Aomori Prefecture is located in the northernmost tip of Japan’s Tohoku region. It has an abundance of natural parks, virgin forests, mystic lakes, as well as ancient archeological sites and culture-rich festivals. More importantly, Aomori is notably popular during spring when local and international tourists are thrilled to celebrate the cherry blossom season.
If you’re visiting Aomori prefecture to enjoy the world-renowned beauty of this delicate flower, you are in for a thrilling surprise. There are at least three very popular spots where cherry blossom festivals are being held, two of which are listed among Japan’s Top 100 Cherry Blossom Sites in Japan, as compiled by the Japan Cherry Blossom Association, can be found in Aomori Prefecture.
However, you must take note that every cherry tree can only bloom for a full week, and with more than 600 varieties of cherry trees in Japan, you must know exactly when and where the cherry blossoms will peak before you make any travel plans. Your best bet is to consult the annual cherry blossom forecast. The cherry blossom is that must anticipate all over Japan that this kind of forecasting was established.
Here are some of the best cherry blossom sites in Aomori prefecture.
It is undeniably true that there is no better way to marvel at these tiny, yet gorgeous, cherry blossoms in Aomori Prefecture than at the Hirosaki Park. The Hirosaki Castle propped against the blue sky and surrounded by more than 2,500 cherry blossom trees in full bloom is just so magnificent sight to behold.
The Hirosaki Castle, one of the 100 Landscapes of Japan, is a 17th-century castle that used to house the ruling Tsugaru clan of that era. It was originally a five-story hirayama-styled Japanese castle but as it kept getting burned down by lightning, it was rebuilt and maintained in its current three-story glory in 1810.
The Hirosaki Park is designated as one of Top 100 Cherry Blossom Sites in Japan. A Cherry blossom festival (sakura matsuri) is being held annually at the Hirosaki Park when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. The event usually happens between the last week of March and the first week of April. You need to consult the Cherry Blossom forecast so you won’t miss the exact dates.
The park is easily accessible from the JR Hirosaki Station. You may reach it in just 15 minutes if you’ll take the Dotemachi Loop bus and get off at Shiyakusho-mae bus stop.
Address: 1 Shimoshiroganecho, Hirosaki 036-8356, Aomori Prefecture
While you’re in Hirosaki City, you may want to take a drive to the foot of Mt. Iwaki where there you can find the World’s Longest Cherry-Lined Road. It is a 20-kilometer road planted with about 6,500 Oyamazakura cherry trees where you’ll get to admire the beautiful cherry blossom with a mountain backdrop.
Ashino Park is a prefectural natural park in Goshogawara City. Its major features include the Ashino Lake, a 128m long bridge, 256m long float bridge, and an old-fashioned rail station. It’s 80 hectares of land is planted with more than 2,000 cherry blossom trees and around 1,300 pine trees.
Sakura Matsuri is held at the park annually during the Golden Week (April 25 to May 5). Similar to the Hirosaki Park, this area of the Tsugaru Peninsula was chosen as one of Japan’s Top 100 Best Cherry Blossom Sites.
The best way to reach Ashino Park is to take the Tsunagu Railway train to Ashino Kouen station where you’ll be welcomed by a tunnel of cherry blossom trees spanning on both sides of the railroad track.
Address: Ashino, Kanagicho, Goshogawara, Aomori Prefecture
Towada City Kanchogai-dori (Komakaido)
Also known as Komakaido, the Kanchogai-dori along the Koma Highway was chosen as one of the Top 100 Japanese Roads because of the 156 cherry trees and 165 pine trees lining both sides of the road. During the cherry blossom season, the road turns pink as the tiny petals fall on the ground while the trees remain pink with its remaining flowers, making it a sight to behold.
For this reason that Komakaido becomes the center of the Towada City Spring Festival. An annual event that occurs between April and May, depending on the cherry blossom forecast. The event highlights happen at the Chuo Koen (Chuo Park) and Sakura no Hiroba (Sakura Plaza).
You’ll reach Komakaido by walking 15 minutes from Towada Kanko Electric Railway Line Towada-shi Station
Address: Towada, Aomori Prefecture
Hirosaki Park, Ashino Park, and Towada City Kanchogai-dori are just three of the most popular cherry blossom spots in Aomori prefecture where Cherry Blossom Festivals are being held annually. However, there still are a lot more places to go to for admiring the beauty of Japan’s unofficial flower. Here are a few more notable spots for cherry blossom viewing.
· Higashi Park ~ 2-Chome Sakunoki, Kuroishi-shi, Aomori Prefecture
· Hachinohe Park ~ enma-33-2 Tokaichi, Hachinohe-shi, Aomori Prefecture
· Sannohe Castle Site ~ Shironoshita-34, Umenai, Sannohe-machi, Sannohe-gun, Aomori Prefecture
· Hachinohe Kitakyuryo Shimoda Park ~ Mukaiyama, Oirase-cho, Kamikita-gun, Aomori Prefecture
· Gappo Park ~ 2 Chome-17-50 Gappo, Aomori-shi, Aomori Prefecture
· Tsugaru Fujimi Lake Park ~ Osawa 81-150 Mawarizeki, Tsuruta, Kitatsugaru, Aomori Prefecture
How to go to Aomori Prefecture
You could reach Aomori prefecture by taking the Tohoku Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Shin-Aomori Station in 3 hours. By plane, there are several 1 hour and 15 minutes flights from Haneda Airport (HND) to Aomori Airport (AOJ). Use Google Flights to find the cheapest flight rates or Hyperdia if you’re traveling by train.
For more information about Aomori Prefecture, visit the Aomori Prefecture Official Website: https://www.pref.aomori.lg.jp/foreigners
About the author: Noel Cabacungan is a travel writer from the Philippines. His first international flight brought him to Japan where he was greeted with a sudden outburst of his childhood nostalgia. He’s currently running #JAPAN47project a series of guest posts detailing major points of interest that are unique to each of Japan’s 47 prefectures.
If you find this post interesting, you may also want to take a look at these “Photos that Will Make You Want to Visit Hokkaido Prefecture” or these “Eco-Tourism Attractions in Iwate Prefecture"