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Top 10 Cherry Blossom Festivals to Enjoy in the Tohoku Region! (2021)

Top 10 Cherry Blossom Festivals to Enjoy in the Tohoku Region! (2021)

Date published: 31 March 2021

The cherry blossom festivals of the Tohoku region, located in the northern part of Honshu, are famous throughout Japan.

When the snow melts and spring arrives, cherry blossoms come into bloom in Fukushima prefecture in the southern Tohoku from the end of March to the beginning of April, and the wave of blossoming flowers moves northward to Miyagi, Yamagata, Akita, Iwate, and Aomori prefectures.

Each prefecture celebrates the beautiful cherry blossoms with its own unique festivals. Here are some of Tohoku’s top sakura (cherry blossom) festivals and more information about the 2021 events.

Table of Contents
  1. 1. Tsuruga Castle Sakura Festival (Fukushima Prefecture)
  2. 2. Shiroishi Castle Sakura Festival (Miyagi Prefecture) (canceled for 2021)
  3. 3. Ogawara Sakura Festival (Miyagi Prefecture) (canceled for 2021)
  4. 4. Kajokaoukai (Yamagata Prefecture)
  5. 5. Tendo Cherry Blossom Festival and Human Shogi (Yamagata Prefecture)
  6. 6. Kakunodate Sakura Festival (Akita Prefecture)
  7. 7. Kitakami Tenshochi Sakura Festival (Iwate Prefecture)
  8. 8. Morioka Sakura Festival (Iwate Prefecture) (canceled for 2021)
  9. 9. Kanagi Sakura Festival (Aomori Prefecture)
  10. 10. Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival (Aomori Prefecture)

1. Tsuruga Castle Sakura Festival (Fukushima Prefecture)

1. Tsuruga Castle Sakura Festival (Fukushima Prefecture)

Tsurugajo is located in Aizuwakamatsu, the largest city in western Fukushima Prefecture. The castle is about a 20-minute bus ride from JR Aizu-Wakamatsu Station. The Tsurugajo Sakura Festival is held every year from the beginning of April to the beginning of May, when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom.

Tsuruga castle is encircled by about 1,000 cherry trees and the historic site is lit up from sunset to 21:30 (until 20:30 after peak blooming has passed) during the festival so you can casually enjoy the blossoms at night. Since the castle grounds are crowded on holidays during the festival, visiting in the morning is recommended if you want to avoid the crowds.

*2021 festival will be smaller than previous years.

COVID-19 countermeasures
Disinfection/sterilization/cleaning of facilities and equipment
Hand sterilization/disinfectant solution available
Proper ventilation of indoor facilities
Use of coin trays
Staff wear masks, wash/disinfect hands regularly, gargle, and monitor temperature
Implementation of admission restrictions and reservation system
Entry denied to ill visitors
Request for customers to wear masks

  • Tsuruga-jo Castle
    鶴ヶ城
    • Address 1-1 Otemachi, Aizuwakamatsu-shi, Fukushima-ken, 965-0873, Japan
    • Dates: April 3 - May 9, 2021 *Scheduled to be held on a smaller scale
      Phone: 0242-23-4141 (Aizu Festival Association)
      Hours: Park is always open
      Admission: Free (admission charged for castle entry)

2. Shiroishi Castle Sakura Festival (Miyagi Prefecture) (canceled for 2021)

2. Shiroishi Castle Sakura Festival (Miyagi Prefecture) (canceled for 2021)

Shiroishi Castle is in Shiroishi City in southern Miyagi Prefecture. The castle was owned by Katakura Kagetsuna, a military commander highly trusted by Date Masamune, the founder of the Sendai. It’s a convenient 10-minute walk from JR Shiroishi Station.

The Shiroishi Castle Cherry Blossom Festival is held annually throughout April in Masuoka Park, where Shiroishi Castle is located. The view of cherry blossom-colored Shiroishi City from the castle tower is highly recommended and after sunset, bonbori lanterns illuminate the park, creating an emotional scene.

