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5 Trains for Seeing Cherry Blossoms in Tohoku: Enjoy Japan's Spring Scenery

5 Trains for Seeing Cherry Blossoms in Tohoku: Enjoy Japan's Spring Scenery

Date published: 24 March 2022
Last updated: 29 March 2022

Every year in early April, cherry blossoms start blooming in Japan’s northeastern Tohoku region. Here, trains run through a landscape of floating pink petals, allowing you to enjoy many scenic spots for railways and cherry blossoms!

Such views are available in-between Funaoka Station and Ogawara Station on the Tohoku Main Line, Fukushima Prefecture’s Aizu Railway, Aomori Prefecture’s Tsugaru Railway, as well as from the slope car in Miyagi Prefecture’s Funaoka Castle Park.

When visiting the Tohoku region in the spring, don’t miss out on taking the train to enjoy beautiful cherry blossom trees!

1. Tohoku Main Line (Miyagi Prefecture): Enjoy breathtaking rows of cherry blossoms from the train!

1. Tohoku Main Line (Miyagi Prefecture): Enjoy breathtaking rows of cherry blossoms from the train!
Photo courtesy of: Miyagi Tourism Federation Promotional Office

Hitome Senbonzakura (View of a Thousand Cherry Trees) is an incredibly scenic area that enables you to enjoy views of Miyagi Prefecture’s Shirorishi River, the contrast of cherry blossoms with the remaining winter snowfall, and the Zao mountain range.

To get to this viewing spot, you can take a 30-minute train ride from Sendai Station to Funaoka Station on the Tohoku Main Line. During the ride to Ogawara Station, trains pass through rows upon rows of beautiful cherry trees!

Every year during peak bloom week, trains that run from Funaoka Station to Ogawara Station slow down so passengers can enjoy breathtaking views of the beautiful cherry blossoms.

Watching such scenery from the train’s window is an experience like no other! After you’ve fully enjoyed the blossoms from the train, we recommend getting off at Ogawara Station to enjoy the cherry trees along the Shiroishi riverbank.

You can even take a cherry blossom cruise that showcases scenery selected as one of Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossoms Sites!

*The period in which trains run at a slower speed is subject to change depending on when the cherry blossoms bloom. It is yet to be decided whether trains will be slowed for April 2022.

  • Shiroishi Riverside Hitome Senbonzakura
    白石川堤一目千本桜
    • Address Oya, Shibata Gun Ogawara Machi, Miyagi Ken, 989-1201, Japan
    • TEL: 0244-53-2659 (Commerce and Tourism Division, Ogawara Town)

2. Miyagi Prefecture’s Slope Car: Take a ride to the cherry blossom-covered Funaoka Castle Park

2. Miyagi Prefecture’s Slope Car: Take a ride to the cherry blossom-covered Funaoka Castle Park

Near the Shiroishi Riverside Hitome Senbonzakura is Funaoka Castle Park. Around a 15-minute walk from Funaoka Station, this park can be found covering most of a 135-meter-tall mountain.

This is a scenic spot that offers views of around 1,000 cherry blossom trees! What’s more, along with Hitome Senbonzakura, it’s one of the only two spots in Miyagi Prefecture to be selected as Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossoms Sites.

It takes four minutes by slope car to climb the 305-meter trail going up to the mountain’s peak. Although it’s possible to hike your way up, it can get pretty steep and exhausting. The slope car takes its time in taking you through cherry tree-covered landscapes-making it an absolutely spectacular viewing spot! At the peak, you’ll get a sweeping view of both the many cherry trees scattered throughout Funaoka Castle Park as well as Shiroishi riverbank’s Hitome Senbonzakura! If you ever decide to take a trip, prepare to be amazed by this dazzling view!

  • Funaoka Castle Park
    船岡城址公園
    • Address Tateyama 95-1, Funaoka, Shibata Gun Shibata Machi, Miyagi Ken, 989-1606, Japan
    • TEL: 0224-56-3970 (Shibata-machi Tourism and Products Association)

3. Yamagata Shinkansen (Yamagata Prefecture): Cherry blossoms adorn Kajo Park’s moat

3. Yamagata Shinkansen (Yamagata Prefecture): Cherry blossoms adorn Kajo Park’s moat

Located nearby Yamagata Prefecture’s Yamagata Station is Kajo Park. This park both maintains and preserves what is left of Yamagata Castle. As of today, the outer moat, the earthen mound, and the stone walls still remain-giving you a picture what the castle used to look like. It’s also famous for being one of the prefecture’s most popular cherry blossom viewing spots! Starting with Yoshino cherry trees, approximately 1,500 trees have been planted here.

You can find quite a large number of cherry blossom trees near the park’s Higashi Ootemon Gate. Moreover, with the castle’s walls and roof being reconstructed, this area is perfect for enjoying traditional Japanese scenery-making it a popular destination for foreign guests. Another amazing feature of this site is that you can enjoy watching Japan Railway’s Yamagata Shinkasen zip through!

Every year, cherry blossoms come into full bloom in mid-April. During peak blooming season, trains running from Yamagata Station to Kita-Yamagata Station on both the Senzan and Ou Main Line slow down so that passengers can fully enjoy the view. Cherry blossom viewing from the train window is truly something else!
*The period in which trains run at a slower speed are subject to change depending on when the cherry blossoms bloom. It is yet to be decided whether trains will be slowed for April 2022.


Health & Safety Measures
Store and facilities are sanitized, disinfected, and cleaned/ Disinfectant spray is provided/ Ventilation of the facility/ Staff wear masks, wash hands, sanitize, gargle, and check temperatures/Restricted admission and spacing out of seats/Customers appearing unwell will be refused entry/ Customers are required to wear masks and undergo temperature checks

  • Kajo Park
    霞城公園
    • Address 1-7, Kajomachi, Yamagata Shi, Yamagata Ken, 990-0826, Japan
    • TEL: 023-641-1212 (Yamagata- City Park Green Spaces Division)

4. Aizu Railway’s Yunokami Onsen Station (Fukushima Prefecture): This station’s thatched roof turns cherry blossom pink

4. Aizu Railway’s Yunokami Onsen Station (Fukushima Prefecture): This station’s thatched roof turns cherry blossom pink

The Aizu Railway runs through Fukushima Prefecture’s Aizu area-connecting Nishi-Wakamatsu Station to Aizukogen-Ozeguchi Station. This local line stops by hot springs and tourist spots while giving you amazing views of the region’s nature. Departing from the Aizu-Wakamatsu area, it passes by the Ashinomaki Hot Spring along the Aga River as well as natural cliffs called To-no-Hetsuri.

Every year, the cherry blossoms around Yunokami Onsen Station bloom from mid to late-April. Here you can enjoy the rare and traditional sight of a station building with a thatched roof. Though the 30 cherry trees that surround this small station might not sound like much, it’s more than enough to color it in an adorable cherry blossom pink! Nearby you can find the hot spring, Yunokami Onsen, as well as close to 20 traditional Japanese inns scattered throughout the area. With some facilities offering day bathing-it’s the perfect place to ease the fatigue of a long trip!

About a 10-minute car ride from Yunokami Onsen Station is the famous tourist attraction-Ouchi-juku. Enjoy exploring what remains of a 400-year-old post town as a stretch of thatched-roof houses line the main road. Also designated as a Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings, the historic town's ruins continue to be faithfully protected. Moreover, what were previously thatched-roof inns have been transformed into restaurants and souvenir shops-making it an excellent place to take a stroll!

Health & Safety Measures
Store and facilities are sanitized, disinfected, and cleaned/ Disinfectant spray is provided/ Ventilation of the facility/Partitions in place/Staff wear masks, wash hands, sanitize, gargle, and check temperatures/ Restricted admission and spacing out of seats/Customers appearing unwell will be refused entry/ Customers are required to wear masks and undergo temperature checks

  • Yunokami Onsen Station
    湯野上温泉駅
    • Address Asino, Kanagicho, Goshogawara Shi, Aomori Ken, 037-0202, Japan
    • Phone Number 0241-68-2533

5. Tsugaru Railway (Aomori Prefecture): Trains run through a tunnel of blooming cherry blossoms

5. Tsugaru Railway (Aomori Prefecture): Trains run through a tunnel of blooming cherry blossoms

The Tsugaru Railway runs through Aomori Prefecture’s Tsugaru Peninsula. It’s a 20.7-kilometer-long local line that connects Goshogawara Station to Tsugaru-Nakasato Station.

In the winter, an old-fashioned potbelly stove warms its passengers against the region’s icy cold. Being able to keep warm inside the train as snow drifts across the Tsugaru Plain is an experience unique to the Tsugaru Railway.

A hit amongst travelers, many purposefully make their way in the chilly winter seasons just to create this memory!

Scattered along the railway are tourist attractions such as Tsugaru Shamisen Hall, Shayokan-the birthplace of the famous Japanese writer, Osamu Dazai, and the popular cherry blossom spot that is Ashino Park.

Ashino Park is also famous for being a place where Osamu Dazai used to play as a young boy. Now enjoyed as an incredible area for cherry blossom viewing, over 1,500 Yoshino cherry trees color the area a pastel pink!

Also, many blooming cherry trees can be found in the area surrounding Tsugaru Railway’s Ashino-Koen Station-encasing the retro trains that pass by in a beautiful pink cocoon. Each year, many photographers make their way to this location to try and snap a photo of such scenery.

Health & Safety Measures
Store and facilities are sanitized, disinfected, and cleaned/ Disinfectant spray is provided/ Staff wear masks, wash hands, sanitize, gargle, and check temperatures/Customers appearing unwell will be refused entry/ Customers are required to wear masks and undergo temperature checks

  • Ashino Park
    芦野公園
    • Address Asino, Kanagicho, Goshogawara Shi, Aomori Ken, 037-0202, Japan
    • Phone Number 0173-38-1515

The cherry blossoms in the Tohoku region bloom in April. Enjoying views of these blossoms from lolling trains is a truly moving experience! Why not take a trip to this magical region to enjoy their spring cherry trees?

*The information in this article is from February 2022.
*Details may have changed since this time. For updated information, please refer to the official websites.
*Business hours are subject to change depending on the spread of Covid-19.
Text by: SHOE PRESs

*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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