This time of year the hype is all about the cherry blossoms. However, there are some other blooming trees that are equally stunning and colourful. I personally love peach blossoms and their bright pink petals. We planned a weekend away to Chichibu to view the stunning peach blossoms of the Yoshida area.
If you ask a Saitama local where is the best place to view peach blossoms, they will probably tell you Higashi Chichibu. The peach blossom scene of Higashi Chichibu, the last remaining village of Saitama, is known as “an earthly paradise”. Tokigawa town has a peach blossom festival that is known by locals in that area. The peach blossoms of Yoshida are off the tourist trail, even to Saitama residents. However, they are equally beautiful and offer stunning scenery while in bloom.
The Yoshida area of Chichibu is on the border of Ogano town and part of the Nishichichibu Natural Park. The area is best known for its rocket festival and the area is nicknamed “Rocket Town”. The area is around the Kakkaku dam. Until just 14 years ago it was one of only a handful of villages of Saitama. It was merged into Chichibu in 2005.
Yoshida Genki Mura
The peach blossoms in the area are around the base of Kakkaku dam beside Yoshida Genki Mura. The peach blossoms line the streets beside and the approach up to Yoshida Genki Mura, a log cabin resort with hot spring and foot spa. It also has a biomass bio generation facility that was a popular attraction and educational facility until a fire closed it down to the public.
You don’t have to be a guest of Yoshida Genki Mura to enjoy the facilities there. The foot spa, heated by the biomass generator, is free and open to the public. The hot spring is open to the public between 10 am and 6 pm. After 6 pm only guests of the resort can use it. There is a restaurant on the second floor that sells a “dam curry” which gets rave reviews online.
If you visit the Kamiyoshida side of the dam, where the management office is, you can look down into the valley of pink peach blossoms. They have look out points and you can also walk along the dam wall.
The lake at this side of the dam is called Nishichichibu Momo Lake, or West Chichibu Peach blossom lake. Due to its name, I had hoped there were peach blossoms around the lake too, but as you can see in the photo above there aren’t any.
Peach blossoms information
There are approximately 500 peach blossoms in the area. They typically bloom around the 3rd or 4th week of March. This year, 2019, they came into full bloom on the 28th of March and are still in bloom today April 1st. They will mostly like be gone by the end of this week.
Access Yoshida Rocket Town
The area is quite difficult to get to by public transport. The nearest station is Minano station on the Chichibu railway line. From there it is about a 3 hour hike! You can get a bus part of the way, but even at that you are still looking at an hours walk. The area is most accessible by car. By car it is 17 kilometres from the Hanazono Interchange of the Kanetsu expressway.
Area of the peach blossoms:
Viewing area from Kakkaku dam:
Midori no Mura, which is also a log cabin campsite, is close to Yoshida. There is a free public park at Midori No Mura. And they host several events annually. There is also pools there in the summer: