Among the best 100 cherry tree views and promenades in Japan
Along the banks of the Shiraishi River, which runs through the center of Ogawara-machi and Shibata-machi in Shibata, Miyagi Prefecture, an 8km expanse of blooming cherry trees appears: this is the Hitome Senbon Zakura.
Approximately 1,200 cherry saplings were donated by Kaijiro Takayama in 1923 and 1927 and have grown into the enchanting vision they are today about 100 years'time.
When in season, you see a fantastic panorama of the snow-capped mountains of Zao and the row of cherries in full bloom,
creating a marvelous contrast that led to this area being selected as among Japan's 100 finest.
“Hitome Senbon Zakura” is all in light pink in its flower peak so just indulge the splendid peak bloom in different ways- the cherry blossom festival, the exclusive marketplace, the slope car running through the flowers, sakura viewing houseboat, nighttime illumination, flowery bento meal boxes made with local ingredients…it’s simply the busiest time overflowing with visitors.
Cherry blossoms are the season with fresh, greenish leaves. When the hydrangea blooms, it dyes the light pink Funaoka Castle Ruins Park in spring to a bluish summer look. Just be amazed by the cool breeze on the veranda of the old residences and experience the summer of Japan with the fireworks that delight the night sky.
The red leaves of cherry blossoms beautifully fall in autumn. An exhibition of chrysanthemums is held when flowers turn the Shibata region into autumnal red. Come to the Sato residence, a tangible cultural property, to luxuriate in the moon views so as to sharing the joy of harvesting and giving thanks, as well as the Otakayama Shrine to be amazed by the kagura ceremonial dance dedicated to its annual festival.
Cherry blossoms are the season to prepare for the flowering in the next spring with illuminations at the Funaoka Castle Ruins Park and Ogawara Station like a lively outfit for the region with the nice slope car and lovely mascots. During the heyday of the northern yuzu citrus, visitors can even see swans flying to the Shiroishi River Park from Russian Far East. And, it’s also the best season for soothing hot spring.