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Five Recommended Cherry Blossom Spots Around Hiroshima

Hiroshima may bring to mind its autumn foliage, but it also has many wonderful spots to enjoy cherry blossoms. Here are five recommended spots around Hiroshima to view cherry blossoms.

1. Senkoji Park

This park is one of the symbols of Onomichi in eastern Hiroshima. With an old temple called Senko-ji (official name: Daiho-zan Gongen-in Senko-ji), from which the park derives its name, midway up the 140m-high Mt. Daiho, it is considered to be a place where you get immediate benefits from both Shinto and Buddhist deities. The approximately 1,500 cherry blossoms in the park in the spring are lit up by paper lanterns in the evening, creating a magical visage. The panorama from the observatory at the top of the mountain is also popular. A view of the streets of Onomichi and the islands in the Seto Inland Sea spread out below you, and on a sunny day, you can even see the faraway Shikoku Mountains.

Bloom time: Usually between early April and mid April

1. Senkoji Park

19-1 Nishitsuchido-cho, Onomichi-shi, Hiroshima

2. Ueno Park

This is a park in Shobara in northeastern Hiroshima. In the spring, it is filled with the blossoms of approximately 600 cherry trees planted mainly around Ueno Pond. Paper lanterns are lit up in the evening, and the view created by the evening blossoms and the warm lights of the lanterns reflected on the pond is considered by some to be the most beautiful in western Japan. The park also has a zenpoko-enfun (a key-shaped burial mound unique to Japan), which may be interesting to visit.

Bloom time: Usually between early April and mid April

2. Ueno Park

1 Higashihonmachi, Shobara-shi, Hiroshima

3. Miyajima

Miyajima is famous for the World Heritage site, Itsukushima Shrine. This island, which is always crowded with tourists, adorns the Seto Inland Sea with its approximately 1,900 cherry blossoms in the spring. The blossoms around the Goju-no-to five-storied pagoda and Tanigahara along the Uguisu Walking Path are beautiful, but the top recommendation is the view from the area around the Tahoto two-storied pagoda. From here, you can see the Tahoto among the blooming cherry blossoms, as well as the Goju-no-to, the otorii great gate, and Seto Inland Sea in the distance. Stroll a little further to Omoto Park, and there will be fewer people so you can enjoy the blossoms at your leisure.

Bloom time: Usually between late March and early April

3. Miyajima

Miyajima-cho, Hatsukaichi-shi, Hiroshima

4. Ondo-no-seto Park

The narrow strait of about 80m between southern Hiroshima on the main island of Japan and Kurahashi Island is called Ondo-no-seto and is busy with ship traffic. There is a legend that when the military commander and noble of the late Heian period, Taira no Kiyomori, was leading efforts to create new sea routes, he invited the sun to come back so the day was extended and the difficult task of opening up this strait, which was unnavigable at low tide, was completed in a day. It is famous for the two red arched bridges, but is also a popular spot for the cherry blossoms. There is a landscaped area with cherry blossoms called Sakura-no-sato with approximately 1,100 cherry blossom trees. Here, you can enjoy the beautiful view created by the ships that are passing by, the bright red arched bridges, and the cherry blossoms, and let your mind wander to the grand legends of the past.

Bloom time: Usually between late March and early April

4. Ondo-no-seto Park

8 Kegoya, Kure-shi, Hiroshima

5. Kintaikyo Bridge

This is a spot for viewing cherry blossoms near Shin-Iwakuni Station, just 16 minutes on the Sanyo Shinkansen bullet train from JR Hiroshima Station. The bridge was washed away several times over the years and improved as a result, and now has a structure with five wooden sections uncommon anywhere else in the world. The bridge that the lord of the Iwakuni Domain, Hiroyoshi Kikkawa, built in 1674 lasted for 276 years until it was washed away in a record-breaking typhoon in 1950. The current bridge was rebuilt in 1953. The enchanting scenery created by the bridge and the river continues to captivate visitors to this day. The springtime, when the approximately 3,000 cherry blossoms on the banks of the river are in full bloom, is the most beautiful season of the year. Visitors are enthralled by the beauty of the bridge and cherry blossoms reflected on the river. This is a cherry blossom viewing site that you don't want to miss.

Bloom time: Usually between late March and early April

5. Kintaikyo Bridge

1 Iwakuni, Iwakuni-shi, Yamaguchi

There are many beautiful spots to see cherry blossoms around Hiroshima. They are lovely in full bloom, but just as pretty when they are starting to bloom or when the petals are fluttering down as they fall.

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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