Originally written for the Vol.6-No.1 edition (April 13, 2012) of the Toyama Hot News e-newsletter.
Cherry blossom season is finally here. Did you know that Toyama Prefecture is a “Kingdom of Cherry Blossoms,” where you can enjoy the longest season of viewing a variety of cherry blossoms? The 3,000-meter elevation difference between Toyama Bay and the Tateyama Mountains allows Toyama to have a four-month blossoming season, from the “kinkimame-zakura” in mid-March to the “takane-zakura” in late July. There are even varieties that bloom from late October to early March, which means that cherry blossoms are in bloom somewhere in Toyama for a large part of the year. Furthermore, as Toyama is located in the center of the main island of Japan, both northern and southern varieties can be seen, including all nine wild cherry blossom varieties that are found in Japan.
In 2003, fifty “Top Cherry Blossom Locations in Toyama” were selected, and this past November, the list was updated to include seventy locations. Funakawa-beri (Funa riverside) in Asahi Town has about 280 “someiyoshino” (one of the most widely planted cherry blossoms), which people can enjoy along with the sights of tulip fields, rapeseed blossoms, and lingering mountain snow. At the Fugan Canal Park in Toyama City, different types of trees bloom in spring and late autumn. In Nanto City, there is a lone cherry bloom tree known as “Mukaino no Edohigan” that is estimated to be over a hundred years old. During the blossoming period, the tree is lit up at night for a magical atmosphere.
The Toyama Prefectural Botanical Garden, another of the “Top Cherry Blossom Locations in Toyama,” will hold its first Cherry Blossom Festival this year from April 13th to the 16th. The trees will be lit up at night, and there will be a special exhibit (through April 30th) featuring the eleven varieties of cherry blossoms that were discovered in Toyama, such as the “Nyuzen otomekiku-zakura,” discovered this past December, and the “Himi kujirokiku-zakura.” Also on display will be the sapling cultivated by a student from Chuo Agricultural High School, the only one of its kind in the world.
With so many options, there is no shortage of ways to enjoy cherry blossoms in Toyama!
Source (article and photo): Toyama Just Now