Cherry blossom viewing is the true custom of springtime! Introducing the Scenic Cherry Blossom Sites of Fukuoka2017.03.06
Cherry blossoms auger the coming of spring. Cherry blossoms can be enjoyed in various ways, such as flower viewing under the soft spring sunlight, or under the illumination on a romantic evening. Here are some of the famous cherry blossom spots of Fukuoka, each with its own unique appeal.
Nishi Park where you can view cherry blossoms in concert with scenes of Hakata Bay
Nishi Park is located close to the center of Fukuoka city and makes good use of the naturally hilly terrain. Opened in 1881, or the 14th year of the Meiji period, the park has long been loved as an ideal place from which to enjoy the views of Hakata Bay.The only place in Fukuoka prefecture selected for the list of “100 Famous Japanese Cherry Blossom Sites”, over 1,300 cherry blossom trees bloom with the arrival of spring. The park features no less than three viewing observation platforms from which visitors can view the city itself, Hakata Bay, Shikanoshima Island, and Nokonoshima Island.
Close to the top of the hill is the Terumo Shrine that enshrines Josui Kuroda, founder of the Fukuoka Domain, and the domain’s first lord Nagamasa Kuroda, a father and son team active as military commanders and lords from the Azuchi Momoyama period to the early Edo period.
Maizuru Park weaves cherry blossoms with historical heritage to achieve a mystical scene
Maizuru Park is home to such historical treasures as Fukuoka Castle and the Kourokan, used as a reception hall during the Heian period. With the arrival of spring, over 1,000 cherry trees bloom in the park, bathing the stone walls of the castle in the pink colors of the cherry blossom petals.
The Fukuoka Castle Sakura Festival held during the season in particular, visited by numerous tourists, features the mystical performance of the colorful cherry blossoms with the majestic stone castle walls under nighttime illumination, as well as a variety of other events.
Enjoy cherry trees surrounded in abundant nature at Forest City Aburayama
Forest City Aburayama is a popular recreation spot where visitors can enjoy hiking and the abundant nature through all four seasons, located approximately 40 minutes by car from Hakata Station. Situated on the slopes of Mount Abura, with a height of 597 meters, the vast grounds feature a number of facilities including an observation platform that provides an overview of the entirety of Fukuoka city, athletic grounds, and camping areas.
Centered on the site’s flower and tree garden, Forest City Aburayama is filled with the blooming blossoms of roughly 2,000 cherry trees in springtime, producing a breathtaking scene for visitors. This is the perfect place for enjoying the cherry blossoms during an enjoyable hike.
Abura-yama Shimin-no-Mori / Nature Observation Woods
The blossoming of the cherry trees evokes happiness at Atago Shrine
Atago Shrine is the oldest shrine in Fukuoka, with a history that began with its construction in the year 72. It is one of the three major shrines in Japan sharing the same name, including the Atago Shrines in Tokyo and Kyoto.Well known as a famous site for cherry blossoms, the trees at Atago Shrine are considered auspicious for their ability to bring happiness to the viewer. The shrine is located at the top of a 68 meter hill called Mount Atago, and visitors can enjoy the approximately 2,000 trees while looking down on the city of Fukuoka.
Furthermore, several different varieties of cherry trees are planted here, providing a relatively long viewing season from the early blooming “kawazu-zakura” cherry trees (Cerasus campanulata) to the later blooming “yae-zakura” or double flowered cherry trees.In the evenings, visitors can enjoy illuminated cherry blossoms together with the illuminated night view of the city, for which Atago Shrine is particularly well known.
Enjoy a full day with flower viewing and the zoo and botanical garden at Minami Park
Located in a spacious hilly area, Minami Park is also home to the Fukuoka City Zoological and Botanical Garden. This peaceful park will help you forget the hustle and bustle of the surrounding city.Over 1,000 cherry trees are located throughout the park for visitor enjoyment. The flower viewing plaza is a particularly popular area within the park, where visitors can enjoy flower viewing while picnicking.
Visitors can also enjoy the contrast between the cherry blossoms and other spring flowers in the zoo and botanical garden, providing yet another way to enjoy the park. The western observation platform is also a scenic spot that cannot be missed, providing a view of the cherry trees together with a view of Fukuoka city.
Best time to see: Early March through late April
Total trees: Approximately 1,000
Cherry blossoms will present a different countenance depending on the surrounding scenery or the time of day. Perhaps this is why one never grows tired of the view. Why not stretch your legs and visit several different flower viewing spots this spring?