There are many places along the Odakyu Lines to enjoy the abundant seasonal flora. Here we take a look at some of the well-known places that are popular among sightseers, and provide some information about great cherry blossom viewing locations that are favorites among locals. Experience unique local settings and Japanese spring in new ways!
Every year when spring arrives, Japan is abuzz with talk of the blooming of cherry blossoms. The soft pink color of the blossoms puts a sense of springtime into people's hearts, producing a dazzling spectacle together with the spring sunshine. Visit Japan during this season and experience the beauty of cherry trees in springtime.
Shinjuku Gyoen is a botanical oasis in the middle of the city. Its vast grounds of 583,000 square meters are characterized by English landscape, French formal and Japanese gardens, filled with seasonal plants and scenery. Some 1,300 cherry trees of around 65 different varieties are planted in the gardens, and the blossoms come into bloom in turn from end of February through end of April. The especially popular Yoshino cherry trees are best seen from the end of March to the beginning of April. In addition, various types of yaezakura such as ichiyo, kanzan and fugenzo are particulary worth seeing. Cherry blossoms against a backdrop of city buildings makes for a distinctly Tokyo-style sightseeing experience. Please note that playing sports or musical instruments is not allowed on the garden grounds. Also, alcoholic beverages purchased off-premise may not be consumed in the gardens.
Shinjuku Central Park is located next to the skyscraper district of Nishi-Shinjuku. Relax in the lush green environment of the park while gazing up at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government buildings and other towering structures. When in bloom, the cherry trees are delightful. Enjoy the blossoms of such trees as the Yoshino variety, including the Takato kohigan variety with its characteristic deep pink-colored blossoms. Blooming cherry blossom trees juxtaposed between tall buildings unite the cityscape and nature.
An abundance of seasonal flowers bloom along the Kitazawagawa Ryokudo, a path about 4.3km in length connecting Akatsutsumi and Ikejiri. The row of about 150 cherry trees between Route 7 and Awajima Street is a famous hanami spot.
The cherry trees of Mount Masugata in Ikuta Park are a famous sight. When they are in full bloom, the entire mountain is covered in pink, which is an amazing sight to see.
As you walk along this approximately 1.3km avenue of trees along the Asaogawa River, you can see the cherry blossoms reflected in the surface of the water, providing visitors with the feeling of a bright and beautiful spring.
Miyagino is located in the mountains of Hakone. Lines of cherry trees extend for around 600 meters along the banks of the local Hayakawa River. Cherry blossom viewing is exceptionally beautiful here during the flowering season, thanks to the ambience created by the sound of flowing river and other natural features. Enjoy the wonders of springtime at this popular Hakone cherry tree site, either by taking in the full blossoms a short distance away from the riverbank or by walking through cherry blossom tunnels formed by the arching branches at the top of the bank. Close to the Miyagino bus stop and the banks of Hayakawa River, you will also find a little-known gem of a spot with rows of weeping cherry blossom trees. This is a highly recommended area to visit.
Hakone Gora Park is a French-style garden located on Sounzan, which can be reached by the Hakone Tozan Cable Car. Enjoy the seasonal flowers, as well as cafés, shops and Japanese tearooms, and encounter Hakone’s natural environment together with Japanese culture. The garden has several types of cherry blossom trees to enjoy, including the Yoshino variety, the Fuji cherry with its adorable flowers, and the wild cherry unique to mountainous regions. Come to Hakone Gora Park for a relaxing outing, viewing the cherry blossoms while strolling around the spacious grounds. Admission costs 550 yen but is free of charge if you have a Hakone Freepass.
This grand garden features the Mikawaya Ryokan, a Japanese style inn located in Kowakidani, Hakone National Park. Houraien is a Japanese-style garden with exquisitely maintained trees on a vast site 66,000 square meters in size. During the cherry blossom season, Yoshino and weeping cherry blossom trees bring vivid beauty to the park. There is also open space where you can spread a blanket to sit and enjoy the scenery. Why not also visit Hakone Kowakien Yunessun, a nearby hot springs amusement park and spa resort? In addition to its cherry blossom trees, Houraien Park is also famous for its 30,000 azaleas that bloom in May and the gorgeous tree colors in autumn.