*2021 festival canceled

COVID-19 countermeasures
Disinfection/sterilization/cleaning of facilities and equipment
Hand sterilization/disinfectant solution available
Proper ventilation of indoor facilities
Use of coin trays
Staff wear masks, wash/disinfect hands regularly, gargle, and monitor temperature
Implementation of admission restrictions and reservation system
Entry denied to ill visitors
Request for customers to wear masks

  • Shiroishi Castle Sakura Festival
    白石城桜まつり
    • Address 1-16 Masuokacho, Shiroishi-shi, Miyagi-ken, 989-0251, Japan
    • Dates: 2021 festival canceled
      Phone: 0224-24-3030 (Shiroishi Castle Management Office)
      Hours: Always open
      Admission: Free

3. Ogawara Sakura Festival (Miyagi Prefecture) (canceled for 2021)

3. Ogawara Sakura Festival (Miyagi Prefecture) (canceled for 2021)

The gorgeous Shiroishi River flows through southern Miyagi Prefecture. About 1,200 cherry trees grow along its banks, forming an 8-kilometer tunnel of Yoshino cherry blossoms between the towns of Ogawara and Shibata. Attracting countless visitors, the row of blossoms has been selected as one of the “100 Best Cherry Blossom Spots in Japan.”

The Ogawara Sakura Festival takes place during the peak blossom viewing season from early to mid-April. Since roads will be congested, going by train rather than by car is a better option and the venue is only a 3-minute walk from Ogawaramachi Station on the JR Tohoku Main Line. Taking a ride on the “Ohanami Yakatabune” boat is an idyllic way to see the cherry blossoms.

*2021 festival canceled

  • Ogawara Sakura Festival
    おおがわら桜まつり
    • Address Oya, Shibata-gun Ogawara-machi, Miyagi-ken, 989-1201, Japan
    • Dates: 2021 festival cancelled
      Phone: 0224-53-2659 (Ogawara Town Commerce and Tourism Division)
      Hours: Always open
      Admission: Free (boarding fee charged for ohanami boat)

4. Kajokaoukai (Yamagata Prefecture)

4. Kajokaoukai (Yamagata Prefecture)

Kajo Park is located in the center of Yamagata City, the capital of Yamagata Prefecture, and is the site of what remains of Yamagata Castle. The park is a prime cherry blossom viewing spot with about 1,500 trees.

Every year from mid- to late April, the Kajokaoukai cherry blossom festival is held and features events like the “Great Tea Ceremony and koto performances.

*2021 festival scheduled to be held on a smaller scale (events canceled, light-up only)

COVID-19 countermeasures
Disinfection/sterilization/cleaning of facilities and equipment
Hand sterilization/disinfectant solution available
Proper ventilation of indoor facilities
Use of coin trays
Staff wear masks, wash/disinfect hands regularly, gargle, and monitor temperature
Implementation of admission restrictions and reservation system
Entry denied to ill visitors
Request for customers to wear masks

  • Kajokaoukai
    霞城観桜会
    • Address 1-7 Kajomachi, Yamagata-shi, Yamagata-ken, 990-0826, Japan
    • Dates: Early to mid-April *Scheduled to be held on a smaller scale
      Phone: 023-641-1212 (Yamagata City Park Green Space Division)
      Hours: Always open (5:00 - 22:00 for East Otemon and North Gate), light up 18:00 - 21:00
      Admission: Free

5. Tendo Cherry Blossom Festival and Human Shogi (Yamagata Prefecture)

5. Tendo Cherry Blossom Festival and Human Shogi (Yamagata Prefecture)

Tendo City in eastern Yamagata Prefecture is Japan’s largest producer of shogi game pieces. The best place for local cherry blossom viewing is Tendo Park, a 20-minute walk from JR Tendo Station.

Held for two days in mid-April, the Tendo Cherry Blossom Festival is highlighted by “Human Shogi.” People wearing armor or kimono play the roles of various shogi pieces, and move on a huge shogi board as directed by professional shogi players.

*2021 Human Shogi canceled

COVID-19 countermeasures
Disinfection/sterilization/cleaning of facilities and equipment
Hand sterilization/disinfectant solution available
Proper ventilation of indoor facilities
Use of coin trays
Staff wear masks, wash/disinfect hands regularly, gargle, and monitor temperature
Implementation of admission restrictions and reservation system
Entry denied to ill visitors
Request for customers to wear masks

  • Tendo Cherry Blossom Festival
    天童桜まつり 人間将棋
    • Address Maiduruyamayama, Siroyama, Tendo-shi, Yamagata-ken, 994-0000, Japan
    • Dates: April 17 & 18, 2021 *2021 human shogi canceled
      Phone: 023-653-1680 (Tendo City Tourist Information Center)
      Hours: Please contact for more information
      Admission: Free

6. Kakunodate Sakura Festival (Akita Prefecture)

6. Kakunodate Sakura Festival (Akita Prefecture)
Cherry Blossoms along Bukeyashiki Street

Located in eastern Akita Prefecture, Kakunodate is dotted with preserved samurai residences. Many visitors are fascinated by the historic cityscape and cherry blossom season is the busiest tourist season. The Kakunodate Sakura Festival is held from the end of April to the beginning of May.

