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15 Best Cherry Blossom Spots in Aichi
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With the arrival of spring, all of Japan is dyed in pink. This is because at the end of March cherry blossoms bloom (桜 Sakura). You can see the cherry tree flowers in its different versions: in the parks and botanical gardens, in sanctuaries, on the banks of rivers, through tunnels and mountains.

The season of the cherry tree is synonymous of “a new beginning”. It coincides with the start of the school year for students and the fiscal year for companies. However, one of the reasons why cherry trees are so important to Japanese is that cherry blossoms express life and transience at the same time, echoing a Buddhist philosophy that “all mundane things are transitory “: nothing lasts forever and beauty is ephemeral.

During the sakura blooming season you will hear very often the word “Hanami” (花見). “Hanami” literally means “to see the flowers”, but the fact is that is much more than just contemplating the flowers. Hanami means spending time with friends, co-workers and family, outdoors, while you eat and drink. The hanamis are a kind of “picnic-party” under the sakura trees. And you can not only enjoy it during the day, but also during the night, thanks to the “light up” of the parks (lights are placed around the sakura trees).

The Hanami origins

The Hanami is an event influenced by China, and is related to seasonal changes. In ancient China, the Chinese were particularly in love with the fragrant plum blossoms, a flower that represents purity and elegance, and reflects the qualities of constancy and resistance against adversity.

In Japan, during the Nara period (奈良 時代 Nara-jidai) aristocrats read Chinese poems celebrating the passing beauty of plum blossoms. In the gardens of the Imperial Court, the most common flowers were wisteria flowers, plum blossoms, peach blossoms and cherry blossoms. The cherry blossoms were very appreciated for their brief but brilliant flowering.

With every flowering, parties and events of poetry, calligraphy, flower arrangement and painting were held.

Hanami scene

It was not until the Heian Period, when the term hanami become synonymous with cherry blossom.

During the Sengoku period, the warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who unified Japan, promoted the cultural practices of the court among the samurai. The hanami was still a custom limited to the elite, and was totally inaccessible to ordinary people.

During the Edo period, the Tokugawa shogunate (徳川幕府 Tokugawa Bakufu) took things a step further. He ordered the planting of cherry trees in public parks, temples and shrines. This was soon introduced into other daimyōs, thus propagating the concept of public observation spaces for cherry blossoms, finally bringing the hanami to the commoners.

The best places to enjoy cherry blossoms

If you are traveling through the Aichi Prefecture or you live here and don’t know where to go, here is a list of the best places in Aichi where to enjoy the cherry blossoms.

1. Okazaki Castle and Okazaki Park 岡崎城&岡崎公園 (Okazaki)

Okazaki Park, chosen as one of the 100 best places in Japan to see cherry blossoms, has around 800 cherry trees scattered throughout the park and around Okazaki Castle.

There is also a cruising service across the Otogawa River called Funa Asobi (舟遊び) (30 minutes Adults 1,500 yen, children under 12 years 800 yen).

Cruise service in Okazaki Park

In addition to the festive atmosphere of the place during the sakura festival, there are also many food  stalls on the banks of the Otogawa River.

Also dont miss the Light up!

Best time: From the end of March to the beginning of April
Number of sakura trees: 800 approx.
Light up: 18:00 – 22:00
Address: 561 Kosei-cho, Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture
Google Maps
Access: Take a train from Meitetsu line to Toyohashi (豊橋) and get off at Higashi Okazaki (東岡崎駅). Once at Higashi Okazaki, take the northern exit towards the river. The park is a 15 minutes walk from the station.
Hours: Open 24 hours.
Prices: Free admission

2. Nagoya Castle and Meijo Park 名古屋城&名城公園 (Nagoya)

The Nagoya Castle is one of the most popular tourist areas of Nagoya. In its surroundings there are about 1,000 cherry trees of 10 different varieties, such as the cherry tree Yoshino or the cherry tree Shidare. The views of the cherry blossoms from the castle are an impressive landscape that can only be seen in spring.

