In southwest Yamaguchi prefecture, there are two locations in particular that stand out for their sakura (cherry blossoms), Tokiwa Park and Ryuozan Park.
The first one, Tokiwa Park, surrounds an enormous manmade pond (Tokiwa Pond). Famous for its sakura, the park has been selected as one of Japan's top 100 places to see sakura, as well as one of Japan's top 100 municipal parks.
The southeast shore of Tokiwa Pond is an area especially popular for cherry blossom viewing.
The pond is inhabited by numerous water birds – you may even see relatively rare birds, such as the black swan!
A pelican that flew to a nearby kindergarten and played with the children became national news across Japan!
The second spot we’d like to introduce is Ryuozan Park. Located on Mt. Ryuo at 136 meters above sea level and around 15 km to the west of Tokiwa Park, it offers splendid views over the Seto Inland Sea. On the opposite shore of the Suo-nada expanse you can see Kyushu.
Visitors can enjoy both flower viewing and views over the sea!
During the sakura-viewing season, the sun sets over the Kanmon Straits, which separates Honshu and Kyushu. With its far-reaching views, Mt. Ryuo is a sublime spot from where Kanmonkyo Bridge can even be seen in the distance.
Within the park there is also an outdoor obstacle course where children can play. Further on, nearby the auto camping area located on the mountainside, there is a long slide shaped like a dragon just like the name of the mountain ('Ryuo' = 'Dragon king'), among other playground equipment.
In recent years, some of the sakura have been lit up, so they can also be enjoyed after dark!
While Ryuozan Park is an area known for its sunsets where you can enjoy flower viewing with views of the sea, Tokiwa Park is a place to see sakura in southwest Yamaguchi prefecture, and you may also run into water birds such as pelicans, too!
For both of these recommended flower-viewing spots situated in southwest Yamaguchi prefecture, the season (on average) lasts from around the end of March to the beginning of April!
Location: 3-4-1 Norisada, Ube city, Yamaguchi prefecture
Guide Homepage: http://tokiwa.ube.ac/ (Japanese)
Location: 112 Onoda, Sanyoonoda city, Yamaguchi prefecture
Guide Homepage: http://www.oidemase.or.jp/tourism-information/spots/12689 (Japanese)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Hironobu Matsuoka
Hironobu Matsuoka / Photo-writer Born in 1974 in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, and currently living there, Hironobu is the president of Mediapolis Inc. "I travel around the country in Solar King, an eco-camping car that has a solar power generator, and film the beautiful scenery of Japan in high-definition. I want to move around the country as much as possible and leave behind videos of precious Japanese nature and scenery for future generations to enjoy. Although I travel all over the country, I love my home area of Setouchi." 'Healing Japan TV' - Traveling virtually around the country through 'healing videos'.
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