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Cherry and Plum Blossoms in Full Bloom! Six Select Spring Festivals and Events to Go to in Japan

In Japan, the cherry blossoms that bloom after the cold winter mark the beginning of the season for outdoor activities. In this article, we introduce spring festivals and events to visit if you are in Japan at that time of the year.

1. Ogawara Cherry Blossom Festival (Miyagi Prefecture)

This is a festival that is held when the Ichimoku Senbonzakura cherry trees along Shiraishi River, one of Japan's 100 top places for cherry blossoms, are at peak bloom. The festival offers many ways to enjoy the blossoms, such as simply walking around, purchasing the special flower-viewing bento boxes, enjoying the flowers lit up at night, and riding the pleasure boats.

2018 Schedule: Undecided. Usually between early and mid-April
Fare for pleasure boat to view the flowers: 1,500 JPY/adult (junior high school age and older), 800 JPY/child

1. Ogawara Cherry Blossom Festival (Miyagi Prefecture)

Shiraishigawa Ugan Kasenjiki Koen (Between Ogawarabashi and Suehirobashi), Oya Machimukai, Ogawara-machi, Miyagi

2. Fuefuki City Togenkyo Spring Festival (Yamanashi Prefecture)

Fuefuki City is Japan's No. 1 producer of peaches. In the spring, when approximately 30,000 peach trees are blossoming, the whole city turns into a beautiful sight that looks as if it is covered by a pale peach-colored mist. The Fuefuki City Togenkyo Spring Festival is held when the peach blossoms are in full bloom. A variety of events are held, including a reenactment of battles by approximately 900 warriors in armor. It is usually held for about a month, so a variety of flowers, such as Asian skunk cabbage and cherry blossoms, can be enjoyed in addition to the peach blossoms.

2018 Schedule: Undecided. Usually from late March to late April

2. Fuefuki City Togenkyo Spring Festival (Yamanashi Prefecture)

2223-1 Yatsushiro-cho Oka, Fuefuki-shi, Yamanashi

3. Hirotana Shibazakura Festival (Tokushima Prefecture)

This is a festival in Mima City, Tokushima Prefecture, that is held when the bright pink shibazakura (moss phlox) are at their height of bloom. The spectacular scenery of pink and white flowers covering the fields looks as if a flower carpet has been laid down. A variety of events, including performances of local dances and other performing arts, are held during the festival.

2018 Schedule: Undecided. Usually between late March and late April

3. Hirotana Shibazakura Festival (Tokushima Prefecture)

120-5 Aza Nishimatamyo, Waki-machi, Mima-shi, Tokushima

4. Shimabara Shibazakura Park Spring Festival (Nagasaki Prefecture)

This is a festival held in Shimabara Shibazakura Park in Shimabara City, Nagasaki Prefecture. Approximately 30,000 brightly colored moss phlox bloom in the spring, creating a majestic view. A market of Shimabara products is also held during the festival. There are also 5 million poppies and about 10 million rape blossoms that can be enjoyed at the same time.

Contribution to the Shibazakura Park Environmental Protection and Maintenance Fund: 300 JPY/adult (Free for high-school students and younger)
2018 Schedule: Undecided. Usually between late March and early May

4. Shimabara Shibazakura Park Spring Festival (Nagasaki Prefecture)

Within the erosion barrier perimeter of Shimabara Shibazakura Park, Kamiorihashi-machi, Shimabara-shi, Nagasaki

5. Fukui Cherry Blossom Festival (Fukui Prefecture)

This is a famous festival in Fukui Prefecture that will be held for the 33rd time in 2018. A variety of events are held across Fukui City, starting with the lighting on the rows of cherry trees (around 600 in total) along Asuwa River, which is approximately 2.2km long. For example, you can enjoy a magnificent parade of people dressed as historical figures such as famous Sengoku Period warriors from Fukui.

2018 Schedule: Saturday, March 31 - Sunday, April 15.

5. Fukui Cherry Blossom Festival (Fukui Prefecture)

Fukui-shi, Fukui

6. Yoshinoyama Cherry Festival (Nara Prefecture)

This is a festival held on Mt. Yoshino, famous for being one of Japan's foremost spots for cherry blossoms. At the height of the cherry blossom season, approximately 30,000 cherry trees of 200 varieties that are concentrated in four areas at the bottom, middle, top and back of the mountain bloom creating a fantastic scene. The trees are lit up at night when the flowers are in bloom, presenting a glamorous scenery that contrasts with the more delicate view during the day.

2018 Schedule: Wednesday, April 4 - Tuesday, April 24. May change depending on when the cherry blossoms bloom.

6. Yoshinoyama Cherry Festival (Nara Prefecture)

Yoshinoyama, Yoshino-cho, Yoshino-gun, Nara

How was it? The Japanese spring season has mesmerized people from ancient times with the beautiful flowers that bloom everywhere. There are many events held around the country, so enjoy them together with the floral scenery.

*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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