Sakura Spots in Utsunomiya
Updated: Jun 18, 2020
Cherry Blossom trees started blooming!
Looking for a spot to view the Sakura in Utsunomiya?
I have listed a few places below where you can enjoy viewing the beautiful Sakura trees just a few minutes away from JR Utsunomiya station.
1. Shidare Sakura along Tagawa River （田川）
Just a short five-minute walk from JR Utsunomiya station is Tagawa river(Map) where you can find a lane of Shidare Sakura, Weeping Cherry blossom, on both sides of the river. This kind of Sakura tree is the one with a limp-kind-of-looking branches and its flowers have seemingly longer petals compared to other Sakura trees.
It’s also a good idea to ride the bicycle along the river and enjoy the view of the beautiful blossoms.
2. Gamou Shrine （蒲生神社）
Gamou Shrine(Map) is a Shinto shrine located just behind the Tochigi Prefectural Office and right beside Hachimanyama Park. I found this shrine by accident while looking for Jikoji Temple. The shrine is situated on top of a hill so it requires a bit of climbing up the stairs.
3. Jikoji Temple （慈光寺）
Just a few blocks away from Gamou Shrine is Jikoji Temple(Map). A buddhist temple with a vibrant scarlet red pagoda entrance. After the entrance, you’ll also notice a sitting buddhist statue with a red bib. These statues are said to guide lost travelers and protect children. Right behind it is the stairs surrounded by huge Sakura trees. One of the trees located midway up the stairs is said to be over a hundred and fifty years old. It’s probably the most distinctive one because its trunk is supported by huge beams.
The place also has night Sakura viewing where they put lights on the stairs and set up spotlights around the trees.
4. Kamagawa River （釜川）
Kmagawa River(Map) is located just a few minutes walk from Orion Dori and Utsunomiya Futaarayama Shrine. The small bridges along the river has a sitting area which provides the best view of the Shidare Sakura trees. You may also go down and play on the shallow waters if you please but I can assure you that it must be very cold. I would usually come here to relax and watch the fish in the river.
5. Shinkawa Cherry Blossom trees（新川桜並木）
Somei Yoshino Sakura
Shinkawa(Map) has around 60 Somei Yoshino Sakura trees lined up along the river. It is one of the most famous “Hanami” or flower viewing spot amongst the locals.
6. Utsunomiya Castle Ruins Park （宇都宮城址公園）
There are several kinds of Sakura trees found in Utsunomiya Castle Ruins Park(Map). One of those is Kawazu Sakura tree which blooms around mid March. The rest of the trees in the area starts a bit later.
There is a huge open space in the park where you may lay mats and do picnic while viewing the flowers.
7. Hachimanyama Park （八幡山公園）
Last but not the least on our list is Hachimanyama Park(Map). It is the most famous Hanami spot for both the locals and tourists due to the huge number of Sakura trees that blooms all at the same time in one place. It has around 830 Sakura trees and 5,000 Azaleas strategically placed around the area. In the middle of the park is Utsunomiya tower where you can go up and see a 360° view of the city.
Aside from the Kawazu Sakura trees at Utsunomiya Castle Ruins Park which starts and ends early, the rest of the Sakura trees in Utsunomiya should blossom by the first until the second week of April this year(2020).
*scheduled events and festivals may be affected by the current situation regarding the coronavirus pandemic.