Early blooming “Kawazuzakura” Cherry Blossoms at Kumagaya Sakura Undo (Sports / Exercise) Park
Bad news about the Kawazuzakura in Saitama Prefecture unfortunately. This year, although they only really starting blooming last week, they are already turning green. The bloom on average (of monitoring 20 different Kawazu zakura spots) was only around five days this year in Saitama. The shortest bloom period I ever remember in my 16 years in Saitama. In my experience they tend to bloom for about 2 to 3 weeks normally in Saitama. Which is shorter than in other areas of Japan, particularly Shizuoka Prefecture, where generally you can see Kawazu cherry blossoms for about a month.
Kawazuzakura in Kumagaya
However, there are is at least one place where they are currently still in full bloom: Kumagaya Sakura Undo Park. It was one of four kawazuzakura locations I checked up on, in person, today, Tuesday March 15th 2022. And it was the only one of the four locations that isn’t past its prime already. However, in one of the three kawazuzakura spots in the park, there is a considerable amount of green leaves on the trees. But the other two areas are still in full bloom.
The three areas where you can see kawazuzakura are:
- Around the running field
- Around the swimming pool
- In the south car park
Kumagaya Sakura Undo Park
Although, the park was designed mainly for sports and exercise, it is more like a general park. The park is divided by a road. Apart from all the sports facilities there is also a playground and open some open spaces. The main playground is south of the road that divides the park, but there is also a small one behind the tennis courts. In addition, there are all sorts of playing fields in the park and even an indoor heated pool. Furthermore, they even have a barbecue area!
In a normal year the park hosts several festivals. The “sakura marathon” is quite well known. At least, its how I first heard about the park. They actively promote the marathon and it seems quite popular. However, they have suspended most of them due to the Coronavirus. I had no idea the park was suited to leisure also. A Kumagaya-jin I follow on Twitter linked to a blog post about the Kawazuzakura there a couple of years ago. And I promptly added it to the ever growing list of Kawazuzakura spots in Saitama!
There are also Somei Yoshino (the most common type of cherry blossom associated with Japan) in the park. Futhermore, there are at least 8 other varieties of cherry blossoms in the park. The Somei Yoshino should start to bloom around the end of next week. Kumagaya is actually very famous for its cherry blossoms, they have long had a coveted place on the official list of top 100 cherry blossom spots in Japan. A section of the acclaimed sakura are about a 20 minute walk from Kumagaya Sakura Undo Park.
Kumagaya Sakura Undo Park have an outdoor pool in summer. However, in 2022 it will not open to the public due to the pandemic.
Address: 157-1 Kojima, Kumagaya, Saitama 360-0832
Hours: 9 am to 9 pm
Cost: free and free parking, but sporting facilities have individual prices
Hirose Yacho no Mori on the Chichibu Railway Line is about a 13 to 15 minute walk from the park. Kagohara Station on the Takasaki line is about a 30 to 35 minute walk from the park.
The park is about a six minute drive from the Tamai Interchange of the Fukaya By-pass. The Hanazono Interchange of the Kan-etsu expressway is about a 15 minute drive away.