This is one of the most famous cherry blossom places for cherry blossom viewing in Kanagawa Prefecture, and was selected as one of the "100 Most Famous Cherry Blossom Locations in Japan". 350 Yoshino Cherry trees in full bloom, looking as if they are an army surrounding the castle keep and moat, entrance visitors with their beautiful appearance. Also, in the nights when the trees are in bloom, they are lit up with paper lanterns, creating a magical atmosphere.
This avenue of cherry trees extends along both banks of the Hikichigawa River for 1.5km. The cherry blossoms cover the river like a floral arch, providing an incredibly enticing spectacle for visitors.
Standing here, with a panoramic view of Mount Fuji in front of you, and looking down into Lake Ashi directly below, you can see why this spot was chosen as one of the 50 places of scenic beauty in Kanagawa. When the cherry trees are in full bloom with Mt Fuji behind them it is like standing in front of a picture, no matter which way you look. In this thoroughly well-cared-for garden, you can enjoy a pleasant stroll surrounded by an environment of artistic beauty.
As you travel along the Hiryunotaki (Waterfall) Nature Sightseeing Road from Hatajuku to Ashinoyu, you can see two Mountain Cherry trees that look as if they are snuggling up against each other. For that reason, they have been named the "Husband and Wife trees".
The shore of Lake Ashi is the perfect spot to view the magnificent Oshima Cherry trees there. Because these Oshima Cherry trees are best viewed from late April, the area has become known as a place, unusual for the Tokyo area, where people can see Cherry Blossoms during the long holiday in May. There is also a Hakone-en Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossom Festival) held here.
The Weeping Cherry tree at Choukouzan Shoutai-ji temple is an Odawara City designated Natural Monument, and has also been selected as one of the Hundred Famous Trees of Kanagawa. The tree is said to be 340 years old, and planted by Inaba Masanori, who was the domain lord of Odawara in the Edo Period. The tree with its flowering branches draped in all directions is an impressively dynamic sight.
Shogen-ji temple was founded a long time ago by adherents of the Boddhisattva Jizo in the Kamakura Era. The two large statues of Jizo in the form of the famous Soga Brothers, that are enshrined in the Soga Hall, have been designated as Important Cultural Properties of Hakone City. The large weeping cherry tree in the temple grounds with its branches spread wide and covered in blossoms is an amazing sight.
The Somei Yoshino cherry trees that stand at the entrance and inner garden. Guests can enjoy the natural scenery that changes day by day during the season of cherry blossoms as Japanese cherries can be seen bunched together on Mount Yusaka, which towers over the front of the hotel.
Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu shrine is a historical shrine located in Kamakura. An old road approximately 500 meters long (the "Dankazura") leads to the shrine, and there are some 300 cherry trees along the sides of the road. When the cherry blossom season arrives, this forms a pink tunnel, dazzling shrine visitors. Cherry blossom trees bloom on the shrine grounds at the end of the road, where you can also enjoy the view of cherry blossoms reflected on the surface of Genji Pond. There are restaurants and shops to visit on the nearby Komachi-dori Street. Stop by and explore while you're in the area!
A small hill a short distance from the center of Kamakura, Kamakurayama features a 3-kilometer road lined with rows of cherry trees that people flock to see when the blossoms start to bloom. Immerse your senses in the Japanese springtime by taking a walk through the cherry blossom tunnel formed by the trees arching across the road. When you come to view the cherry blossom trees, remember to check out the stylish cafés and restaurants in the area!
The grounds of historical Hase-dera temple have a garden with a walking path along which you can enjoy viewing various flowers in each season. In the cherry blossom season, the ancient Japanese tradition of flower viewing is brought home when you see the cherry blossoms against this backdrop of old buildings within the temple grounds.
Kotoku-in temple with the Kamakura Great Buddha is a popular sightseeing spot. A special treat that can be enjoyed only during the cherry blossom season is the view of pink flowers within the temple grounds set in excellent color contrast to the blue-tinged Great Buddha statue.
The season of fresh green leaves also marks the blooming of shiba-sakura, the moss phlox variety of cherry blossoms. The scenery of large grounds covered in a soft carpet of aromatic shiba-sakura is a popular draw for tourists.
Take a trip to these locations and enjoy the beautiful scenery filled with azeleas.