Canola and pink cherry blossoms that are in bloom right now

Cherry blossoms in full bloom, with canola flowers AND Koinobori (carp streamers), right here, right now, in Saitama Prefecture! (April 2nd 2024)

The Somei Yoshino seem to be taking forever this year! But thankfully we have other cherry blossoms to enjoy while we wait. For example, today, I found these pink cherry blossoms in full bloom in Tsurugashima City. In addition, there is also a large field of canola flowers. Moreover, there are dozens of Koinobori (carp streamers) in flight!

Tsurugashima Agriculture Exchange Center

Tsurugashima Agriculture Exchange Center cherry blossoms and farmland

This location, like in many in Saitama, has many names. Including Tsurugashima Agriculture Exchange Center, Tsurugashima Farmer’s Market, Takakura Agriculture Center and Tsurunosato. Takakura is the name of the area and also the name of the canola festival, that, although small, is quite well known in central Saitama. Information for this year’s canola festival is included in this post. The center is a municipal facility with farmland, or allotments as we call them back home, for growing fruit and vegetables. You can see some of the allotments above with the cherry blossoms in the background and carp streamers flying overhead.

Cherry blossoms in full bloom right now (April 2nd 2024)

cherry blossoms in full bloom now April 2024 in Tsurugashima

We went to the Tsurugashima Agriculture Exchange Center today to see the koinobori carp streamers flying above the canola flowers. And much to my surprise and delight there were about a score of cherry blossom trees in full bloom. There is another area near by where I knew that there are also cherry blossoms in full bloom. The plan was to go to see them after playing¹ at the agriculture center and then go on to our third and final destination today: Tsurugashima City Sports Park. But because the agriculture center had these beautiful cherry blossoms already in full bloom, we decided to stay longer in Takakura and go straight to Tsurugashima Sports Park after.

¹There is no playground at the Tsurugashima Agriculture Exchange Center. We’d brought rackets and shuttlecocks with us to play on the lawn.

I don’t know what variety the cherry blossoms are in this area of Takukura, Tsurugashima. From a distance I thought they might be Kumagai, but after seeing them up close I don’t think so. I can’t find information online either. Often trees will have a plaque with the flower name on it, but I didn’t see one today. They are a pink, delicate cherry blossom.

Canola flowers

The 2.2 hectare canola flower field at the agriculture center is quite well known within Saitama Prefecture – well central Saitama anyway. They bloom from early April to around the end of Golden Week. We had never come to see them so early before so I had no idea about the cherry blossoms! The fields are a popular spot around Golden Week due to the carp streamers:

Carp Streamers

There are approximately 100 carp streamers flying at the center. There are four displays. The largest flies over the canola flowers. There is also a large display in the green field by the Tsuru no Sato building, beside the street lined with cherry blossoms.

Takakura Canola Festival

According to the Saitama Prefecture website, the 2024 Takakura Canola Festival is on Sunday April 14th, from 10 am to 2.30 pm. At the festival there are taiko, yosakoi and kids dance performances. Among the food on offer on the day there is stone oven cooked pizza, canola udon, tarashi yaki mochi, fried noodles, cotton candy and chocolate banana. Official event page.

Information

Event: Cherry blossoms in full bloom right now – April 2nd 2024! Takakura Canola Festival 2024 第19回高倉菜の花まつり

Dates: I don’t know how long the cherry blossoms are already blooming, so I can’t guage when they are due to finish. But I imagine they have at least a couple of days left on them. The Canola Festival is on Sunday April 14th 2024. It will go ahead if there is light rain, but maybe cancelled if the rain is bad.

Time: the grounds are open 9 am to 5 pm. The festival is on from 10 am to 2.30 pm.

Cost: there is no admission fee and no parking charges.

Venue: Tsurugashima Agriculture Exchange Center / Tsurugashimashi Nogyo Koryu Center / 鶴ヶ島市農業交流センター, 534-3 Takakura, Tsurugashima, Saitama 350-2223. View on Google Maps.

Access

The Tsurugashima City Loop Bus ‘Tsuru Wagon’ goes to the center from Tobu Ogose Line’s Ipponmatsu station. It takes about five minutes by bus or taxi from that station or 20 minutes on foot. By car, the center is about a six minute drive from the Tsurugashima toll gate of Kanetsu Expressway.

Official website.

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