Ota Cherry Blossom Itinerary
Springtime is arguably Japan’s most beautiful season, with the weeks between late March and early April marked by the blooming of Japan’s famous cherry blossoms. Sakura season, while a stunning time to be in Japan, also brings with it significant crowds, all desperate to enjoy the fleeting beauty of the pink-petaled flowers. While Tokyo boasts many famous sakura sights, most of them become impossibly busy, especially on weekends during peak bloom. Ota City’s cherry blossoms spots sport equally lovely scenes with only half the crowds. Why not take a sakura-themed stroll through Ota in the spring? Follow the suggested itinerary below for a look at some of the area’s best sakura destinations.
Start: Tamagawadai ParkBegin with a visit to Tamagawadai, a hillside park just steps from Tamagawa station. Walking paths climb the terraced levels of the forested space, providing views over the Tamagawa River below. The region’s trains can be seen through a haze of cherry blossoms in the spring; over 300 are planted on the grounds. History buffs will enjoy discovering the traces of ancient tombs that are scattered throughout the park.
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Tama RiverBuy a bento (packed lunch) from the shopping arcade near Shimo-maruko station and take it with you to Tamagawa Gas Bashi Ryokuchi Koen. Nearly 120 cherry trees line the wide banks of this section of the Tamagawa River, making this the perfect place to picnic on a sunny day. The flat path that runs along the river is perfect for cycling or walking, and many families find the grassy banks to be ideal for giving kids room to run.
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Ikegami Honmonji TempleA short ride away from Shimo-maruko Station, the temple complex of Ikegami Honmon-ji bursts into bloom in the early spring. The grounds are home to around 400 sakura, which line the staircases, surround the main hall and cover the quiet grounds of the cemetery. One of the most photogenic sites is the temple’s historic five-story pagoda, nearly obscured by the delicate blossoms.
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Finish: Senzokuike PondWrap up your cherry blossoms adventures just up the train line at Senzoku Pond, where 300 cherry trees ring the body of water for which the park is named. Large spaces along the pond’s perimeter make for perfect picnic grounds, while visitors can also rent paddleboats to view the blossoms from out on the water. In cherry blossom season, numerous food vendors set up along the edges of the park.
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