- 2 min read

Beautiful Kinugasayama Koen

Ohanami with a twist

Would you like to visit one of the few Kanagawa cherry blossom locations selected by the Foundation for Nihon Sakura-no-Kai as one of the top 100 Beauty Spots of Sakura (cherry blossoms)? Well, one is located right in Yokosuka’s backyard, namely Kinugasayama Koen!

Actually, the park itself took me by surprise. At the entrance there is a pretty good playground, although I believe an adult could even find enjoyment here. There was a very interesting cocoon-looking structure that you can climb before it goes on a loop. After passing by the playground and hiking up a little, I came across what would seem to be a hotel for fireflies or lightning bugs, making this a potential go-to place in the summer as well!

We hiked for a little while more and some of the cherry blossoms looked like they are still young trees but produce beautiful blossoms. If you want to do Ohanami at Kinugasayama Koen, be sure to wear comfortable shoes and carry a light load, because this place requires a bit of a hike!

A few meters before you get to the top there is a little stage, where there is an occasional entertainment show, Minyo-odori events (folksongs that people sing and dance to), food and drink, and best of all, sakura trees all over the place.

A few more minutes uphill and you will reach the beautiful summit. The view from one side of the mountain allows you a view of Yokosuka City with a backdrop of the ocean. The other side is the mountain view completely untouched by electrical lines or apartments.

Kinugasayama Park is located on a hill out over the city of Yokosuka. There are nearly 2,000 sakura trees that fill the park. The sakura forest began with several hundred trees that were planted in the early 20th century to commemorate Japan's victory in the Russo-Japanese War. Somewhere in the park lies the ruins of the Kinugasa Castle that was established by Muraoka Tamemichi in 1063, where he took the surname Miura. But the castle fell in 1187 during the Battle of Kinugasa.

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