jogenji Saitama city kawazu x weeping plum

Weeping plum blossoms, Kawazu cherry blossoms, weeping cherry blossoms with cherry blossom festival and light up in Saitama City.

The scene of kawazu cherry beside weeping plum blossoms, the two shades of pink side by side, is absolutely breathtaking. It was an absolute delight to find this kawazu cherry blossoms x weeping plum blossom spot in the heart of Saitama (Saitama City), thanks to a chance encounter while I was walking around Iwatsuki. This post not only showcases this special spot for the combination of Kawazu and weeping plum blossoms, but I also share another secret spot in Iwatsuki too. In addition, this post contains information for a monthly market, a cherry blossom festival and weeping cherry light up.

Kawazu x Weeping plum blossoms in Saitama City

weeping plum blossom and kawazu cherry blossom in Saitama City
Kawazu on the left, weeping plum blossoms on the right

Last year I got a ton of queries about this location after posting a reel from there. How I ended up witnessing this splendid scene myself, is a story of the kindness of strangers. I was standing at the gate pictured in the featured photo (at the top of the post), admiring the kawazu, when two ladies passed. I said hello, as I always do, and a casual comment “beautiful aren’t they”, when one of the ladies said to me “Have you been into the garden?”. WHAT GARDEN? The secret garden behind the temple, as it turned out! The lady, who was a regular at the temple, sensed my hesitancy (polite gaijin complex!), so she said ‘come along with us, as my guest’. And off I went into the magical secret garden of kawazu cherry blossoms and weeping plum blossoms.

The aforementioned reel:

Kawazu Cherry Blossoms

It was the kawazu that first caught my attention as there are three beautiful kawazu in the parking lot which is visible from the street. Moreover, in the garden there are dozens more. You can see them contrasted by bamboo in one section too. And there are also white plum blossoms and other trees in the garden as well. In addition, there are some beautiful statues. The kind lady told me they typically bloom the end of February to early March.

Information for the weeping cherry blossoms, weeping cherry light up and cherry blossom festival is below the market information. ↴


Jogenji

The temple is Jogenji or Jyougenji. It is unknown when the temple was founded, but the current monk is the 25th chief priest. As there is a record that the temple suffered a fire in 1471, it is assumed that the temple was founded, at the latest, in the middle of the Muromachi period. The temple is located to the west of Iwatsuki Castle Park. There is actually a short cut / laneway from the park to the side of the temple. The temple has a popular market each month:

Iwatsuki Annon market

When I was there, the large parking lot (which was closed to the public) looked very familiar. I didn’t know the name of the temple, because the name on the gate above is not the full name of the temple. Moreover, its read right to left and I was reading it left to right! So I didn’t make the connection. I found the temple online by its location, not its name! And when I eventually got around to looking up the temple, I realized that I knew the temple as it regularly has a market in the large parking lot! I never knew there was a garden there.

The market is called Iwatsuki Annon Market. It is held on the third Sunday of the month, except for in August when there is no market. And in March the market will be on the fourth Sunday to match the cherry blossom bloom (see next paragraph). It is on from 9 am to 1 pm in the parking lot of Jogenji (Jyougenji). There are food trucks, workshops and market stalls selling such things as fresh vegetables and handmade goods (food and non food). Official website of the market (separate to the temple).


Cherry Blossom Festival

There is a cherry blossom festival at the temple on Sunday March 24th 2024 from 9 am to 1 pm. The early blooming cherry blossoms will be long over by then, but the other cherry blossoms on the grounds should be in bloom. There is a market on the day and ‘rajio taisou’ as well as a couple of other events. Official event page.

Weeping Cherry Blossom Light Up

There are also weeping cherry blossoms on the grounds of the temple. Usually they light one of them up at the end of March to early April. They did in 2022 (I don’t know about 2023) so presumably they will do it again this year. Normally they announce it on their website, which is linked below.


Information

Temple: Jogenji (Jyougenji / Jogen Temple / Jogenji Temple / Jyougen Temple) 浄源寺

Address: 1 Chome-10-44 Ota, Iwatsuki Ward, Saitama, 339-0052. View on Google Maps.

Hours: 9 am to 5 pm.

Access: the temple is about a 20 minute walk from Iwatsuki Station. The large parking lot seems to be closed on a regular day, but there is a small parking lot near the gate pictured in this post. However, you can’t use the parking lots when the market is on. But for the March 24th Cherry Blossom Festival you can park at the parking lot beside Ota Elementary School.

Official website


Bonus: another spot in Iwatsuki

Jogenji is actually not the only location where you can see kawazu and weeping plum blossoms side by side in Iwatsuki. There is another secret spot with the magical combination. Horinji, a temple with a connection to Ota Dokan, is just a four minute walk from the east exit of Iwatsuki station. The trees tend to blossom late February to early March on average.

Address: 1 Chome-7-10 Honcho, Iwatsuki Ward, Saitama, 339-0057. View on Google Maps.
Online: The temple does not have a website, but there is a page on the Saitama City tourism website (in Japanese).

Even more places for Kawazuzakura, early blooming cherry blossoms, in Saitama Prefecture near Tokyo.

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