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 on the second day of the 2022 festival on April 3rd, 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. Moreover, it was one of only a few sakura matsuri that actually went ahead in 2022. Although, Honjo City was particularly good in 2022 and had all their various cherry blossom festivals!
Wakaizumi Parks Cherry Blossom Festival and Honjo Craft Art Fair 2023
Honjo City announced in November 2022 that the festival is scheduled for April 2023. They will hold the sakura matsuri on the first Saturday and Sunday of April, which is April 1st and 2nd 2023. Simultaneously they will also host the Honjo Craft Art Fair. They usually have a number of special surprises and events on for the festival. And there is normally also 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. They are available for a photo also.
Wakaizumi Parks light up the cherry blossoms at night. Not just for the festival, but for the period of the bloom. In 2022, also lit up the cherry blossoms at night for the first time in three years. The light up dates have not yet been announced for 2023. They usually wait until nearer the time to gage the period of bloom. The light up is normally 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: Saturday April 1st and Sunday April 2nd 2023
Hours: the festival is on from 10 am to 3 pm, the parks are open 24 hours
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.
Last republish April 3rd 2022. Last update December 13th 2022.