Meijo Park is an area adjacent to Nagoya Castle. You can walk through the trails of the park while enjoying the majestic views of the Castle. And every year the Spring Festival is celebrated, where you can see the cherry blossoms during the day and you can also enjoy the mystical view of the trees illuminated at night.

Best time: From the end of March to the beginning of April
Number of sakura trees: 1,000 approx.
Light up: 18:00 – 21:00
Address: 1 Meijo, Kita-ku, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture
Google Maps
Access: Take the Meijo metro line to the Meijo Koen station (名城公園駅). Take exit 2 and you will arrive in 2 minutes on foot.
Hours: The park is open 24 hours a day. Castle 9:00 – 6:30
Prices: Free admission to the park. Castle fee: adults 500 yen, children under 12 years free

Visit the Meijo Park website (Japanese)   Visit the Spring Festival website

3. Inuyama Castle and surroundings 犬山城 (Inuyama)

Recognized by Unesco as Japan’s National Treasure, Inuyama Castle is one of the five oldest castles in Japan. From the castle and its gardens you can see the Kiso river, a river that separates the prefectures of Aichi and Gifu.

Around 400 cherry blossoms bloom along the banks of the Kisogawa River (木 曽 川). You can walk along the river Kisogawa or navigate through it. The Yuransen Sightseeing Boat allows you to enjoy the views of the cherry blossoms and the Inuyama Castle from the same river (It is not necessary to book in advance, 30 minutes).

In this post you can read more information about the city of Inuyama.

Best time: From the end of March to the beginning of April
Number of sakura trees: 400 approx.
Light up: 18:00 – 21:00
Address: 65-2 Kitakoken, Inuyama, Inuyama, Aichi Prefecture
Google Maps
Access: Take the Meitetsu train line to Inuyama station (犬山駅, approximately 25 minutes) or you can get off at the next station, Inuyama Yuen (犬山遊園駅, 30 minutes approx.).
Hours: Open 24 hours.
Prices: Free admission
Visit the Inuyama Tourist Information website

4.Tsuruma Park 鶴舞公園 (Nagoya)

With around 750 cherry trees, it’s one of the best places to see cherry blossoms and enjoy the hanami parties in Nagoya. During the spring, with the sakura blooming, it becomes a beautiful white and pink landscape to which locals and tourists come en masse. At night, the lanterns light around the trees make the park a magical place. There are also food stalls, and different musical and cultural events are held. In this post you can read more about this park.

Best time: From the end of March to the beginning of April
Number of sakura trees: 750 approx.
Light up: 18:00 – 22:00
Address: 1 Chome, Tsurumai, Showa-ku, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture
Google Maps
Access: Take the Tsurumai subway line, or the JR Chuo train line. 1 minute walk from Tsurumai station.
Hours: Open 24 hours
Prices: Free admission
Visit the website (japonés)

5. Gojo River 五条川 (Iwakura)

Around 1,400 cherry trees bloom along both banks of the Gojo River, which runs through the center of the city of Iwakura. With a length of approximately 7.6 km, you can enjoy the view of the rows of sakura trees that line the river, as well as the views from the bridges from where the blossoming trees are reflected in the water. On both banks there are numerous food stalls and recreation areas.

During the sakura festival one of the oldest traditions of the area called “Nonbori Arai” (のんぼり洗い Flag Washing) takes place. This is an old method of dyeing “nobori” flags that consists of washing the glue used to isolate parts of the fabric that should not come into contact with the pigments. This tradition is one of the cultural legacies of Iwakura, and when it takes place during the sakura festival, a large number of tourists gather to enjoy the picturesque views of the artisans working on the river.

Gojogawa Nonbori Arai

Best time: From the end of March to the beginning of April
Number of sakura trees: 1,400 approx.
Light up: 18:00 – 21:00
Address: 2-1, Shimoichiba, Shimohommachi, Iwakura, Aichi Prefecture
Google Maps
Access: Take the Meitetsu Inuyama line to Iwakura station (岩倉駅). From there you will arrive in 5 minutes walk.
Hours: Open 24 hours
Prices: Free admission

6. Yamazaki River Four Seasons Road 山崎川四季の道 (Nagoya)

Along the Yamazaki River, you will find another of the best places to see the cherry blossoms in Nagoya. With approximately 2.5 kilometers and around 600 cherry blossoms.

