See 10,000 cherry trees in bloom near Hokkaido’s only castle
Matsumae Park, located in the southern part of Hokkaido, is home to japan‘s northernmost castle, Matsumae Castle. This historic park is one of the best places to experience cherry blossom season, with thousands of cherry trees in bloom. In addition to the stunning cherry blossoms, Matsumae Park also features a variety of historic ruins that offer a glimpse into the area’s storied past.
Matsumae Castle, with its commanding view of the Matsumae area, is a must-see attraction in the park. Walking through the castle grounds feels like stepping into another world, as the scent of saltwater and seasonal flowers fills the air. The castle itself sits atop a hill, offering panoramic views of the surrounding area. On a clear day, visitors can even see all the way to Aomori, 20 kilometers away across the Tsugaru Strait.
The castle has a rich history, having been rebuilt in 1961. It was originally home to the Matsumae Clan, feudal lords who ruled the area from the 17th to 19th centuries. In 1854, the castle was expanded and renamed Fukuyama Castle. It had three towers, 16 gates, and a 7-cannon armory, showcasing the clan’s military power.
But Matsumae Park is not just about the castle. Visitors can also explore the many historic ruins scattered throughout the park. These ruins provide a glimpse into the history of Matsumae, with many of them predating the castle itself. One notable example is Hogenji Temple, one of the most ancient temples in Hokkaido. The temple features an impressive gateway that is worth a visit. Another interesting attraction is Aunji Temple, which uses the original Matsumae Castle gate as its entrance.
One of the highlights of visiting Matsumae Park is the opportunity to see some of Japan’s best cherry blossoms. With around 10,000 trees and 250 different varieties of cherry blossoms, the park is a paradise for flower enthusiasts. The blooming season in Matsumae is longer than usual, thanks to the many different varieties of cherry blossoms. The delicate pink and white blossoms can be seen from late April through late May. During this time, Matsumae Castle hosts a cherry blossom festival complete with delicious festival foods. It is a truly magical experience to stroll through the park and witness the beauty of the cherry blossoms in full bloom.
To get to Matsumae Park, visitors can take a bus from Kikonai Station, which is accessible via the Hokkaido Shinkansen or the South Hokkaido Railway. The bus ride takes about 95 minutes, and it will drop you off directly at Matsumae Park. Once there, the castle area is easy to explore on foot. For those coming from Hakodate Station, there are also three direct buses per day that go to Matsumae.
In conclusion, Matsumae Park is a must-visit destination for cherry blossom enthusiasts and history buffs alike. With its stunning cherry blossoms, historic ruins, and the iconic Matsumae Castle, the park offers a unique glimpse into the rich history and natural beauty of Hokkaido. Whether you’re exploring the grounds of the castle, visiting the historic temples, or simply enjoying the beauty of the cherry blossoms in bloom, Matsumae Park is sure to leave a lasting impression. So, make sure to include this hidden gem in your travel itinerary and experience the magic of Matsumae Park for yourself.
Address And Maps Location:
Matsushiro, Matsumae-cho, Matsumae-gun, Hokkaido