secret sakura spot Sakado

Sakado’s secret sakura spots. Previously this post also contained information for Jigenji, but that has been moved to its own post.

There is some really stunning sakura in the south east area of Sakado. And some of the sakura spot locations are so secret they are not even on Google Maps. And in this day in age, in this part of Saitama, that is really rare. I introduce one of Sakado’s dozen secret sakura spots in this post. And also another stunning spot, Higashi Sakado Danchi, that is not secret as such, but it is surprisingly not that famous. But it is well known within Saitama Prefecture.

Jingenji Temple Weeping Cherry

But first! This post used to contain information for Jigenji’s weeping cherry blossom tree, but I have moved that information to↴

Higashi Sakado Danchi

A danchi is the Japanese for a large cluster of residential apartment blocks or houses. When it is houses it is what we call a housing estate in Ireland. I don’t think we have a word for a group of apartment blocks like what you see here in Japan. There’s literally dozens of four storey apartment blocks in Higashi Sakado Danchi. There is no parking for casual visitors at the danchi, so we park at Jingenji and walk down. It is just a five minute walk from the temple. But the walk along the river is a good 700 meters one way.

higashisakado danchi cherry blossoms

When there is no pandemic you can picnic under the cherries. And it is a very popular place for locals to hanami. Sometimes they have a festival of sorts, or rather more like a market. In 2024 it is on Saturday March 23rd from 10 am to 3 pm.

Secret Sakura Spot Sakado

secret sakura spot Sakado

A short drive from the danchi there is a stunning sakura spot. Its a small park, more like a garden, but the sakura are breathtaking. It is not actually a place I had planned for today’s post. I was going to introduce another secret location. But we serendipitously ended up at this secret spot today and I just have to introduce it. I will hopefully get around to introducing other “secret spots” in the area in due course.

Thanks to my love of adventure and propensity for taking back roads we ended up at this gem today. The kids recognized it once we got closer. Ironically, it turns out it is a place my husband has brought the kids on bike rides several times over the years. But today was my first visit. There is little park there. And there’s only about 40, maybe 50, trees. But it is really beautifully done. There is a portaloo toilet. There are also a few benches and even a picturesque gazebo. Moreover, there is beautiful rapeseed in the area too.

Unfortunately, in 2024 they are still doing some work in the area and the parking lot is still off limits.

The unnamed secret Sakura spot

secret sakura spot sakado saitama

This sakura spot has no name that we can find! There are a couple of stone monuments in the park that explain the purpose of the park. And that the trees were planted in 2008. As I said above, the location is not on Google Maps. Nor is the only identifying building beside it. The park is not on a physical Mapple map either. However, Mapple thankfully names the building next door. Its called Satsuki Clean Center.

The park is in Sakado, but it is right on the border of Kawagoe. On the embankment at the top of the small park you can stand with one foot in Kawagoe, one in Sakado! However, if you are coming by car, you have to come in from the Sakado side. A small tributary of the Oppe River divides the two cities. There is no way to get over it from Kawagoe by car. You can do it along the embankment by foot or bicycle.

Thankfully despite its remote location and obscurity there is actually a large sized car park. Update 2023: unfortunately the car park is still off limits (as it was in 2022 too) as they are doing some work in the area. I think the car park may actually be for the rainwater catchment pump which is another landmark in the area – also not on Google Maps (insert sideward laughing face here!).

secret sakura spot in sakado saitama
The only other vehicle there, a camper van. Building on the right is the rain water pump maintenance facility. Update 2022: this car park is currently off limits as they do some work in the area

In the area

If you happen to be in the area to visit the famous Seitenkyu or strawberry picking at Shimura Farm or visiting Jigen-ji, it is a nice secret sakura spot to stop off at. It is also a nice spot for a rest on a cycle along the Oppe or Koaze rivers. The two rivers run parallel in this area. This area featured on the news a lot back in 2019 after typhoon Hagibis, because it was very badly flooded. From the embankment, you can see the old folks home frequently mentioned on the news back then as it was flooded by the Koaze River.

You can also see the Asahi Heliport from the embankment. But whatever you do don’t use that as a landmark for Google navigation. Asahi Heliport is located between both Koaze and Oppe Rivers and is equally hard to access by car and the entry point is miles from the entry point for the sakura-spot with no name! I digress. Within the nameless sakura park, there is a spot, right between two sakura trees where you can see one of the helicopter take off pads. We waited for ages today for a helicopter to take off, but unfortunately none did while we were there. It would have made an ace photo!

South East Sakado Sakura Information

Address:Higashi Sakado Danchi, 2 Chome Higashisakado, Sakado, Saitama 350-0205
The sakura spot with no name, 1668-1 Kōya, Sakado, Saitama 350-0204
Phone:The Sakado City Tourism Bureau – 049-283-1331
Hours:24 hours
Online:Jigen Temple (Jigen-ji) official english web page

All photos by me! And are unedited.


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