Best time: From the end of March to the beginning of April
Number of sakura trees: 600 approx.
Light up: 18:00 – 21:00
Address: Yamashita-dori, Mizuho-ku, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture
Google Maps
Access: Take the Sakura Dori subway line to Mizuho Undojo Nishi Station (瑞穂運動場西駅). From there 16 minutes walk to the river.
Hours: Open 24 hours
Prices: Free admission

7. Sakurabuchi Park 桜淵公園 (Shinshiro)

Sakurabuchi Park, designated as a Natural Park, takes its name from its avenues of cherry trees that, with their flowers, stain the banks of the Toyokawa River, a river that meanders through the park. It is said that the Sakurabuchi Park began with the planting of cherry trees along the Toyokawa River by the lord of the Shinshiro Castle during the Edo Period (early seventeenth century).
The contrast of the pink of the sakura flowers and the emerald green of the vegetation along with the river and the red bridges, make this a place with a captivating landscape.

Best time: From the end of March to the beginning of April
Number of sakura trees: 2000 approx.
Light up: 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Address: Yanaida, Niwano, Shinshiro, Aichi Prefecture
Google Maps
Access: Take the JR train to Toyohashi Station (豊橋駅). There he changes train from the same line to the Higashi-Shinmachi station (東新町駅). From there 15 minutes walk.
Hours: Open 24 hours
Prices: Free admission

8. Arakogawa Park 荒子川公園 (Nagoya)

In this park there are around 1000 cherry trees on both sides of the Arakogawa River. The park extends 2.5 km following the river and it’s perfect to enjoy peacefully the sakura trees.
There are multiple recreation areas, a park for the little ones, barbecue area, a Japanese garden and a Tea Room.
Arakogawa Park is also famous for its 3,000 square meter lavender field. In this article you can read more information about Arakogawa Park.

Best time: From the end of March to the beginning of April
Number of sakura trees: 1,000 approx.
Light up: 18:00 – 21:00
Address: 2-1-1 Shinagawa-cho, Minato-ku, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture
Google Maps
Access: Take the Aonami line to the Arakogawakoen station (荒子川公園駅). The park is right next to the AEON MALL shopping center.
Hours: Open 24 hours. During the Sakura Festival 10:00 – 15:30
Prices: Free admission
Visit the website (Japanese)

9. Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens 東山動植物園 (Nagoya)

Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens with sakura
Photo credit: すずやす

The Higashiyama Zoo houses more than 550 species of animals, including elephants, penguins, bears, tigers, giraffes, birds, reptiles, hippos, monkeys, lions, skunks, rhinos, seals, etc.

Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens with sakura

Next to the zoo, is the oldest greenhouse in Japan that houses more than 7,000 varieties of plants, making it one of the most complete botanical gardens in Asia. The Botanical Garden also houses about 1000 cherry trees of 100 different species.

Best time: Early March to the end of April
Number of sakura trees: 1000 approx.
Light up: No
Address: 3-70 Higashiyama Motomachi, Chikusa-Ward, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture
Google Maps
Access: From Nagoya Station take the subway from Higashiyama Line to Higashiyama Koen Station (東山動物園駅). From the exit 3 of the station you will take about 3 minutes walking.
Hours: 9:00 – 16:50
Prices: Free admission
Visit the website

10. Meiji Mura 明治村 (Inuyama)

The Meiji-Mura Museum is an open-air museum of buildings from the Meiji Period (1868 – 1912), a period when the foundations of modern Japan were laid. Within the large grounds there are more than 60 culturally important buildings, including important nationally designated cultural properties. Meiji Mura has around 1000 cherry trees and is one of the areas chosen by the cosplayers to be photographed.

