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**During the 2021 State of Emergency and Coronavirus Outbreak, events are subject to change and cancellation at a moment’s notice. Please do always check with the official website for any last minute changes or cancellations.**

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Motoara River Cherry Blossom Season

March 20, 2021 @ 10:00 April 4, 2021 @ 16:00

Motoara River Cherry Blossom Festival

The Motoara River Cherry Blossom festival in Fukiage is another of Saitama’s well known locations for hanami (cherry blossom festival). Especially with locals. The festival is also known as the Fukiage Cherry Blossom festival. The Motoara River in Fukiage may not be in the top 100 spots to view cherry blossoms, but it is in the best 500 list! It also ranks high in the prefecture’s top cherry blossom spots. They list it as one of Saitama’s 100 most scenic spots.

The river is lined with cherry blossoms mainly of the somei yoshino variety. They stretch for approximately 2.5 kilometers. There are about 700 cherry blossom trees in total. They typically bloom early April.They hang cherry blossom lanterns from the tree during the blooming period. Moreover, they are lit up at night.

Motoara River Cherry Blossom Festival in 2021

Update March 25th: The cherry blossoms actually only started opening around March 24th.

As of March 9th 2021, they still hadn’t made a decision on the Konosu Cherry blossom festivals in 2021. However, at a later date they confirmed there would be no festival. You can visit the cherries though. There are usually three different festivals, including this one in Fukiage. If the festival does go ahead it will most likely be held on either the last weekend of March of the first weekend of April. Normally it is the first weekend in April, but the cherry blossoms are early to bloom this year. Thus, it might be the end of March instead.

In a normal year, they usually have some festival stalls selling food and drink during the period of the festival. They also usually have live stage performances.  One of the most popular elements of this festival is the Yakatabune. A Yakatabune is a unique Japanese-style wooden tour boat. Traditionally they were essentially a party boat. You may not be able to have a party on the boat at the Motoara River Cherry Blossom Festival, but you can enjoy the stunning scenery as you cruise down the river.

motoara cherry blossom festival
Image from the official website: Yatakabune on the Motoara River Fukiage

Pets are allowed. They discourage people from securing a place to picnic, i.e. you can’t put a mat down with no people at it.

Access Moto Arakawa River Cherry Blossom Festival

One of the appeals of this cherry blossom spot is its easy access by public transport. It is just a five minute walk from the North exit of JR Takasaki Line’s Fukiage station.

There is no official parking for this event. They request that you come by public transport.


Another place you can enjoy a boat ride under cherry blossoms is in Kawagoe:

Boat Ride on Shingashi River at back of Hikawa Shrine | KAWAGOE

For even more seasonal events please see the Saitama main events calendar.

Motoara River Cherry Blossom Festival

2 Chome-1 Kamatsuka
Kōnosu-shi, Saitama 369-0112 Japan
+ Google Map
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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, particularly with the current Coronavirus outbreak.

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