TOPTokyo LifeGuides & Insights13 Best Places to See Cherry Blossoms in Saitama Prefecture

13 Best Places to See Cherry Blossoms in Saitama Prefecture

For our readers in Saitama or northeast Tokyo, here's where to go for the most beautiful sakura of the year

By Kim Kahan

Heading to Saitama during cherry blossom season is a fail-safe way to enjoy the flowers in a more relaxed setting, with fewer crowds and more family-friendly spaces. Aside from the famous touristic areas such as the mountainous northern region of Chichibu, we’ve included some other well-known spots and a few hidden gems.

Pro tip: Check the cherry blossom forecast to catch the sakura in full bloom.

Top Recommendations

Let’s face it, these top recommendations are famous for a reason — and they’re worth the trip.

Omiya Park in Omiya, Saitama Prefecture

1. Omiya Park (Omiya)

Omiya Park, easily accessible via Tokyo and further afield, sees over 1,000 trees in many different cherry blossom varieties bloom in the spring. The park was voted in the Top 100 places to see cherry blossoms in Japan, as well as one of the best urban parks in the country. Omiya Park also lights up in the evenings throughout cherry blossom season, with colorful pink and blue lanterns hanging from the trees.

Kumagaya Sakura Tsutsumi in Kumagaya, Saitama Prefecture

2. Kumagaya Sakura Tsutsumi (Kumagaya)

Kumagaya Sakura Tsutsumi is close enough to Omiya Park that you can combine the two and have a lovely cherry blossom-filled day and evening. Over 500 Yoshino cherry trees line a rapeseed yellow flower-filled walkway, two kilometers long. The light-up event was canceled last year but plans for 2022 have yet to be released. You can check the latest updates here.

Hitsujiyama Park in Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture

3. Hitsujiyama Park (Chichibu)

This one is another popular spot with over 1,000 trees in the tourist area of Chichibu, northern Saitama. There are three different types of cherry blossoms at Hitsujiyama Park, with the common Yoshino alongside the rose-like Shidare cherry blossoms, which hang weeping over many of the paths in the park. But Hitsujiyama is famed for is its Shibazakura, a type of cherry blossom which grows on the ground, not unlike a fluffy pink carpet. The park also has a sheep farm and art museum, all well worth a day trip with the family, solo or with friends.

Gongendo Park in Satte, Saitama Prefecture

4. Gongendo Park (Satte)

Gongendo Park packs a punch, with over 1,000 Yoshino cherry trees spreading out over one kilometer, forming a flower tunnel. It’s no wonder it’s the top-recommended spot in Saitama. Gongendo Park has a large still water reservoir at its center and is a great spot for photographers who value a good flowery reflection. It is worth noting that whilst the park is normally free to enter, during sakura season there is a small entry fee.

Shingashi River in Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture

5. Shingashi River, Hikawa Shrine (Kawagoe)

Located in picturesque Kawagoe, only 30 minutes from Tokyo, is the beautiful Shingashi River, lined with 100 Homarezakura (in memoriam) cherry blossoms over 500 meters.

The trees were originally planted by a local shop owner in 1957 as a memorial to those deceased in the war. Whilst the cherry blossom trees are not actually part of the Hikawa Shrine itself, they are close enough that by checking the shrine’s Facebook page, visitors can get an idea of the cherry blossoms’ progress through the season.

This spot is perfect for those who like an Edo-style cherry blossom picture, with wooden boats yakatabune ferrying small groups and couples along the river throughout the cherry blossom season.

 

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6. Minoyama Park (Chichibu)

A famous park containing a wonderful sakura forest, Minoyama Park is home to over 70 types of cherry blossoms, including the late-blooming Yaezakura. Together, the sakura here bloom for around one month. With over 8,000 trees, this park is one of the most bountiful cherry blossom spots in Saitama.

Seiunji Temple in Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture (Photo credit: kuremo on Shutterstock)

7. Seiunji Temple (Chichibu)

A Buddhist temple known for its fantastic 600-year-old weeping cherry trees, Seiunji hosts events and a festival during cherry blossom season, which sees it bustling with life. Fun fact: the Seiunji cherry trees are even designated an official Saitama Treasure.

 

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8. Tokorozawa Aviation Memorial Park (Tokorozawa)

Fun for all the family at this beloved park which is home to soccer grounds, barbecue spots and an aviation museum. During cherry blossom season, visitors can snap rare pictures of cherry blossoms with one of the park’s (grounded) aircraft in the background. A great one for aviation-mad children and even adults who like something a bit different.

 

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9. Sayama Inariyama Park (Sayama)

With cherry blossoms overlooking a calm lake and even a petting zoo, the expansive Inariyama Park is a bit like Saitama’s version of Inokashira Park in Tokyo. There are food stalls and catering cars selling typical festive foods such as choco-banana and takoyaki — what’s not to love?

Sakura Street in Nagatoro, Saitama Prefecture

10. North & South Sakura Street (Nagatoro)

This sakura spot is a cherry blossom-filled group of streets in the Nagatoro area of Saitama. It is famous because of the sheer amount of cherry blossoms — over 1,500 trees — and constantly appears on Top 100 Cherry Blossom lists. The trees form two magical cherry blossom tunnels over the town. The ones to check are North Sakura Street and South Sakura Street.

Hidden Gems

There’s nothing more fulfilling than stumbling upon one of those places known only by the locals. We asked a few Saitama natives for their top hidden spots in the area.

 

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11. Kurome River

A beautiful spot known only by locals, for 700 meters visitors can walk or picnic under 232 Yoshino cherry trees. The river also hosts a small Flower Festival, with market stalls and food to celebrate cherry blossom season. See if you can spot the rare double petalled sakura blossoms.

Motoara River in Kumagaya, Saitama Prefecture

12. Motoara River (Kumagaya)

Upon asking Saitama locals for their recommendations, several people recommended Motoara River, a hidden spot just up from Kumagaya Tsutsumi. Many locals visit, which makes it one of the best, worst-kept secrets in the town. At night, the 700 Yoshino trees light up for locals to walk and picnic under.

 

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13. Mitsuzoin Temple (Kawaguchi)

Another suggestion was Mitsuzoin Temple, a historic Buddhist temple home to Angyo cherry blossoms. Angyo is a type of cherry blossom that blooms earlier than its cousin, Yoshino. This makes it a perfect spot for those who wish to get their cherry blossom fix as early as possible.