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Please see the grey “details box” at the bottom of each individual event for dates, hours, prices, location and external links.

**During the 2020 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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CANCELLED Motoara River Cherry Blossom Festival and boat ride

April 4 @ 10:00 - April 5 @ 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. It may not be in the top 100 spots to view cherry blossoms, but it is in the best 500 list! It is also ranked high within the prefecture’s top cherry blossom spots. 

The river is lined with cherry blossoms mainly of the somei yoshino variety. 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 and they are lit up at night.

Motoara River Cherry Blossom Festival in 2020

NEWS JUST IN March 6th, 6 pm – The event has been cancelled. Official notification.


With so many sakura matsuri cancelled for 2020 it is expected that this event maybe cancelled. However, as of 17:00 on March 6th 2020 this event is still scheduled to go ahead. Please note there maybe changes to the schedule or a full out cancellation as the date approaches. The dates are Saturday April 4th and Sunday April 5th. The festival will take place between 10 am and 4 pm.

During that time they usually have some festival stalls selling food and drink, but that might be different for 2020. 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.

Cherry Blossom Light Up


During the period of the cherry blossoms in full bloom, they are lit up at night.

Access Moto Arakawa River Cherry Blossom Festival

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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