Hasedera, shaped in 686, is the top temple of the Bunzan college of Shingon Buddhism, overseeing roughly 3,000 small temples nationwide. The enduring temple is perched close to the highest of a mountain, surrounded by numerous flowers, incomes the identify “Temple of Flowers.” 

Restaurant building exteriorRestaurant building exterior

The method to the temple is a small community of roads lined with dozens of retailers to discover, dine, and store your means by. 

There’s a small entrance price of 500 yen. Past the doorway gate is a sequence of lengthy corridors with virtually 400 steps main as much as the principle corridor. They don’t seem to be too steep, however you’ll positively work up a sweat, so a cushty pair of footwear is advisable.

Hasedera Temple Grounds

However in any case that effort, you can be granted beautiful views over the temple grounds, significantly the five-story pagoda that protrudes out of a sea of white and pink cherry blossoms. 

Lively monks stay and apply within the temple, so remember to respect and never disturb them. 

The principle corridor comprises a twelve-meter-tall wood statue of the Kannon deity, complimented by the corridor’s beautiful wood structure. 

The temple’s grounds are so huge that you possibly can spend half a day wandering round. Nonetheless, after climbing all these stairs, I used to be hungry! Close to the temple entrance, you will discover a small restaurant known as Suyacho (酢屋長). I attempted Mugwort udon, a neighborhood dish within the space. The udon had a slight earthy taste and had extra of a texture akin to mochi. It was a little bit chewier, which I beloved! 

One other well-known dish is Kakinoha-sushi, or persimmon leaf-wrapped sushi, which I picked up at a store known as Torase, a little bit additional down the street. You may select between mackerel or salmon-topped sushi. It’s also possible to eat in or seize a field to go.

Ishibutai Tumulus 石舞台古墳

Blooming Interval: Late March to Early April
Picture date: April fifth 2024

Should you’re driving round south Nara, it’s price stopping by Ishibutai Tumulus. It was thought that the stones have been a part of a performing stage – Ishi (石), that means “stone,” and the second, butai (舞台), that means “stage.” It wasn’t till the Nineteen Thirties, when components of a sarcophagus have been discovered, that it was believed to really be the tomb of Soga no Umako, an influential determine who labored carefully with Prince Shotoku within the Asuka interval to advertise Buddhism.

You may enter the grounds for a price of 300 yen and go contained in the stones, however except for that, there may be little else to do.

It was good to benefit from the countryside of Nara and see locals having fun with their picnics below the ocean of pink. I made a decision to hitch the motion and choose up a sakura-flavored smooth cream! It has a refined floral style with a touch of bitterness that balances properly with the sweetness of the smooth cream itself.

Mount Yoshino (Yoshinoyama) 吉野山

Blooming Interval: Late March to Mid-April

Positioned within the southern mountains, Yoshinoyama’s cherry blossoms are a few of the most picturesque in not simply Nara however the entire nation. Their mountainous location means they bloom later than the opposite areas I discussed above, so sadly, I simply missed out by per week.


The realm is unfold out over varied elevations, so blooming dates range, however in case you handle to go to throughout full bloom, the scenes look surreal. Roughly 30,000 cherry timber cowl the world, with the oldest tree mentioned to have been planted over 1,300 years in the past. Numerous types of cherry blossoms, from yaezakura to yamazakura, all with distinctive traits, bathe the mountain in a vivid pink. Its pure magnificence and lengthy historical past have been acknowledged as a UNESCO World Heritage Web site. 

Mount Yoshino Sections

The realm is break up into 4 sections:

  • Shimo Senbon (decrease 1000 timber) on the base of the mountain
  • Naka Senbon (center 1000 timber)
  • Kami Senbon (higher 1000 timber)
  • Oku Senbon (inside 1000 timber) positioned on the prime

The Shimo Senbon connects the decrease a part of the city and the mountain base. You may make the ascent by cable automobile (though ready instances might be lengthy throughout peak season) or hike as much as expertise the cherry blossoms up shut. 

Subsequent, the Naka Senbon space contains the higher a part of the city, the place you will discover many eating places, outlets, and lodging. Two noteworthy spots are Kinpusenji Temple and Yoshimizu Shrine, together with Naka Senbon Park, well-known for hanami. Shuttle buses additionally run between Yoshino Station and the Naka Senbon throughout cherry blossom seasons, costing 450 yen a technique.


As you enter the Kami Senbon, the city begins to dissipate and turns into a lot quieter. Head to Hanayagura View Level for one of the well-known views over Yoshinoyama.

Lastly, the Oku Senbon has many spots for hanami however only some spots to look out over Yoshinoyama. Because the cherry blossoms bloom round per week later, you’ll be able to go to right here if you don’t make it in time for the decrease areas.

The realm is a must-visit in case you are touring throughout this era and may simply be accessed by JR trains on the Kintetsu Yoshino Line. There’s additionally a direct categorical prepare from Osaka Abenobashi Station to Yoshino Station, which takes round 90 minutes and prices 1170 yen.

Takada Senbon Sakura 高田千本桜

Blooming Interval: Late March to Early April
Picture date: April 4th 2024

Straight translated to “the thousand cherry blossoms of Takada,” this lesser-known spot is nicely price a go to. Whereas the seasonal timber are sometimes loved all through the day, throughout hanami (cherry blossom viewing), you may as well discover many illuminations throughout the night, generally known as yozakura.

Festival entrance flagFestival entrance flag

The cherry blossoms illuminate, making a extra magical and fantastical environment. You may usually take pleasure in some traditional Japanese avenue meals. 

Takada River and the encircling streets are lined with countless rows of pageant lanterns and cherry timber. Many households and {couples} have been enjoyable by the river, with drinks and meals from the assorted avenue stalls. I picked up some enormous beef and pork skewers! 

Cherry blossoms at nightCherry blossoms at night

Most of the parks, temples, and shrines are open, particularly for Yozakura, so be looking out! It’s an effective way to take pleasure in a unique aspect to the cherry blossoms.

Cherry blossoms at nightCherry blossoms at night

In order that’s it for Nara’s cherry blossom spots! Nara is dwelling to a few of the most iconic spring scenes and needs to be up close to the highest of your itinerary in case you come throughout cherry blossom season! Once I was exploring, the south of Nara felt untouched, and there have been only a few foreigners, so I hope you all get the possibility to go to!

101 Places to Visit in Tokyo ebook101 Places to Visit in Tokyo ebook

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