Top 10 – Cherry Blossom Viewing Spot -1. Takato Castle Ruins Park 高遠城址公園 (Takatōjōshi Kōen)
Cherry Blossom Spot in Nagano Takato Castle Ruins Park, Nagano
Takato Castle Ruins Park (高遠城址公園, Takatōjōshi Kōen) is reputedly one of the three best locations to see cherry blossoms in Japan, along with Hirosaki Castle and Yoshinoyama.
The park is located on a hill in Ina City of Nagano Prefecture, about 60 kilometers south of Matsumoto. About 1500 cherry trees of the pinkish Kohigan variety stand across the park's compound, providing great cherry blossom views each spring.
The Ko-Higan-zakura (small early-flowering cherry/Cerasus subhirtella (Prunus subhirtella)) are said to have been planted here in 1875, when the park was first opened to the public. A cherry blossom festival is held annually, usually for the whole month of April, during which many festival stalls are set up around the park.
During the peak viewing period, typically from mid to late April, illuminations are held every night from sunset to 22:00.
Note that the Takato Castle Ruins Park gets very crowded during this period, and roads to the park get very congested. Visitors are advised to avoid weekends and to come early.
Bloom Period: Early to late April Access: 2hr 20 min from Shinjuku (Tokyo) to Okaya Station by JR Chuo Line (limited express).
Cherry Blossom and Japan Alps
Takato Castle Ruins Park "Sakura Festival"
・One of the top 3 Cherry Blossom spot with Hirosaki and Yoshino.
・Surrounded by Magnificent Japan Alps
・You can enjoy hot-spring and local foods such as buckwheat noodles
The Ko-Higan-zakura (small early-flowering cherry/Cerasus subhirtella (Prunus subhirtella)) of Takato Castle Ruins Park was designated as Nagano prefecture 's natural monument in 1954.
Currently, in the park, there are 20 cherry trees of 130 years old, 500 trees of over 50 years old, 300 tress of over 30 years old, and in total there are 1,500 cherry blossoms including young trees. These old trees were transplanted from "Sakura no Baba"(桜の馬場) by former samurai of Takato clan when Takato Castle became a park in 1875 (Meiji 8)
This Ko-higan-zakura was a hybrids between the Mame-zakura (Fuji cherry) and Edo-Higan-Zakura(early-flowering cherry) and was named as "Takato Kohikanzakura", as this is specific Cherry Blossom of Takato Area and has very valuable value, at the International Cherry Blossom Symposium held in Takato in 1990.
Takato Higanzakura, its petal of the flower is a little smaller than that of standard and its color is slightly strong red nuance.
Its prettiness and magnitude of scale are said to be "the Best cherry blossoms in the world".
高遠城址公園/ Takato Ruin Park