The Chugoku region of Japan comprises of five prefectures - Hiroshima, Okayama, Shimane, Tottori, and Yamaguchi - and there are a myriad of gorgeous cherry blossom destinations to enjoy in this part of the country. This guide introduces five of the best ones!
Matsue Castle Park, Shimane
Designated as one of Japan's Top 100 Cherry Tree viewing spots, Matsue Castle Park is a delight during spring. Around 200 sakura trees dot the grounds here, and the best time to catch them in full bloom is from late March through until early April.
Matsue Castle is fascinating in and of itself, given that it's one of Japan's few original castles. Visitors can head inside the castle, too, and enjoy some fantastic views out over Matsue City from the top floor.
1-5 Tonomachi, Matsue, Shimane 690-0887
Utsubuki Park, Tottori
Tottori's Utsubuki Park has received a number of accolades for its springtime beauty. It's on the lists for Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossom viewing spots and the Top 100 Urban Parks, and it's often regarded as the top sakura spot in all of the San'in Region. There are an impressive 4000 cherry trees on the grounds here, along with a range of other beautiful trees and flowers to enjoy - the azaleas that bloom a little later in spring are another highlight.
Nakanocho, Kurayoshi, Tottori 682-0824
Senkoji Park, Hiroshima
Each year during spring, Senkoji Park in Onomichi is home to over 1000 cherry trees in bloom. The park is listed as one of Japan's Top 100 cherry blossom viewing spots, and aside from the pretty pink sakura there are some stunning views over the surrounding area to enjoy.
For those who are planning a springtime visit, there are also numerous azalea bushes that bloom here. Sometimes when the conditions are right, both the cherry blossom and the azaleas can be enjoyed at the same time.
19-1 Nishitsuchidocho, Onomichi, Hiroshima 722-0032
Tokiwa Park, Yamaguchi
Yamaguchi's Tokiwa Park covers a space of around 100 hectares, and on the grounds there are approximately 3500 cherry trees to enjoy. They come in several varieties, too, including Somei Yoshino, Yaezakura, Mamezakura, and Kawazuzakura. During the blooming season a cherry blossom festival is held to celebrate the beauty of spring, and it also includes evening illuminations so visitors can enjoy the blooms after dark.
3 Chome-4-1 Norisada, Ube, Yamaguchi 755-0003
Tsuyama Castle (Kakuzan Park), Okayama
Tsuyama Castle's Kakuzan Park is home to around 1000 cherry blossom trees, and it was selected as one of Japan's top 100 sakura viewing spots. Each year, the park celebrates this with a cherry blossom festival which also includes additional fun activities like a tea ceremony and taiko drum performances.
For those who can't catch the cherry blossoms during daylight hours, never fear! The park is illuminated until 10 pm during the festival dates, giving a unique after-dark perspective of the blooms in all their glory.
135 Sange, Tsuyama, Okayama 708-0022