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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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Winter cherry blossom festival, Jomine Park
October 23 @ 09:00 – December 6 @ 20:00
The annual winter cherry blossom festival “Fuyuzakura Matsuri” in Jomine Park, Kamikawa (Kodama district, Saitama) is scheduled to go ahead as normal despite the Coronavirus. Some trees already have blooms, others have buds and are currently showing signs of coming into bloom. It is expected the cherry blossoms will bloom fully as in previous years.
Winter cherry blossom trees
There are approximately 600 cherry blossom trees in Jomine Park. They are double flowered of the “October cherry blossom” variety or Jyugatsu sakura in Japanese. As you can probably guess, they are called such because they start blooming in October! Usually mid October. Lucky for us, unlike their spring counterparts, they normally bloom for at least a month, normally longer. Actually, these particular type of rare cherry blossoms have a very different blooming pattern than those you see in spring. They cyclically bloom and fall and bloom again for weeks on end. Therefore you can see them in Jomine Park normally until early to mid December.
There are walkways between the trees and even raised dais to facilitate easy viewing and the opportunity to get that picture perfect photo!
With Autumn leaves
Prime viewing is mid-November because not only will the cherry blossoms be in full bloom, but the autumn leaves will also be at their prime. This is one of only a handful of places in Japan that you can see winter sakura and autumn leaves at the same time. Moreover, they are lit up at night as part of the festival…
Winter Cherry Blossom Festival
Currently, the 2020 festival period is set for October 23rd to December 6th. The official website does indicate though that there maybe changes to the schedule depending on the condition of the cherry blossoms closer to the time. Also, the weather may effect the festival. Last year, 2019, the festival was cancelled shortly after it began due to damage sustained during typhoon Hagibis.
During the time of the festival the cherry blossoms and the autumn leaves are lit up at night. Light up starts from dusk and ends at 8 pm. At the moment no live performances are scheduled and there is no information available as to whether they will have any food trucks this year. We visited on October 31st and November 1st and there were none. And the shop in the park closed at its usual time of 5 pm.
Visiting during the pandemic
The website said that there will be temperature checks at the gate. However, when we visited we didn’t see this. It also says that you will be required to sterilize your hands. There is hand sanitizer out but as far as I can tell they were not enforcing use. The park asks that you wear a mask and maintain social distancing; while we were there everyone was respecting this request. More about our visit here.
An Asahi bus goes to the park from the south exit of Honjo Station on the Takasaki Line.
By car – there is plenty of parking, but please note during the prime viewing period it is not unusual to have to wait to get a coveted parking spot!
All images from:
Kamikawa, Kodama District, Saitama 367-0313 Japan + Google Map +81495770703
View Venue Website
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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.