Places with the Best View
Take a look and enjoy!
Shiroishi River Sen-ou Park
This park that spreads along Shiroishi River was completed in 2017. It is surrounded by cherry blossom trees, and is equipped with facilities such as a stage that can host various events. On top of cherry blossom trees, a variety of flowers are planted to make this new cherry blossom spot that embody the concept of Flower Town Shibata. On a sunny day, visitors can enjoy a magnificent view of cherry blossom trees and Zao mountain range together. 20-minute walk from Funaoka Station (1.5km)
A superb viewing spot that lets you observe all of the Hitome Senbon Zakura along the Shiroishi River with Mt. Zao in the background. This beautiful scenery has been selected as one of the “36 Scenic Spots with Miyagi Zao.” Experience the contrast between the snow-covered mountains and the blooming cherry trees, as well as the Shiroishi River reflecting it all.
20-minute walk from Ogawara Station (1.5km)
Sakura Viewing Houseboat
The houseboat leaves for a leisurely, 30-minute round-trip, starting from the Sakura Matsuri Site to just before the Niragamizeki Weir that is located downstream. Please enjoy the reflections of the cherry blossoms along the Shiroishi River Embankment on the water and the blissful experience of gazing on these beautiful trees from the gently swaying boat.
Admission: Adults 1,500 yen, children of 12 years old and under 800 yen (houseboat cannot be reserved)
Mt. Niragami Observation Platform
The Mt. Niragami is a small mountain measuring 94 meters in height. Located at the top of a 280-step staircase is an observation platform that lets visitors oversee the entire Hitome Senbon Zakura. This popular route from Ogawara Station passes rows of cherry trees on the Shiroishi River up to the Mt. Niragami Observation Platform and allows visitors to look back down on the beautiful path that they just took.
60-minute walk from Ogawara Station (5.4km)
Nighttime Sakura Illumination
The “Ogawara Sakura Matsuri” is a festival that is held while the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. It is located close to the station. Ohanami Bento, along with a variety of stalls, is available. Between 6 pm and 10 pm the cherry blossom trees are illuminated, giving it a wondrous beauty that sets it apart from the experience during the day.
Location: Shiroishigawa Park
3-minute walk from Ogawara Station (400m)
The slope car ascends and descends between the car parking area at the Funaoka Castle Ruins Park and the area close to the top. The one-way, 305-meter trip takes 4 minutes. While it usually operates only on weekends and national holidays, visitors can ride it every day during the Sakura Matsuri. Experience the view from this slope car that brings you right inside a tunnel of cherry blossoms.
Hours: 9:00–17:00 Admission (Both Ways): Adults 500 yen, children 300 yen, Group discounts available
Shibata Sen-ou-kyou Bridge
The Sen-ou-kyou Bridge (Thousand Cherry Blossom Bridge) is a 12-meter-high and 87-meter-long pedestrian bridge that opened in 2015. The bridge provides easier access to the Shiroishi River Embankment, and standing on it affords you with an eye-level view of the cherry blossoms. The composition of the train and the cherry blossoms is quite rare, making it an exceptional photo spot as well.
20-minute walk from Funaoka Station (1.5km)
Observation Deck (Funaoka Castle Ruins Park)
On the observation deck only a short way up from the Shibata Sen-ou-kyou Bridge stands a fir tree famously associated with the NHK historical drama “Mominoki-ha-nokotta (The Fir Tree Remained),” which aired in 1970. There are tourists who come just to see this tree. The deck offers a pleasant view of the Hitome Senbon Zakura on the embankment of the Shiroishi River.
20-minute walk from Funaoka Station (1.5km)
Funaoka Castle Ruins Park
The top of Park is the only place where you can enjoy a truly breathtaking view that consists of 1,300 blossoming cherry trees at the park—some of which are more than 90 years old—and 1,200 more cherry trees that bloom along the 8-km stretch of the Shiroishi River Embankment. Together these trees create a magnificent scene of 2,500 blossoming cherry trees in multiple layers. The slope car to the top of the park is a must. You'll be amazed by the tunnel of cherry blossoms in its path.
15-minute walk from Funaoka Station (1.2km)
After Sakura Recommendations
During the period of Sakura Matsuri, Sakura Market is held in the open space below the Shibata Sen-ou-kyou Bridge, Enjoy a restful break with a special bento for cherry blossom viewing, diverse local gourmet stands, and local specialty shops.
Sakura Market / Opening Period: April
Located on a 200-meter-high plateau, visitors can look down on the Abukuma River, the Shiroishi River and even the Pacific Ocean. The view from the Zao Mountain Range is truly superb. The northern part of the location offers a treasury of wild plants and birds, making it a perfect spot for hiking.
Address: Ueno 4-1, Honfunabasama, Oaza, Shibata-machi
Hours: 9:00–17:00 Closed on Mondays (open if a Monday is a public holiday and closed on the following day)
Parking for 50 cars
Access: 10-minute drive from Funaoka Station
Ogawara Natural Hot Spring “Ii-yu”
Visit Ogawara-machi’s first natural free-flowing hot spring. The water of this onsen is called “ Bihada-no-Yu,” and it is said to benefit the skin by gently permeating it. Hot springs from which you can gaze upon the landscapes in all four seasons are relaxing to both body and soul.
Address: Kita 185-11, Nittera, Ogawara-machi Hours: 10:00–22:00 (Hot Spring), 11:00–21:00 (Cafeteria) Closed on the 3rd Wednesday of the month (4th Wednesday only in April)
Parking: 160 cars
Access: 5-minute drive from Ogawara Station