Nagatoro Cherry Blossoms – Nagatoro is easily one of Saitama’s most beautiful locations. Thus it enjoys tourists all year round due to the abundance of stunning natural scenery. Spring is no exception when thousands flock to see the famous cherry blossoms in full bloom.
From the official Nagatoro Tourist Association website
Nagatoro has been selected as one of the 100 most famous spots for cherry blossoms in Japan. There are a little over 3000 cherry trees in Nagatoro. In April, all the cherry trees in Nagatoro come into bloom at once.
In particular, Kita Sakura Dori Avenue and Minami Sakura Dori Avenue feature a tunnel of flowers made by the trees on both sides, creating an utterly spectacular sight.
There are also illuminations, tree-lined lanes and cherry trees on the road approaching Hodosan Shrine showing 30 different kinds of cherry blossoms. Source: Nagatoro Tourist Association.
Furthermore, the Nagatoro cherry blossoms are one of just three cherry blossom locations in Saitama that are listed in Japan’s top 100 places to see sakura in Japan. Moreover, the Nagatoro Cherry Blossom Festival is one of the longest in the prefecture, stretching from end of March to end of April.
Nagatoro Cherry Blossoms
Kita Sakura Street
The tunnel of cherry blossom trees on Kita Sakura (Kitazakura) street are particularly renowned. You can drive through them or also walk under them. However, the area is very busy during the season. Which for this particular stretch of cherry blossoms is early April.
The road stretches for over 2 kilometers from near Nagatoro Station down to Takasago bridge which is close to Nogami station.
Furthermore, the road runs parallel to the Arakawa river where you can see river boats ferrying tourists downstream:
Moreover, the street is quite picturesque even when the cherry blossoms are not in bloom.
There are wide footpaths and in places there are railings with pretty motifs on them.
Along the path you will also spot some impressive architecture.
And also this foot bridge↑ that leads to Nagatoro Autocamp.
Other cherry blossoms in Nagatoro
The weeping cherry of Hozenji or Hozen Temple, which typically blooms around the end of March:
Torinuke no Sakura
The Sakura lined foot path at the bottom of Hodo-san, south of the Hodosan ropeway. There are approximately 500 trees of 31 different varieties. However, this grove has a cover charge – a 200 yen entrance fee for adults, 100 yen for children. They bloom from the middle to end of April. In addition, during the bloom period they normally have a light up event.
Avenue of Hodosan Shrine
The Hodosan shrine is worth a visit anytime of the year. But with the sakura its as majestic as it is mystical. The cherry blossoms as you approach Hodosan shrine:
Moreover, there is a ropeway at the back of Hodosan shrine, up a mountain path, that brings you to the top of Hodosan:
Minami Sakura Dori
Minami Sakura street is another of the popular places to view a tunnel of cherry blossoms. There are about 200 cherry blossoms stretching approximately 1.5 kilometers. They bloom from early to mid April. The street runs from Kami-nagatoro station and merges into Kitazakura Street. In addition, the Saitama Prefectural Museum of Nature is along the route.
The stand alone Iwada Sakura tree. It is further out than the rest. The closest station is Higuchi Station. It is opposite Dokoji Temple. The Iwada Sakura typically blooms end of March:
Hana no Sato
Hana No Sato which bloom mid April :
Official Nagatoro Tourist Association Site (Japanese): https://www.nagatoro.gr.jp/
Official English language portal: https://www.nagatoro.gr.jp/en/
Nagatoro Cherry Blossom Festival
The 2020 Nagatoro Cherry Blossom Festival was cancelled on account of the Coronavirus and 2020 State of Emergency. However, the 2021 cherry blossom festival in Nagatoro is one of a few (possibly the ONLY one!) that is actually scheduled to go ahead:
Nagatoro Cherry Blossoms Access
Nagatoro is accessible on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line or by using the Chichibu Railway. There are a couple of stations where you can alight. But probably the most central is Nagatoro station. Nagatoro Station is on the Chichibu Tetsudo and Steam Locomotive Paleo Express lines. Moreover, it is only about 2 hours from central Tokyo. However, if you are taking the steam locomotive it does take considerably longer. The main connecting stations to get the Chichibu Tetsudo line are Hanyu station on the Tobu Isesaki Line, Kumagaya Station on the Joetsu Shinkansen / JR Takasaki lines, Yorii station on the Tobu Tojo / JR Hachiko lines and Ohanabatake station on the Seibu Chichibu line.
More on the Paleo Express: