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Nagatoro Cherry Blossom Festival in 2020 | CHICHIBU
March 21 @ 00:00 - April 29 @ 23:59￥300
The Nagatoro Cherry Blossom Festival is one of the most popular in the whole of Saitama. It is also one of the longest, stretching from the end of March to the end of April. There are a total of 3000 cherry blossom trees in different locations throughout Nagatoro with two key areas of sakura lined tunnels.
Nagatoro Cherry Blossom Festival 2020
The dates for 2020 cherry blossom period / festival were initially set for Saturday March 21st until Wednesday April 29th. However, further to the Covid-19 novel Coronavirus outbreak, the town released a statement today, March 15th 2020, that the festival will be shortened. It will now start from April 13th.
The below pamphlet from 2019 shows where the cherry blossom and the wisteria spots are in Nagatoro. The wisteria festival has been cancelled for 2020. The Nagatoro Wisteria festival was actually cancelled long before the coronavirus broke out. It was cancelled due to damage in the area from typhoon Hagibis in 2019.
The blossoms can be separated into three groups by the rough time they bloom.
END OF MARCH CHERRY BLOSSOMS
Please note for the end of March 2020 there is no festival, just flower viewing at your own risk (of Covid-19).
First up is the cherry blossoms that bloom at the end of March such as the weeping cherry of Hozen Temple;
The stand alone sakura tree Iwada sakura also blooms end of March and early April. This tree was scheduled to be lit up at night from March 21st to April 5th from dusk until 9 pm, but that has been cancelled due to the situation with Coronavirus.
EARLY APRIL CHERRY BLOSSOMS
The second group which bloom from early April includes the tunnel of cherry blossom trees on Kita sakura (Kitazakura) street which are particularly renowned. You can drive through them or walk under them. The area is very busy during the season. They typically bloom early April;
These trees were scheduled to be lit up from March 28th to April 12th from 5 pm to 9 pm, but that was also cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
MID TO LATE APRIL CHERRY BLOSSOMS
Third and last is the cherry blossoms at the foot of Mt Hodo in the area known as “Sakura Tree Lined Pathway”, which typically bloom mid to late April. Thankfully, at this moment in time, this part of the festival is scheduled to go ahead.
The cherry blossom period for 2020 for Mt Hodo is from April 15th to 28\9th, during which time you have to pay to enter this walkway and for parking. This year, 2020, they are not lighting up the trees at night like they used to in the past. This has nothing to do with Covid-19, this decision was made before the outbreak. It costs 300 yen for adults to enter the area, 100 yen for children over 6 years old and parking costs 500 yen.
As the cherry blossoms are quite spread out they have come up with a fun way to get around the cherry blossom locations. You can hire a “mobitoro” for 1500 yen for one hour during the cherry blossom season:
The area also has a fun rope way ride that you can use to get from the base rope way station to the top station which is just 50 metres short of the mountain’s summit:
Nagatoro Cherry Blossom Festival Access
Nagatoro is accessible on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line or by using the Chichibu Railway. There are a couple of stations where you can alight, but probably the most central is Nagatoro station. Nagatoro Station is on the Chichibu Tetsudo and Steam Locomotive Paleo Express lines. It is about 2 hours from central Tokyo.
The main connecting stations to get the Chichibu Tetsudo line are Hanyu station on the Tobu Isesaki Line, Kumagaya Station on the Joetsu Shinkansen / JR Takasaki lines, Yorii station on the Tobu Tojo / JR Hachiko lines and Ohanabatake station on the Seibu Chichibu line.
The steam locomotive operates on weekends once a day. They often add extra days during spring break which is cherry blossom season but the information for 2020 is not yet available:
If you are looking for somewhere to stay the Nagatoro Autocamp is near the Kitazakura Street and has different accommodation choices. Like many parts of Nagatoro, the campsite was badly damaged by typhoon #19 aka “Hagabis”. They are aiming to have it back up and running soon and will start taking bookings again shortly:
Events by their very nature are tentative. Please do check with the official sources for any last minute changes due to weather or other mitigating factors.