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Saturday, April 08, 2006

Nagoya Cherry Blossoms

名古屋及び愛知県の花見

It's the cherry blossom viewing season (hanami) all over Japan. Here in and around Nagoya are some of the best places to catch the pale pink petals.

The Yamazaki River
An approximately 3km stretch of trees flanking the Yamazaki River, from the Ishikawabashi crossroads to the Mizuho Athletics Stadium. The trees are lit up at night and there is some access to the carp-filled river. A pleasant place to stroll or cycle.
Access: Mizuho Kuyakusho and Mizuho Undojo Stations; Sakura-dori subway line)

Cherry trees in full bloom along the Yamazaki River, Mizuho-ku, Nagoya

Tsurumai Park
Tsurumai Park offers plenty of trees in a downtown location. The sometimes raucous atmosphere, especially at night, is reminscent of the hanami scene in Maruyama Park in Kyoto. Groups of salarymen and students stake out spots for some often drunken partying after dark.
Access: Tsurumai Station; Tsurumai subway and JR Chuo lines.

Heiwa Park
Heiwa Park has the most trees in Nagoya and is a pleasant place to wander or picnic and admire the blossoms.
Access: Hoshigaoka Station (Higashiyama subway line) and Jiyugaoka Station (Meijo Subway line).

Nagoya Castle
Nagoya Castle Park is a very popular place for hanami with Nagoya castle providing an impressive backdrop and lots of space to spread out and find a fairly uncrowded spot. Companies lay out blue tarpaulins to reserve their party spaces.
Access: Meijokoen and Shiyakusho Stations (Meijo Subway line).

Reserved! Blue tarpaulins at Nagoya Castle Park

The Tenpaku River
The banks of the Tenpaku River in East Nagoya are a good place to walk or cycle, hanging lanterns are lit up at night along the river.
Access: Walk south west from Hara Station on the Tsurumai Line.

Tenpaku River with the Tenpaku Ward Office Tower

Okazaki Castle
40 km east of Nagoya, Okazaki Castle and the surrounding Okazaki Park is one of the most famous and lively spots for hanami in Aichi Prefecture and can get pretty crowded in the season. There are over 2,000 cherry trees, which are lit up at night, and lots of stalls to serve the thousands of hanami revellers. The town is well-known as the birthplace of Ieyasu Tokugawa, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate and for its large-scale production of fireworks!
Access: Meitetsu and Aichi Loop lines.

The Iwasaki River
Goshikien on the banks of the Iwasaki River in Nisshin is a pleasant place to picnic in semi-rural surroundings.
Access: About 3km north of Nisshin Station on the Meitetsu Toyota Line.

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