The late-blooming cherry blossoms are early this year. No surprises, given how early the Somei Yoshino (main) variety were. The term ‘yaezakura’ is used in Japanese as a collective term for several varieties of the beautiful fluffy late blooming cherry blossoms that have more than 5 petals. They are most often pink in color, unlike the main somei yoshino variety which are actually white.
Late-blooming cherry blossoms, aka Yaezakura 八重桜
Most translation sites translate yaezakura as double cherry blossom or a double flowered cherry blossom. However, if you break down the Japanese writing of the term “Ya” 八 means eight and ”E” 重 means multiple. Together “yae” though means double, which I find really interesting – multiple eights equal double! There are actually other double flowered (more than five petals) cherry blossoms that are early blooming. But the yaezakura typically bloom from around mid April to late April. Even into May in some places. However, in recent years, they have been blooming earlier than normal – as early as the first two weeks of April.
Yaezakura in bloom now
This week we have seen yaezakura in bloom in:
- and two locations in Moroyama: Kamakita Lake and…
Late-blooming cherry blossoms in Moroyama
We visited Kamakita Lake earlier in the week, knowing that we were too late for the Somei Yoshino, but hoping to catch some of the other varieties of cherry blossoms in the area. The yaezakura around the lake and on the mountainside have started to bloom, but there are only a few in the area. However, on the way to the lake I noticed the hillside of Moroyama Park bursting with color. So on the way home, we stopped off to see what was in bloom.
I was delighted to find, among various colored blooms, about a dozen yaezakura almost in full bloom. They are on the walk up to the brand new playground, as per the featured photo at the very top of the post. Further up the hill, there are a few red azalea and various different colored tree blossoms in bloom. There are even a couple of ‘green’ gyoiko cherry blossoms flowering at the moment.
Moroyama Park or Moroyama General (Comprehensive / Total) park was once a sports park. There are still sporting facilities at the park and a large gym, but the swimming pool has been left to ruins. They haven’t torn it down, in fact, I’ve heard that they use it as a lotus pond in the summer. I don’t know if that is true, but you can be sure I will be going back in summer to investigate!
The park is not particularly big and, frankly, not worth your while to go out of your way to visit. But it is a nice place to tack on to a visit to Lake Kamakita, if you are visiting with kids and / or want somewhere to picnic. There is a really nice lawn, with beautiful trees and even a few animal statues, beside the old swimming pool which is ideal for a picnic!
We hadn’t been at Moroyama Park in a long long time. I was really surprised to find a nice playground there. It turns out its brand new – it only opened for use two weeks ago! What I love about this playground is that it is in sand. Surprisingly, that is not very common – in Saitama anyway. My kids are old enough now that they don’t need this type of soft landing, but it does make it that bit safer for young children.
Moroyama Park Information
Moroyama General Park 毛呂山総合公園
Address: Moroyama, Iruma District, Saitama 350-0452. View on Google Maps.
Hours: 24 hours
Cost: free and free parking
The park is located right at the foot of the steep road that leads up to Lake Kamakita. But on foot it would take at least 25 minutes, probably more like 35, to walk to the park from the lake or vice versa. Moroyama park is about 30 minutes on foot from Moro Station on the Hachiko Line. From Bushu-Nagase station on the Tobu Ogose Line it takes about 37 minutes on foot.
The nearest highway exits are Tsurugashima Interchange on the Ken-o expressway or Sakado Nishi Smart Interchange on the Kanetsu expressway. Both are about a 20 minute drive from the park. Please note for the latter, Sakado Nishi Smart Interchange, you need to have an ETC card to use this type of ‘smart’ interchange. There are no toll operators and nowhere to insert cash or credit card.
looks splendid and nicely captured!
Thanks Andy. Kids went back to school today – had to go to an ‘entrance ceremony’ for one of them. But this week I’ll finally be able to catch up on your adventures.