Tsurugashimashi Sports Park isn’t a particularly large park and, if you are not playing sports, nor is it a particularly engaging park. However, it has two things going for it; cherry blossoms and a splash pool. In addition, for some, the fishing in the park is the main attraction. Furthermore, in 2021, a new nature park was opened right beside the current park.
The park is useful for locals as it has walking courses, a tennis courts, a baseball ground and the lake in the park is very popular for fishing. There is a boardwalk on one side of the lake. It has a sign to say no children allowed though. There is a very small playground for children. It is best suited to small children.
The splash pool is probably the highlight of the park for slightly older children. It is a nice splash pool with a short wading river. The base is flat so it is easy to walk on, but there are some large rocks positioned in the water which are a potential hazard. The pool itself has no shade, but there are some trees around the perimeter that afford shade and there is also a gazebo.
The cherry blossoms around the fishing lake is one of the famous cherry blossom scenes of Tsurugashima. Approximately 12,000 people come to see the cherry blossoms in Tsurugashima each year. In 2018, we visited a bit late for the main cherry blossoms, which as you might remember were earlier than a “normal” year. You could tell, even though the cherry blossoms were past their prime, that the lake would look stunning when the trees are in full bloom. There are a couple of yaezakura in the park too though that were in bloom during our visit and are very picturesque.
Cherry Blossom Festival
The park has a popular cherry blossom festival annually. The festival is on for two weeks, but there are only special events on one weekend during that period. Usually either the first weekend in April or the last weekend of March. For that weekend they have food and festival stalls and live music performances between 10 am and 4 pm. However, throughout the two week “festival” period, they light the lanterns nightly. They are normally lit from 6 pm to 9 pm for the cherry blossom festival. Unfortunately, the festival has been cancelled in 2022 on account of the pandemic.
Apart from the nightly cherry blossom light up and one weekend of entertainment, the only way they mark the “festival” is with festival lanterns around the park, particularly around the lake which is the focal point of the cherries in Tsurugashimashi Sports Park. If you are in Tsurugashima, don’t miss the excellent Greenfinger cafe!
Tsurugashima Sports Park Information
Public toilets and vending machines available.
Hours: The park is never closed, but the car park is. It opens from 6 am to 7.30 pm. It opens late when the cherry blossoms are lit up.
Address: 201-8 Ōtagaya, Tsurugashima-shi, Saitama-ken 350-2214
By public transport: you can get a bus from Tobu Tojo Line Wakaba station for
「柳戸町」 Its a five minute walk from this bus stop.
By car: Five minutes from the Tsurugashima Interchange of the Ken-O expressway. There is parking for 250 cars in the free car park. However, for the weekend of the main events of the cherry blossom festival, they restrict the parking at the park.