【Nijukken Cherry Blossom Road】
The name “Nijukken Cherry Blossom Road” is a reference to the length of the road, which is 36-meters (‘Nijukken’ in the old Japanese measurement). The old road has always been known for the fantastic view of cherry blossoms, which you can see overhead when driving or walking through. The road is also said to be the best cherry blossom road in Japan.
■Access: About a 15-min drive from the old JR Shizunai Station or a 2-hour drive from Sapporo.
■Spot introduction: https://en.visit-hokkaido.jp/what-to-do/nijukken-road-cherry-blossom-trees
Head to Hakodate Park if you want to enjoy cherry-blossom viewing like the locals. Popular year-round, the park is home to about 420 cherry blossom trees. When it’s time for hanami, numerous street stands line the park, giving it a festival-like atmosphere. The cherry blossom illuminations at night are worth visiting as well.
■Best time to visit: Late April to early May
■Access: Board the Hakodate city tram to Aoyagi-cho Station, walk for 3 minutes
When spring arrives in Sapporo, which is usually around the end of April to early May, cherry blossoms cover the star-shaped fort of Goryokaku Park.
Each area of the park gives visitors a different view of the flowersー you can also gaze at the star-shaped park from the top of Goryokaku Tower.
■Best time to visit: Late April to early May (Depends on each year)
■Spot Introduction: https://en.visit-hokkaido.jp/what-to-do/goryokaku-special-historic-site
【Shibazakura at Takinoue Park】
Spring in Hokkaido means it’s shibazakura viewing season at Takinoue Park. The park’s shibazakura field, which was the size of “one box of mikan” when it first started, has now become an endless carpet of pink flowers that bloom every year in May. Not only do these flowers look unique, but they have a faintly sweet fragrance to them. These flowers last for about a month, which is longer than how long typical cherry blossoms last, so you have more time to schedule a visit on your next trip to Hokkaido.
■Shibazakura Festival period: From early May to early June
■Access: 10-minute walk from Takinoue Bus Station, or take the bus from Sapporo Station (3.5 hours)
【Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park】
Every year, from mid-May to early June, a moss phlox or shibazakura festival attracts many tourists to this popular park. When the shibazakura are in full bloom, the vast flowered slope (of over 100,000 square meters) explodes with color, resembling a velvet carpet. You also see the pink torii gate marking Yamatsumi Shrine and a likeness of the local bovine mascot Nonky-kun, made of moss and blossoms, on the western slope of the park, among many other attractions.
■Access: 45 minutes by car from Memanbetsu Airport, 40 minutes by car from JR Abashiri Station.
■Take the bus from JR Abashiri Station bound for Higashimokoto (Bus Kaisha-mae) for 40 minutes, then a taxi to the park for 5 minutes.
*Every year, when the moss phlox are in bloom, there is a free shuttle service from Higashimokoto (Bus Kaisha-mae) to Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park. (Reservation required; limited to those who take the bus from Abashiri Station to Higashimokoto).