A row of cherry blossom trees on the Hinokinai Riverbank

Bukeyashiki Street and the Hinokinai Riverbank, about a 20-minute walk from JR Kakunodate Station, are well-known for their cherry blossoms. Bukeyashiki Street is lined with houses built at the end of the Edo period (1603-1868), and the cherry blossoms contrast beautifully with the homes’ black wooden fences.

The Hinokinai River is about a 5-minute walk from the samurai residences and there you can enjoy a 2-kilometer row of cherry blossom trees along the riverbank. There are traffic restrictions enforced during blossom viewing season, so you should avoid using a car.

*2021 festival scheduled to be held on a smaller scale (concession stands, stage performances, etc. canceled)

COVID-19 countermeasures
Disinfection/sterilization/cleaning of facilities and equipment
Hand sterilization/disinfectant solution available
Proper ventilation of indoor facilities
Use of coin trays
Staff wear masks, wash/disinfect hands regularly, gargle, and monitor temperature
Implementation of admission restrictions and reservation system
Entry denied to ill visitors
Request for customers to wear masks

  • Kakunodate Cherry Blossom Festival
    角館の桜まつり
    • Address Hinkonai Riverbank and samurai residence street, Kakunodate-cho, Senboku-shi, Akita 014-0331
    • Dates: Late April to early May *Scheduled to be held on a smaller scale and opening of stores, stages, etc. canceled
      Phone: 0187-43-3352 (Kakunodate Tourism Event Executive Committee)
      Hours: Always open
      Admission: Free

7. Kitakami Tenshochi Sakura Festival (Iwate Prefecture)

7. Kitakami Tenshochi Sakura Festival (Iwate Prefecture)

Kitakami City is located in central Iwate Prefecture. There, the Kitakami City Exhibition Hall is situated in a large park that can be reached in about 15 minutes by taxi from JR Kitakami Station.

Kitakami Tenshochi Park is home to 150 kinds of cherry trees, highlighted by a 2-kilometer row of riverside blossoms.

During the Kitakami Tenshochi Sakura Festival held from mid-April to early May, suspended carp streamers add color above the Kitakami River and sightseeing carriages (500 yen) run beneath the rows of cherry blossoms.

*2021 festival scheduled to be held on a smaller scale

COVID-19 countermeasures
Disinfection/sterilization/cleaning of facilities and equipment
Hand sterilization/disinfectant solution available
Proper ventilation of indoor facilities
Use of coin trays
Staff wear masks, wash/disinfect hands regularly, gargle, and monitor temperature
Entry denied to ill visitors
Request for customers to wear masks

  • Kitakami Tenshochi Cherry Blossom Festival
    北上展勝地さくらまつり
    • Address Tachibana, Kitakami-shi, Iwate-ken, 024-0043, Japan
    • Dates: April 15 - May 5, 2021 *Scheduled to be held on a smaller scale
      Phone: 0197-65-0300 (Kitakami Tourism Convention Association)
      Hours: Always open
      Admission: Free (boarding fee charged for tourist carriage)

8. Morioka Sakura Festival (Iwate Prefecture) (canceled for 2021)

8. Morioka Sakura Festival (Iwate Prefecture) (canceled for 2021)

The park’s cherry blossoms are in bloom from mid-April to early May, which is also when the Morioka Sakura Festival is held. During the festival, the rows of concession stands and bonbori lanterns create a gorgeous atmosphere.

In addition to Morioka Castle Site Park, Takamatsu Park is also an excellent place to see the blossoms. About 1,260 trees bloom around Takamatsu Pond and you can enjoy cherry blossoms at night there too.

