The Motoara River Cherry Blossom festival, also known as the Fukiage Cherry Blossom Festival, is another of Saitama’s well known locations for hanami (cherry blossom festival). Especially with locals. 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! Moreover, it also ranks high in the prefecture’s top cherry blossom spots. They list it as one of Saitama’s 100 most scenic spots.
Motoara River Cherry Blossoms
The Motoara river in Fukiage (Konosu) 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, but for the last three years they have started to bloom in March. As of April 3rd 2022, they are still blooming. They hang cherry blossom lanterns from the tree during the blooming period. Moreover, they light the sakura up at night. In a normal year, they have a festival…
Konosu Cherry Blossom Festivals in 2022
There are usually three different cherry blossom festivals in Konosu City. One at Konosu Park, one at Akagi Park and one at the Motoara river banks in Fukiage.
Fukiage Cherry Blossom Festival
The Fukiage Cherry blossom festival is usually on the first weekend of April. However, in both 2020 and 2021 the cherry blossoms were expected to be early so the festival was uncharacteristically set for the last weekend of March. Ultimately though, the cherry blossom festival didn’t end up going ahead due to the coronavirus. Which is probably just as well because in the end, Fukiage’s sakura actually didn’t start to open until March 24th!
The first sakura forecast for 2022 came out a few days. They are predicting that the sakura will once again be early in 2022. Thus, the festival was set for March 26th and 27th. Initially they planned some live performances, but they ended up cancelling them. But the festival did go ahead. Quite a few of their festivals have gone ahead in 2022, including their famous dolls festival.
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…
Boat ride under the sakura
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.
You can bring pets to this sakura spot. The organizers ask that you refrain from securing a place to picnic, i.e. you can’t put a mat down with no people at it. In theory, the area is open 24 hours. But light up, when it is on, is generally on until around 9 pm.
Access Moto Arakawa River Cherry Blossom Festival
Address: 8 Kamatsuka, Konosu, Saitama 369-0112
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: