• Recommended Routes

    Countless sakura trees blossom along the embankment of Shiroishi River, which runs through Ogawara-machi and Shibata-machi. This magnificent scenery of cherry blossom trees—spanning as long as 8 km—forms Hitome Senbon Zakura, which translates as “a thousand cherry blossom trees in one view.” Its extraordinary beauty has earned it a place in Japan’s Top 100 Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots. Together with the map on the next page, this section introduces you to our recommended routes with a variety of elements such as superb sakura-viewing spots, diverse restaurants, and opportunities to explore the local townscape, which will make your visit even more enjoyable.

    A:Walk Along the River

    Stroll along the Shiroishi River with endless sakura, visiting two vibrant Sakura Matsuri. The route includes plenty of fascinating stops—such as opportunities to rest and snack at Sakura Market, and viewing sakura from a little houseboat cruise.

    B:Panorama of Sakura

    Stroll through Funaoka Castle Ruins Park, which was selected as one of “Japan’s Top 100 Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots.” As you go through the tunnel of sakura in the slope car, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of 2,500 sakura in layers. Don’t miss the chance to explore the townscape near the park, which is filled with the atmosphere of samurai houses and local gourmet foods!

    C:Experience Local Culture

    Ogawara-machi’s Hanshoin: The Temple of the East is known to be a temple that brings people encounters with somebody special; try finding the heart mark hidden on the statue of the deity of mercy. In the shopping street, you can find traditional Japanese sweets and sweet dumplings that are available only during the sakura period. Discover the unique charm of local towns, where time flows differently.