At the Koma Shrine in Hidaka City, Saitama Prefecture, a weeping variety of cherry blossom about 25 meters tall and believed to be about 400 years old is currently in full bloom since March 27, 2019 and is expected to still be beautiful for about a week. The tree is set beside an old folk house that has been designated an important cultural asset, making it particularly picturesque. The tree is believed to have been planted at the same time as the construction of the house. Koma Shrine traces its history back 1,300 years ago when war survivors from the ancient kingdom of Goguryeo 高麗 (pronounced Koma in Japanese) arrived from Korea and were settled in this area. Some architectural elements reveal Korean influences.
From Shinjuku Station, take the JR Saikyo to Kawagoe. Change to the JR Kawagoe Line and get off at Komagawa Station. The shrine is about a 20 minute walk from there. There are taxis at Komagawa Station. Parking is available at the shrine.
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For Sherilyn Siy, Asia is home. Born in Hong Kong, Sherilyn spent time in the Philippines, China, and now lives in Japan. She speaks English, Filipino, Chinese (or putonghua), and Hokkien, her family's local dialect. Running is one of her favorite ways to explore Japan. She proudly finished the 2015 Tokyo Marathon -- her first ever full marathon -- in 4 hours and 37 minutes. She was absolutely psyched when she got selected again to run the new Tokyo Marathon route in 2018. She hopes to complete other races in Japan.