The Chubu region of Japan encompasses a broad area that includes nine prefectures: Aichi, Fukui, Gifu, Ishikawa, Nagano, Niigata, Shizuoka, Toyama, and Yamanashi. It's hard to condense the region's beautiful cherry blossom spots into a list of just five of the best - there are simply too many to choose from - but if you're after a starting point, here's just a sampling!
Garyu Park, Nagano
If you're after an ultra-picturesque cherry blossom destination, look no further than Nagano's Garyu Park. It was selected as one of Japan's Top 100 best cherry blossom viewing spots, and the combination of the pretty pink blooms, stunning water reflections, and the surrounding mountains are the perfect trifecta of natural beauty. If you can't make it to the park during the day, never fear - the blooms are illuminated after dark throughout sakura season, creating a wonderfully ethereal atmosphere.
2 Chome-5-13 Garyu, Suzaka, Nagano 382-0028
Takada Castle, Niigata
The grounds of Niigata's Takada Castle are home to over 2000 cherry trees, and they are regarded as one of Japan's top cherry blossom viewing spots with good reason. During the blooming season the trees are illuminated in the evenings, giving guests the opportunity to enjoy the sakura in all their glory after dark. The reflections of the castle and the blossoms on the castle's moat are particularly photogenic and serene - be sure to bring your camera!
6 -1 Motoshirocho, Joetsu, Niigata, 943-0835
Ishikawa's Kenrokuen is renowned as one of Japan's three great gardens - if you were wondering, the other two are Koraku-en in Okayama and Kairaku-en in Mito, Ibaraki. Kenrokuen was designed to be beautiful when viewed in any season and it certainly delivers on that goal, but there's a little extra magic during the spring season. Around 400 cherry trees fill the garden in a host of different varieties, and the best time to catch them at their best is from late April to late May.
1 Kenrokumachi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa 920-0936
Takaoka Castle Park, Toyama
Toyama's Takaoka Castle Park has made its way onto a lot of lists. It features on lists of Japan's Top 100 Urban Parks, the Top 100 Historical Parks, and the Top 100 Castles - even though the castle itself no longer exists. If that wasn't enough, it has also been designated as one of Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossom viewing spots! There are close to 2000 cherry trees dotting the park grounds, ensuring there is plenty of springtime beauty to go around.
1-1-9 Kojo, Takaoka, Toyama 933-0044
Maruoka Castle, Fukui
Each year from around early to mid April, the grounds of the Maruoka Castle and the neighboring Kasumigajo Park are home to the Maruoka Castle Cherry Blossom Festival. There are approximately 400 Somei Yoshino sakura trees to enjoy, and they're illuminated after dark during the blooming season as well. The castle has been designated as an Important Cultural Property, and the grounds feature on the list of Japan's Top 100 cherry blossom viewing spots - something for the nature lovers and the history buffs!
1−59 Kasumicho, Maruokacho, Sakai, Fukui, 910-0231