29 March, 2012

【Spring Flower Series】Cherry blossoms at Himeji Castle

 When spring comes, Someiyoshino (the most common type of cherry tree in Japan), the mountain cherry trees, weeping cherry trees and others located at the National Treasure Himeji Castle are in full bloom. The castle garden has many prominent cherry blossom viewing spots and is considered one of “the 100 best viewing spots for cherry blossoms in Japan.”

The Himeji Castle
(the restoration will finish in spring, 2015)

 The Himeji Castle, which was one of the first sites chosen for World Heritage listing in Japan, is well-known overseas, and many people visit the castle from home and abroad. The castle is now under restoration and covered with a roofed scaffold structure.

 The inside of the main keep has been kept open for visitors during the renovation, and special visiting opportunities have been provided for visitors.

 The grounds of Himeji Castle and its surrounds are decorated by hundreds of cherry blossoms. Let’s take photos of the cherry trees and there blossoms from many different angles.

 Furthermore, events, like the “Himeji Castle Cherry Blossom Viewing Festival & Drum Performance” and “Hana-akari Himeji-jyo Yozakura-kai (cherry blossom viewing party with illuminated with lanterns at night),” will be held with the peak season for viewing cherry blossom in early April each year. These events allow overseas as well as local visitors to experience a unique aspect of Japanese culture, cherry blossom viewing.

 The highlight of the cherry blossom viewing festival given at Sanno-maru square is a stirring Japanese drum performance accompanied by the tune of as many as 100 Japanese harps. The beautiful sounds of the Japanese harps played by women in kimono and impressive performance of Japanese drums are absolutely spectaculars!

 The Nishinomaru-Garden is opened to the public for free at night during the “Hana-akari” party. Night viewing of illuminated cherry trees provides fantastic scenery which makes a difference. Why don’t you fully enjoy a spring night in the evening breeze?

  Lastly, we introduce you to the Koko-en that is a Japanese garden next to the Himeji Castle. This garden also offers night viewing of cherry blossoms. Visitors enjoy meals and a cup of tea at “Kassui-en” restaurant which is located in the garden.

 Come and see for yourself Himeji Castle under the warm spring sunshine or the evening breeze!  

Bloom data

In half bloom
In full bloom
April 2nd
April 7th
April 11th
March 26th
April 2nd
April 5th
March 24th
April 3rd
April 8th

Access to Himeji Himeji Castle:
A 15 minute-walk from JR Himeji Station

Event schedule
Himeji Castle Cherry Blossoms Viewing Festival & Drum Performance: April 7th (Sat)
Hana-akari Himeji-jyo Yozakura-kai: from April 6th (Fri) to April 15th(Sun), 18:00-21:00 (Last admission 20:30)
Koko-en Night Viewing of Cherry Blossoms:  from April 6th (Fri) to April 8th(Sun), till 20:00 (Last admission 19:30)

Blog Vol.1 Spring Flower SeriesAwaji Hana-sajiki and raped flowers
Blog Vol.2 Spring Flower SeriesCherry Blossoms in Oji Zoo
Blog Vol.3 Spring Flower SeriesTanto Tulip Festival

Useful links:
Himeji Castle
http://www,hyogo-tourism.jp/english/spot/66_himejicastle.html (English)

Himeji Kanko Navi Himeno-michi
http://www.himeji-kannko.jp/en/ (English)

Restaurant Kassui-ken
Http://www.city.himeji.lg.jp/koukoen/restaurant.html (Japanese)
Soo (Hyoto Tourism Association)