Spring Sakura—Cherry Blossoms In Niseko
Take a quick tour around the Niseko area with us and check out some of the lovely spring sakura as they reached their peak this spring.
Spring is one of the most iconic seasons across Japan due to the cherry blossoms. The pretty pink and white petals only remain in full bloom for a week or two at most are the subject of poetry, literature, art, and a range of cultural items—there's even sakura flavoured ice cream that is sold at this time!
Due to Japan's geographical spread, the blooming time for sakura typically falls between March and April. There are a few exceptions to this in mainland Japan, where they can even start to bloom as early as February!
Here in Niseko, Hokkaido we typically expect that the sakura will start to bloom in early to mid May. This year was right on the mark with cherry blossoms reaching their peak during the second and third weeks of the month of May. It does vary a bit each year, as the spring of 2015 saw sakura blooming at the end of April!
Here are a few of the most iconic spots around the Niseko area to catch the sakura when they are in bloom:
The path is right off of Route 66 when you head towards Makkari Village from the Niseko resort area. Marked with a large grey Japanese tori gateway, the path is lined with cherry trees. Mt Yotei looms in the background, still snowy white.
The mix of colours, greens, whites, pinks, and blues creates a real pretty picture! Make sure you check it out next time you are here in spring.
Located over in Rankoshi Town, Ranran Park is right along the Shiribetsu River and just a short walk from the Rankoshi Train Station.
The park is particularly lovely in spring as the sakura start to bloom along the riverside. Rankoshi Town also enjoys a spectacular view of Mt Yotei, with a flat peak that makes it look even more like Mt. Fuji which it is said to resemble.
This amazing photo was taken by Koichi Matsuda over in his hometown of Iwanai. The road leading up to the town's shrine is lined with large cherry trees that explode into brilliant pink each spring.
The walkway up to the shrine makes for a great walk or bicycle ride in the warm spring weather.
Lake Toya has a number of spots where you can settle down under a cherry tree along the lake side. This particular shot was taken as the sun was coming up. You can see out across the lake and to the mountains in the distance. The shadowy one in the far back is Mt Yotei!
Arishima Memorial Footpath Sakura Hill
This pretty shot was taken in Niseko Town along the Arishima Memorial Museum footpath. The course runs alongside the museum, through the woods, and eventually to this location where over 1,000 cherry trees were planted over the last two decades.
Sakura around the Niseko United Resorts
There are many places in and around the Niseko United resorts, like this place just outside the Hirafu Village, where you can find both solitary sakura and little clusters of cherry trees. This line of cherry trees is along the road and frames the distant Mt Yotei spectacularly.