The grounds of Niigata's Takada Castle are home to over 2000 cherry trees, and have been regularly featured on lists of the top spots to enjoy sakura season in Japan. The 2019 Takada Castle Sakura Festival has been scheduled for April 1st to 15th given the projections for blooming, and will feature over 300 stalls at the venue - including plenty of tasty festival food.
The castle grounds will also be illuminated from 6pm until 10pm during the evenings of the festival, 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!
Takada Castle is located approximately twenty minutes on foot from Takada Station, on the private Echigo Tokimeki Railway line. Taxis are readily available from the station itself.
Alternatively, if you'd prefer to self-drive there is parking available at the venue.
I'm an expat who has lived abroad for almost a decade, including 7 years in Japan. I've also visited 44 of 47 prefectures and hope to get to the last three someday! I'm particularly fond of exploring off the beaten path destinations, gardens, and tea houses, and have a real interest in Japan's gr...