Tokyo is one of the best places in Japan to enjoy the cherry blossom each spring, but there's no doubt that it can get very crowded. If you're looking for a good location outside of the city to enjoy hanami (a cherry blossom viewing picnic), look no further than the Satte Sakura Festival in Saitama Prefecture. Satte is about an hour and fifteen mintues by train from central Tokyo, though the actual festival is held at the spacious Gongendo Park, about 15 minutes by taxi from Satte Station. With such a reasonable travel time, it makes a perfect day trip to enjoy beautiful cherry blossom scenery and atmosphere without all the crowds.
The highlight of the Satte Sakura Festival is the 1km long row of cherry blossom trees. Roughly 1000 trees are planted on either side of a small hilltop path, so visitors can both walk and picnic beneath them. To add to the beauty of Satte's spring scenery, there are several large fields full of yellow rapeseed blossoms adjacent to the cherry blossoms. Combined with the hundreds of vendors selling delicious festival food and drink, there really is no better place to spend a day taking in the sights of spring.
Whether you're looking for good photos, a unique experience, or just for an afternoon's nap beneath the blossoms, the Satte Sakura Festival is a great place to explore. You won't regret adding this one to your spring travel itinerary!