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Many know Yamanashi has a lot of nature, but did you know that over 70% of the prefecture is covered by forests? This rich environment makes for a diverse range of flora, especially when it comes to the pink blossoms that form in spring.

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What is “hanami?”

Hanami is a Japanese custom where you gather your friends, grab some drinks and snacks, then admire the cherry blossoms in a picnic fashion. You better make plans fast though, because after just 10 days of blooming, it is only a matter of time before the cherry trees shed their pink petals completely. With such a short lifespan, cherry blossoms are considered a rare, ephemeral sight in Japan.

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▲Oboshi Park (Fujikawa Town)

Oboshi Park

For a staple hanami experience, you’ll want to visit Fujikawa Town’s “Oboshi Park.” There are plenty of cherry trees and shaded areas to choose from when scoping out the perfect hanami spot. As a bonus, you won’t need to worry too much about crowds, seeing as it's a lesser-known destination.

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2,000 cherry trees cascade down the steep hills of Oboshi Park, with its highest elevation reaching 300 meters high. That’s right, you get to enjoy the view from a top-tier seat, gazing down at this seemingly endless sea of pink. Complete with a view of Mt. Fuji—you can probably imagine why this place was named one of Japan’s “100 Best Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots.”

More Info

Oboshi Park website:
https://www.town.fujikawa.yamanashi.jp/kanko/event/sakuramaturi.html
Address: 2175 Kajikazawa, Fujikawa, Minamikoma District, Yamanashi

Café Couleur

In a slightly darker shade of pink, thousands upon thousands of peach blossoms blanket the farmlands of Fuefuki every spring. This is a sight entirely unique to Yamanashi, the proud title holder of the largest peach-grower in all of Japan.

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▲Peach Blossoms

Café Couleur is an all-vegan restaurant in Fuefuki City. The café is conveniently located in the owner’s peach field, which means guests can enjoy their flavorful, healthy meal and the blossoms all in one sitting. Clearly, this is an unrivaled date spot!

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▲Café Couleur (Fuefuki City)

There are various vegan dishes to choose from, including a seasonal cherry blossom-themed “o-hanami plate.” I ordered the spinach katsu-curry lunch special, which came with soup and salad. Sinking my teeth into the shockingly realistic vegan pork-cutlet, made from a wheat gluten meat substitute, sent chills through my tastebuds. I had never tasted a meat substitute so incredibly real and mouthwatering. Needless to say, the chefs at Café Couleur have truly mastered the art of vegan cooking.

More Info

Café Couleur website:
https://www.cafe-couleur.jp
Address: 1223 Ichinomiyacho Kaneta, Fuefuki, Yamanashi

Sakura Onsen Street

Also in Fuefuki City, you may have heard of the popular onsen town “Isawa.” There, you can find a long strip of traditional Japanese inns (“ryokan” in Japanese) on Sakura Onsen Street. During the spring, there are lights placed beneath the cherry trees, creating a magical pink glow that veils the streets at night.

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▲Sakura Onsen Street (Fuefuki City)

More Info

Address: Isawacho Kawanakajima, Fuefuki, Yamanashi

Jindai-Zakura

Visit this legendary cherry blossom tree at Jisso Temple in Hokuto City, known as the “Jindai-Zakura.” It is estimated to be the oldest cherry tree in the world (between 1,800 to 2,000 years old). Learn more

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▲Jindai-Zakura (Hokuto City)

More Info

Address: 2763 Mukawacho Yamataka, Hokuto, Yamanashi

Kuonji Temple

On the grounds of Kuonji Temple in Minobu Town, you can find more historical blossoms. With roots tracing back over 400 years ago, these weeping cherry trees are a true symbol of traditional Japan.

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▲Buddhist Monks at Kuonji Temple (Minobu Town)

More Info

Address: 3567 Minobu, Minamikoma District, Yamanashi

Chureito Pagoda

Famously dubbed Japan’s “Most Iconic Photo Spot,” Chureito Pagoda is a must-see during the cherry blossom season. The vermilion red forms a striking contrast to the baby pink hues that adorn the trees. What’s more, the observation deck went under renovation this year (2022), widening the area so more people can gather to snap brilliant shots like this one!

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▲Chureito Pagoda (Fujiyoshida City), photo provided by Ben Tracy

More Info

Address: 3353-1 Arakura, Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi

Maizuru Castle Park

Conveniently located in the capital city of Yamanashi, Kofu Castle is an important historical landmark. Cherry blossoms line the castle walls, making Maizuru Castle Park another popular hanami spot. Learn More(External Link)

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▲Maizuru Castle Park (Kofu City)

More Info

Address: 1 Chome-5-4 Marunouchi, Kofu, Yamanashi

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Published on

  • May 19, 2022

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