Where to Find Cherry Blossoms in Urasa

Secret spots for these springtime blooms

By Kim    - 2 min read

There are many well-established spots across Japan to view cherry blossoms in the spring months, including the likes of Ueno Park and Shinjuku Gyoen. However, they also attract quite a significant number of spectators. If you're after some secret sakura spots, the small Niigata town of Urasa has quite a few - with zero crowds in sight. Here are a few of the best!

Osaki Dam Park

Osaki Dam Park is a popular local springtime spot
Osaki Dam Park is a popular local springtime spot (Photo: Kim B)

This small local parkland area is exceptionally scenic. It's flanked by mountains, and not only are there a significant number of cherry trees, there are also other blooms like daffodils in the spring months. The vibrant yellows and the delicate pinks create a beautiful scene! If you visit in the lead up to Children's Day on May 5th, you'll also see koinobori, or carp streamers, hanging over the dam.

Hakkaisan Shrine

Hakkaisan Shrine
Hakkaisan Shrine (Photo: Kim B)

Located by the famous Mt. Hakkai, Hakkaisan Shrine is known for its annual fire walking festival and some spectacular color as the autumn leaves change to their blazing reds, oranges, and yellows. There are also some sakura trees by the entrance to the shrine, and most of the time you'll have the place completely to yourself. Parking is available right out the front.

Bishamondo Temple

By Bishamondo Temple
By Bishamondo Temple (Photo: Kim B)

Home to the annual Naked Pushing Festival in early March and a wonderful chrysanthemum festival in late October, Bishamondo Temple is a place that really encapsulates all four seasons. There are a number of cherry blossoms right out the front too, and sometimes you'll even get to enjoy early-blooming azaleas at the same time. A real feast of springtime color!

Getting there

Urasa can be accessed in just over an hour and a half from Tokyo on the Joetsu Shinkansen - it's the stop directly after Echigo Yuzawa. The station is also served by the JR Joetsu Local Line.

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Kim @kim.b

I'm an expat who has lived abroad for almost a decade, including 7 years in Japan. I've also visited 44 of 47 prefectures and hope to get to the last three someday! I'm particularly fond of exploring off the beaten path destinations, gardens, and tea houses, and have a real interest in Japan's growing vegan scene.

Join the discussion

Sleiman Azizi 7 months ago
There are soooo many places to enjoy the blossoms away from the crowds. Almost every park has one tree you can sit under and relax with family and friends. It really is easy.
Kim Author 7 months ago
Indeed! I like the quieter spots where I don't have to be competing for space!
Elena Lisina 7 months ago
Wonderful views! I particularly like 'weeping' sakura.
Kim Author 7 months ago
They are a favorite for me, too!