The sakura or cherry blossom festival celebrates the arrival of spring and the cherry blossoms in the Samurai town of Kakunodate. Along the riverbank there is an avenue of over 150 cherry trees, marking the boundary between the austere grays of the samurai residences and nature’s changing colors along the waterfront. In 1662, a lady of noble birth came here from Kyoto, and planted three saplings that now form the weeping cherry trees along the river bank. They are a testament to their resilience long after the age of the samurai.
Throughout the festival there are food and children's stalls along the river, and you can relax and eat outside or have a picnic along the riverbank grass lawns, whilst traditional Japanese dancers provide light entertainment.