Jougaya Embankment Cherry Blossom Bank (Jougaya Tsutsumi Sakura Dote in Japanese), Kitamoto City, Saitama Prefecture, Japan. Update March 2021: the cherry blossoms started to open on the Vernal Equinox, Saturday March 20th. Moreover, this year they have put up the festival lanterns and there are some food vans on site.
Kitamoto City, on the eastern tip of the central area of Saitama Prefecture, has several cherry blossom viewing spots. One of the best known is the Jougaya Tsutsumi Cherry Blossom Bank sandwiched between the east side of Tenjinshita Park and the west side of Kitamoto Nature Observation Park. The embankment is located in the Ishito area of Kitamoto where there are several cherry blossom spots, including the only Kabasakura in the whole world.
In Japanese it is called Jougaya Tsutsumi Sakura Dote. Jougaya or Jogaya is the given name of the embankment: tsutsumi is the Japanese for an embankment or bank that is used as a levee or dyke. Dote also means an embankment. Sakura is a cherry blossom. I couldn’t find an official name in English online, or any information about the location in the English language either, so I have called Jogaya Embankment Cherry Blossom bank.
The embankment is a functioning road and levee for the Arakawa River. It isn’t particularly long and there are only sixty cherry blossom trees. But the scene is quite spectacular juxtaposing bright yellow rapeseed with the mature cherry blossom trees. The cherry blossoms are of the popular Somei Yoshino variety.
The trees not only line the road itself, but the slopes of the embankment too. On the Kitamoto Nature Observation Park side there is a short avenue or tunnel of sakura you can walk through. On the Tenjinshita Park side there is no walkway through the trees, but you can picnic under the trees there.
Jougaya Cherry Blossom Festival
They usually have a festival each year. This year, 2020, due to the Coronavirus outbreak they will not have a festival. They also haven’t put up the paper festival lanterns either, but normally they do. During the festival they have food and drink stalls in the car park in Tenjinshita Car park and the lanterns offer lighting and atmosphere. In 2021, there are festival lanterns up and there are some festival (food / drink) stalls on site.
Facilities: There is a women’s, men’s and a multipurpose toilet in the car park for Tenjinshita Park.
The nearest highway interchange is Okegawa-Kitamoto on the Keno expressway. The embankment is about an eleven minute drive from the exit. There is a car park close to the embankment beside Tenjinshita Park. You can also take a scenic walk through the Kitamoto Nature Observation park from their car park. It is about a 12 minute walk through vaguely accentuated natural landscapes.
By public transport you can get a bus from the west exit of Kitamoto station to the Kitamoto Nature Observation Park bus stop and walk through the park to the cherry blossom spot. You can also get a bus from the east exit of Okegawa Station, on the Takasaki line, bound for Kitasato Daigaku Medical Center (which also has stunning cherry blossom trees) and walk about 25 minutes through the Kitamoto Observation Park.
More cherry blossom spots in Kitamoto
Kitamoto has some stunning cherry blossom spots including (but not limited to):
- The only kabazakura cherry blossom tree in the world. There is also stunning sakura (and one peach blossom tree) in the car park.
- Beautiful cherry blossom trees in the Kitamoto Children’s Park
- Takao Sakura Park
- There is also a very famous Edohiganzakura tree in the nature observation park. Unfortunately it was damaged in recent years and is fallen over, but miraculously it still blooms on one branch.