Wakaizumi parks cherry blossoms with red bridge

The Wakaizumi area of Honjo has three “Wakaizumi” parks; Wakaizumi Dai Ichi, Dai Ni and Wakaizumi sports park. Dai Ichi and Dai Ni are right beside each other, both quite small independently, but together they make a nice medium sized park. The Wakaizumi Park is a lovely park for children with lots of playground equipment. It is an ideal spot to enjoy hanami with children. The Dai Ni park is very picturesque with several bridges, including red and moon bridges.

Wakaizumi Cherry Blossoms

There are 160 cherry blossom trees within the Wakaizumi park and Dai Ni parks according to the official website. In Wakaizumi park they are along the river and around the playground. In Dai Ni they grow around the ponds. Typically the cherry blossoms in these parks bloom end of March to early April. Furthermore, as the petals start to shed around the end of the first week of April, you can see the water features in the park turn to pink.

Wakaizumi Parks Cherry Blossom Festival

The festival went ahead in 2022, which unfortunately I didn’t know in advance. It was a pleasant surprise to arrive at the park today, Sunday April 3rd 2022, and see all the festival lanterns and stalls up. Despite the rain. Often cities and towns in Saitama cancel their cherry blossom festivals when the rain is as heavy as it was today.

Supposedly the festival was also on yesterday, Saturday April 2nd. It was a festival “lite” this year though. With none of the usual additional events. In a normal year they usually have a number of special surprises and events too. And there is normally a mini food festival in conjunction with the sakura matsuri.

Events for kids

The festival is very family friendly. Kids can normally enjoy a mini steam locomotive ride that usually operates on the day of the festival along with games they put on for the children. City mascots from both Honjo and neighboring cities such as Fukaya usually attend the festival too, will be available to get your photo taken with.

Light up

This year, they have been lighting up the cherry blossoms at night, for the first time in three years. Light up started on March 24th. It is on from 6 to 10 pm nightly during the period of the bloom.

Wakaizumi Parks Cherry Blossom Information

Season: the very end of March to early April

Festival: generally the first weekend in April (It was April 2nd and 3rd in 2022)

Hours: the festival is on from 10 am to 3 pm, the parks are open 24 hours

Cost: free

Access

Address: 2 Chome-2-23 Wakaizumi, Honjo, Saitama 367-0055

By public tranport: About a 15 minute walk from JR Takasaki Line’s Honjo station.

By car: About 3.3 kilometers from the Honjo Kodama exit of the Kanestu expressway. Between the three parks and public facilities in the area there is supposedly free parking for up to 400 cars. However, during the festival period you cannot park in either Wakaizumi nor Dai Ni parks. I found it very hard to find the parking lots as they are not clearly marked on maps.

Don’t miss these rare Sunlight Sakura a ten minute drive from Wakaizumi.

Official Honjo Sightseeing Association website

wakaizumi-parks-cherry-blossom-festival-honjo

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