Updated: Feb 26, 2019
Like many areas around Japan, come end of March and April an eruption of vibrant pinks and whites takes place in Fukui. This is a great time of year to get outside and experience the changing of the seasons. The best cherry blossom spots in Fukui, Japan can be found along rivers, along well-planted streets, various shrines and temples and throughout certain mountainsides.
Part of ShizenStyle is allowing yourself to appreciate nature on a regular basis. It’s both refreshing and inspiring. In Japan this has become a part of their cultural DNA, but you might need to make some effort to find a good spot in North America and Europe. Washington, DC takes the cake in the US for large plantings of cherry trees and viewing spots along the river. Some Japanese gardens may also have a Hana-mi cherry blossom viewing. You can also benefit for finding your own personal spot in a park or a hidden treasure while out hiking. Mountain Sakura (wild grown Yama Zakura) are also a thing to cherish.
The Meaning of Cherry Blossoms
The Cherry blossom has a special place in the hearts of Japanese people. A symbol of Japan, it represents life’s impermanence and fragility. The cherry blossoms bloom for only a short period, usually a few weeks but it all depends on the rain and wind that can wipe them out, leaving a beautiful blanket of petals behind. It is a reminder of how beautiful life is and also how quickly it disappears; therefore we need to appreciate the present moment that we have.
Hanami – Cherry Blossom Viewing
Usually there are particularly popular cherry blossom viewing spots where people gather. In the daytime many people get together for picnics with friends and coworkers. Reserving your spot by sprawling out your tarp or blanket is a necessity in the popular areas. When Satomi was working in a mid-size company they would always send out the newbie to go early in the morning to stay and claim the company spot. Needless to say, day drinking is a must.
At nighttime, Hanami cherry blossom viewing is also a really popular event. Many shrines and parks will light up the cherry blossom trees, which brings a whole new crowd of people for night viewing. This tradition also carries over into fall maple tree viewings, which really come alive at nighttime.
So where are some of the best cherry blossom viewing places in Fukui?
First and foremost I would say that the Asuwa River is a must see! Near Fukui station it is a row 2 kilometers of cherry trees planted along the river. Some parts of it form a tunnel of cherry blossom trees along the bike path that overlooks the river. Other areas lend themselves more to trees on one side and great views of the river and downtown on the other.
The Asuwa River cherry blossoms have a special place in our heart because our daughter was born at a hospital right nearby. I would visit my wife in the hospital after our daughter was born on April 4th, during prime cherry blossom blooms, and stroll around the walking path sometimes. When we took our daughter home from the hospital it was only appropriate that we took some pictures with our newborn under the trees near the water.
There is also a perfect place to stay just overlooking the trees on the river. The Hotel Riverge Akebono has great views, with a convenient location, and relaxing hot tub onsens on the higher floors.
Nishiyama Koen (Park) has about 1,000 cherry trees planted throughout this small beautiful mountain. You should definitely take the time to visit the Japanese garden and pond on the top of the small mountain while there.
On April 1st they have a cherry blossom festival at nighttime. The park is lit up, lanterns are hanging, and people are picnicking. The evening light-up runs from 6pm – 9pm and from early April to mid-April. There is a Fukui spring festival from March 25 to April 24, with the main event on April 15.
Address: 3, Sakuramachi, Sabae-shi, Fukui
Tsuruga City is known for having a romantic festival, has the Hanakae Festival. The festival is associated with the story about a man and a woman who visited Kanegasaki. They called out to each other saying "Let's exchange cherry blossom flowers as a sign of our love," they then showed their love by exchanging cherry tree branches.
Their cherry blossom festival runs from April 1st to April 15th and they call it their “Flower Exchange Festival” (Hanakan Senkai). At nighttime they have light-up festival that starts again April 1-15 and at night from 6pm to 10om.
Address: 1-4, Kanegasakicho, Tsuruga-shi
Maruoka Castle (AKA: Kasumiga Castle)
Maruako-jo is one of the best cherry blossom spots in Fukui, Japan. This castle that sits up on a small hill has about 400 Yoshino cherry trees surrounding it. This creates an image of the castle surrounded by mist in the clouds, hence the alternative name for it “Kasumiga Castle”, meaning “in the mist.”
The Maruoka Castle Cherry Festival takes place from April 1 to April 20 with the main event on April 1st and 2nd. The nighttime light-up starts at 6pm and goes to about 10pm.
Maruoka, Sakai-shi tourist association 0776-66-5880 Kasumiga-jo Castle administrative office of the park 0776-66-0303
Address: Kasumimachi, Maruoka-cho, Sakai City 910-0231
The Kuzuryu Dam (or nine dragon dam) is one of the best places for a cherry blossom drive because the cherry trees are spread out over 15 kilometers from Ono City Asahi to Shimo-Hanbara on the National Road 158.
About 3,000 cherry trees with varieties such as the Yoshino cherry, Beni Yutaka cherry, and Double-Flowering cherry trees among others have been planted. Along Lake Kuzuryu you can see the picturesque cherry blossom and mountain scenes. There is a suspension bridge that was a model for the Seto-o-hashi Bridge in Okayama (Yume-no-Kakehashi ) which also gives you a surround picturesque view.
Address: Nagano, Ono-shi, Fukui
When it comes time for fall, check out these great Autumn Leave Viewing Places also located in Fukui.