*2021 festival canceled

  • Morioka Cherry Blossom Festival
    盛岡さくらまつり
    • Address Uchimaru, Morioka-shi, Iwate-ken, 020-0023, Japan
    • Dates: 2021 festival cancelled
      Phone: 019-613-8391 (Morioka City Exchange Promotion Department Tourism Division)
      Hours: Always open
      Admission: Free

9. Kanagi Sakura Festival (Aomori Prefecture)

9. Kanagi Sakura Festival (Aomori Prefecture)

In the northernmost part of the Tohoku region, you’ll find Kanagi Town in Goshogawara City, located on Aomori Prefecture’s Tsugaru Peninsula. It’s the hometown of literary master Osamu Dazai and has many locations related to the author.

Ashino Park is home to a building that appeared in Dazai’s work and cherry blossoms in spring. The local Tsugaru Railway runs through the park, and when the flowers are in full bloom, you can view them as the train passes through the cherry blossom tunnel.

The Kanagi Cherry Blossom Festival is held from April 29 to May 5 every year, and features performances of folk songs accompanied by the region’s Tsugaru Jamisen musical instrument. To reach the venue, take the Tsugaru Railway from Tsugaru Goshogawara Station, which is adjacent to JR Goshogawara Station, and get off at Ashinokoen Station.

*2021 festival scheduled to be held on a smaller scale (stage performances, fireworks, and rowboats, etc. canceled)

COVID-19 countermeasures
Disinfection/sterilization/cleaning of facilities and equipment
Hand sterilization/disinfectant solution available
Proper ventilation of indoor facilities
Use of coin trays
Staff wear masks, wash/disinfect hands regularly, gargle, and monitor temperature
Implementation of admission restrictions and reservation system
Entry denied to ill visitors
Request for customers to wear masks

  • Kanagi Cherry Festival
    金木桜まつり
    • Address Asino, Kanagicho, Goshogawara Shi, Aomori, 037-0202, Japan
    • Dates: April 29 - May 5, 2021 * Scheduled to be held on a smaller scale and 2021 stage events, fireworks displays, rowing boats canceled
      Phone: 0173-52-2611 (Kanagi Shokokai)
      Hours: Always open
      Admission: Free

10. Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival (Aomori Prefecture)

10. Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival (Aomori Prefecture)

Hirosaki Park is about 15 minutes by bus from JR Hirosaki Station in Hirosaki City in the middle of the Tsugaru region in western Aomori Prefecture. The large park is the site of the former Hirosaki feudal lord’s castle. Hirosaki Castle’s original tower and turret are still standing, and are listed among Japan’s important cultural properties.

The park and castle grounds are also known as one of the best cherry blossom viewing spots in Japan, with about 2,600 cherry trees of 52 types including the country’s oldest Yoshino cherry tree. Other highlights include the “Hana Ikada,” (“flower raft”) which forms when fallen petals blanket the water, and the romantic sight of the petals gently falling in the spring breeze.

The Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival held from late April to early May attracts over 2 million visitors each year and includes glamorous night blossom viewing as well.

*2021 festival scheduled to be held on a smaller scale with measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in place. For details, refer to the official website: https://www.hirosakipark.jp/sakura/

COVID-19 countermeasures
Disinfection/sterilization/cleaning of facilities and equipment
Hand sterilization/disinfectant solution available
Proper ventilation of indoor facilities
Use of coin trays
Staff wear masks, wash/disinfect hands regularly, gargle, and monitor temperature
Implementation of admission restrictions and reservation system
Entry denied to ill visitors
Request for customers to wear masks
Prohibition of eating while walking
Specific eating and drinking area
Prohibition of drinking/bringing in alcohol
Shortened lighting time
Shortened business hours for stores and paid areas

  • Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival
    弘前さくらまつり
    • Address 1 Shimoshiroganecho, Hirosaki-shi, Aomori-ken, 036-8356, Japan
    • Dates: April 23 - May 5, 2021 (depending on the flowering situation of cherry blossoms) *Scheduled to be held on a reduced scale
      Phone: 0172-37-5501 (Hirosaki Municipal Tourist Center)
      Hours: Always open
      Admission: Honmaru / North Section, 320 yen

Be sure to keep an eye on the peak blooming season and event schedules – don’t miss out on Tohoku’s wonderful sakura festivals!

Text by: Shoepress
*Information accurate as of March 2021. Please check the official websites for latest information.

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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