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Okanzakura, Sakado Nissai Sakura Matsuri | SAKADO
March 17 - March 25
Okanzakura Sakado – The Nissai Sakura Festival in Sakado is a relatively new festival in Saitama, although the cherry blossoms have been around for quite sometime. This will be the fourth time the festival has been celebrated. The sakura matsuri (cherry blossom festival) in west Sakado is one of the earliest cherry blossom festivals in Saitama.
Okanzakura Cherry Blossoms
The variety of cherry blossom at Nissai along the Oppe River in the area of Kita Asaba are Okanzakura (or Ookanzakura). In Japanese it is written 大寒桜, the kanji for big cold cherry blossom! Kanzakura are a winter cherry blossom that are quite well known, but Ookanzakura are more rare. The most famous are probably the two they have in Ueno Park.
In Sakado they thankfully have a lot more than the two in Ueno Park. The fast blooming cherry blossoms stretch for 1.2 kilometers along the riverbed of the Oppe River.
Nissai Sakura Matsuri
The Nissai Sakura Matsuri will be held from March 17th to March 25th 2018. The 17th is the only day with an actual festival in the typical sense of the word. That is from 10 am to 3 pm. For the opening event on the 17th there are traditional and live performances under the cherry blossoms as well as mascot and character appearances. They expect about 35,000 people to attend the festival over the 8 day period.
Access Nissai Sakura Matsuri
During the course of the festival there is a free shuttle bus from Kita Sakado station on the Tobu Tojo line on the weekends and public holiday only (March 17th, 18th, 21st, 24th and 25th). There is one bus every 40 minutes and they run from 8.30 am to 4.10 pm. It takes about 10 minutes on the bus from the station.
By car it is about 5 minutes from the Sakado Nishi SMART interchange. You have to have an ETC card in your car to use a SMART interchange. There is parking for up to 300 cars.
Map, official website and other details in the grey box at the bottom of the post.
For more information about cherry blossoms in Saitama:
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