Best time: From the end of March to the middle of April
Number of sakura trees: 1000 approx.
Light up: No
Address: 1 Aza-Uchiyama, Inuyama, Aichi Prefecture
Google Maps
Access: From the Inuyama station of the Meitetsu Inuyama line (aboard the Meitetsu Nagoya station), take the Gifu community bus to Meiji-Mura
Hours: 9:30 – 17:00
Prices: Adults 1700 yen, under 12 yrs 600 yen
Visit the website

12. Togokusan Fruits Park 東谷山フルーツパーク (Nagoya)

Togokusan Fruits Park it is located below the Togokusan Mountain. The park has several facilities such as an orchard with fruit plants of about 15 varieties and a tropical fruit greenhouse with about 100 types of rare fruits. Inside the park there are around 1,000 weeping cherry trees (Yaebeni shidare), famous for its beautiful pink flowers.

Best time: Beginning of April to mid-April
Number of sakura trees: 1000 approx.
Light up: No
Address: 2110 Aza Togoku, Oaza Kamishidami, Moriyama-ku, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture
Google Maps
Access: Take the JR train to Kozoji Station (高蔵寺駅). From there, take a bus from the Yutori line and get off at the Togokubashi (東谷橋) stop. From there, 20 minutes walking to the park. Or, walking 35 minutes from Kozoji station.
Hours: 9:00 – 16:30
Prices: Free admission. Entrance to the tropical fruit tree greenhouses: adult 300 yen, under 12 years free.
Visit the website (Japanese)

13. Suigen Park 水源公園 (Toyota)

The Suigen Park, which stretches along the Yahagi River, is one of the most famous places in the city of Toyota to see the cherry blossoms. In the spring, its more than 450 cherry trees turn the whole area into a magnificent landscape of pink tones.
The bicycle route that goes from the Suigen park to the Toyota Arrows bridge, Foresta Hills and other places is highly recommended.

Best time: From the end of March to the beginning of April
Number of sakura trees: 450 approx.
Light up: 18:00 – 21:00
Address: Suigen-cho, Toyota, Aichi Prefecture
Google Maps
Access: Take the Meitetsu train to the Toyota station (豊田駅). From there, take a bus and get off at Suigen Heiwa stop (水源平和). 10 minutes walk from the stop.
Hours: Open 24 hours
Prices: Free admission

14. Kijo Park 亀城公園 (Kariya)

The Kijo Park, close to the ruins of Kariya Castle, is one of the best places in the city of Kariya to see the cherry blossoms.

Best time: From the end of March to the beginning of April
Number of sakura trees: 400 approx.
Light up: 18:00 – 21:00
Address: 1-1 Shiromachi, Kariya, Aichi Prefecture
Google Maps
Access: Take the JR Tokaido train to the Aizuma station (逢妻駅). From there, 15 minutes walk to the park.
Hours: Open 24 hours
Prices: Free admission

15. Okuyamada Shidare Sakura 奥山田しだれ桜 (Okazaki)

With 1300 years of age, this is the oldest tree in the entire Aichi Prefecture. At 17 meters high, this wild cherry tree is a natural treasure of the city of Okazaki. You can enjoy its flowers both day and night. Although if you are going to use public transport, I recommend that you go at night, since the bus service ended quite soon.

Best time: From the end of March to the beginning of April
Number of sakura trees: 1
Light up: 18:00 – 21:30
Address: 28 Okuyamadamachiya, Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture
Google Maps
Access: Take the train from the Meitetsu line to the Higashi Okazaki station (東岡崎駅). There change to a Meitetsu bus in the direction of Otonojinya (奥殿陣屋) and get off at Hokutodaiguchi (北斗台口). From there about 20 minutes walk.
Or take the train from the Meitetsu line to the Higashi Okazaki station (東岡崎駅). There change to a Meitetsu bus in the direction of Otodenjinya (北斗台団地) and get off at 3-Gō Kōenmae (3号 公園前). From there about 10 minutes walk.
Hours: Open 24 hours
Prices: Free admission
Visit the website (Japanese)

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