Every spring, beautiful blossoms meet your gaze every which way in Kawanishi City, where sakura have been planted throughout the town and declared “the Tree of the City.” Here, discover sakura spots found only in Kawanishi City, such as the cherry blossom tunnel viewed from the cable car of Mt. Myoken, the giant weeping cherry tree which has stood in Kogenji Temple since time immemorial, and the special species of Edohigan and Yamazakura tree growing in the Kurokawa area, lovingly protected by local volunteers.
★ Cherry blossoms blooming alongside the Hitokura Dam Edohigan, a type of cherry blossom that grows wild in Japan, is larger and blooms a little earlier than its more commonly found cousin, the Someiyoshino. Although growing in only a limited number of areas in Japan, Kawanishi City boasts a multitude of Edohigan blooming every year in a stunning display. A walk along the river from Yamashita Station on the Nose Electric Railway brings you to Hitokura Dam (Lake Chimyo), home to many cherry trees including Edohigan, Someiyoshino and Yaezakura cherry blossoms that unfurl in pink clouds all at once each spring.
↑A row of cherry blossom trees beautifully reflected in Lake Chimyo
★ A cable car ride through a cherry blossom tunnel As the cable car climbs Mt. Myoken on the northeast side of Kawanishi City, the mountainside emerges into view stippled with cherry blossoms in full bloom. The diverse types of cherry trees here bloom in different periods reaching their peak in a relay that extends the season of sakura sightings. At Myoken no Mori Forest, enjoy a barbecue and footbath, perfect for a spring break.
↑Going through the cherry blossom tunnel from Myoken no Mori Forest to the summit of Mt. Myoken
★ The 300 year old weeping cherry tree! A weeping cherry blossom tree of the Edohigan species, said to be three centuries old, stands at Kogenji Temple of the Hongwanji School of the Jodo Shinshu Sect of Buddhism. The vision of this single sakura tree, its roots gripping the slope of the land, fascinates onlookers. Among cherry blossom viewing spots, this remains a hidden gem.
↑10 meters tall and 20 meters wide, it is both beautiful and strong.
<Access to Kogenji Temple> Address: 97 Akamatsu kitatani, Kawanishi City Access: From Hankyu / Nose Electric Railway Kawanishi Noseguchi Station, take the Hankyu Bus to Seiwadai Chuo stop and walk west about 15 minutes.
★ Edohigan and Yamazakura blooming in the Kurokawa area A stroll through the “Kurokawa / Sakura Forest,” painstakingly preserved by local volunteers, surrounded by the expansive natural environment of the Kurokawa area, immersed in clouds of Edohigan and Yamazakura cherry blossoms, is a soul nourishing experience. The Kurokawa area is said to be “the best countryside in Japan,” selected as one of the “100 Best Satoyama (village regions) in Japan” for its idyllic harmony of humanity and nature.
↑“Kurokawa / Sakura Forest” preserved by local volunteers
↑The “Smiling Sakura” is Kurokawa’s symbol tree
＜Access to the Kurokawa area＞ Kurokawa Area Address: Kurokawa, Kawanishi City Access: Get off at Nose Electric Railway “Myokenguchi Station”
★ “Sakura,” the tree of Kawanishi City The cherry-blossom tree has been designated as “the Tree of Kawanishi City,” beloved by and close to the heart of the people. While walking through town, don’t overlook the manhole covers adorned with drawings of Tada-jinja Shrine, along with gentians, the city’s official flower, blooming together with sakura.