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Hirosaki Park

This castle park is one of the best places to see cherry blossoms in all of Japan, with a moat that fills with pink petals every year.

If you love the sight of sakura cherry blossom petals delicately falling in the breeze, just wait until you see them coat an entire castle moat in a sheet of beautiful pink. That’s exactly what awaits at Hirosaki Park in Aomori — one of the best cherry blossom viewing spots in Japan.

The park itself surrounds Hirosaki Castle, which boasts a lovely three-tiered keep with sheer white walls. The castle was built in 1611, but the main buildings only survived a short 16 years before being destroyed by a lighting strike! Thankfully for us, it was rebuilt back to its former glory in 1810.

Beautiful though it may be, this old fortress is upstaged by the 2500 cherry blossom trees which surround it. During sakura season, thousands come here to relax and party under the shade of the trees, sipping on umeshu plum wine and having hanami (flower-viewing) picnics.

Perhaps the best time to visit is at their height of their cherry blossom festival, held from April 23rd to May 5th. Towards the end, as the petals start to fall, you’ll want to hire a rowboat to head out on the castle moat.

Rowing gently around the castle moat, drifting through a swirling layer of sakura petals with the white-walled castle high above... there’s perhaps no greater recipe for bliss anywhere in the country.

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