Gorgeous Scenes of Sakura in a Hot Spring Town
The cherry blossoms, or sakura, have bloomed all over Japan, including Kinosaki Onsen and its surrounding areas. If you’re looking for picturesque spots among canals, a chance to wear yukata, and onsen (hot spring baths), Kinosaki Onsen during the cherry blossom season is like no other.
The trees in town have been strategically planted along the canal running through Kiyamachi Street in the backroads. This normally quiet street becomes the go-to spot for locals and visitors alike to take beautiful photos and bask in this quintessential Japanese spring atmosphere. The sakura are also present along the street leading up to the hot spring source and Kinosaki Ropeway. One can find many hot pink lanterns adorning the sakura trees along this street, adding to the magical atmosphere. At night the pink lanterns emit a soft glow, creating a romantic atmosphere perfect for an evening stroll between dips in the onsen and shop visits.
It is customary to watch the petals fall off the trees at the end of the season, dance in the air, and then float down the canal. A popular phenomenon called Hana ikada, meaning “floral raft,” occurs when the clusters of petals resemble a raft floating down a river.
Kinosaki Onsen celebrates their cherry blossoms with floral designs depicted on bridges, embellishing manhole covers, and decorating streetlamps. The trees usually start to bloom anywhere from the last week of March to the first week of April and last for about one week.
In addition to Kinosaki Onsen, nearby towns Izushi and Takeno also have many cherry blossom trees that can be viewed at this time. They decorate the perimeter of the Izushi Castle ruins, creating an unforgettable experience to complete the perfect trip to Japan. It is a great spot for hanami, lit. “flower viewing,” typically enjoyed picnic-style. Or one can travel to Takeno, a quiet fishing village, and beach area. Just five minutes on the JR train from Kinosaki Onsen, walk 15 minutes from Takeno Station down to the beach to witness the pinks of the sakura mixing with the blues of the Sea of Japan. Hike up to the top of Mt. Jajayama to see a breathtaking view of the town and ocean bordered by cherry blossoms.
Visitors to Kinosaki Onsen can enhance their spring sakura-viewing experience by donning a yukata, complimentary with your stay at most ryokan in town. For a wider variety of yukata choices in color and design, guests can also head over to the town’s yukata shop & rental IROHA. Guests may choose from a wide selection of stylish yukata (both women’s and men’s) to rent for the day.