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SEASONAL FLOWERS, TREES, AND PLANTS

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By popular demand, we present to you our recommended spots for flowers and foliage in Kyushu! For those looking to fill your trip with beautiful seasonal sceneries, this is it!

Spots for Cherry Blossoms

Northern parts of Kyushu

Nishi Park (Fukuoka- city : Fukuoka prefecture)

A staple relaxing spot for Fukuoka citizens is Nishi Park with over 3,000 cherry trees, ranked on Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossom Viewing Sites.

Up the sando slope and you will find one of the best locations for cherries in Fukuoka City. With some of the larger one welcoming the park visitors, the location comes with an observation deck looking over the downtown area, Hakata Bay, and nearby Shikanoshima Island, etc. as well. The contrast between the pink cherry flowers and the blue ocean during the season is absolutely spectacular. There are many varieties of cherries implanted here: Yoshino cherry, Yokou cherry, prunus serrulata, prunus speciosa, and others. Recommended viewing season is between the end of March to the beginning of April.

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Weeping Cherry Trees of Koenji Temple (Nakatsu : Oita prefecure)

The weeping cherry trees of Koenji Temple established back in 1553.

Planted around the main sanctuary of Koenji, the branches hang down over the pathway. It's nothing short of spectacular as they fully blossom during the blooming season. Many photographers gather here to snap a shot of it. It is usually in full bloom on the 5th of April; however, it could vary up to 10 days depending on the year.

Tashiro Park (Tosu : Saga prefecture)

Tashiro Park is home to over 600 Yoshino cherry trees.

Yayoi Matsuri Cherry Festival is annually held here at the end of March, where shrine maidens dressed in red and white put on a traditional dance performance under the cherry flowers. The night viewing of the cherries is highly recommended as they get lit up during the blooming season for just a short one-week season.

Western parts of Kyushu

Omura Park (Omura : Nagasaki prefecture)

Omura Park is the only location in Nagasaki selected for Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossom Viewing Sites. The park has some remnants of Omura Castle stone walls surrounding the outer moat.

The cherry trees of Omura Park are designated as a natural monument of Japan. In season each of them would bloom 60 to 200 flowers along with 2,000 other cherries in 21 different types including Yoshino cherry. The recommended spots here for viewing are around Sakurada Pond and Omura Shrine on the eastern side of the park. Because Omura cherry and prunus Iannesiana typically bloom after Yoshino cherry, the hanami season at this park is a bit longer than others.

Ennoji Temple Sando Passage (Takeo : Saga prefecture)

Said to have been established in 1519, Ennoji Temple is the family temple of then-Takeo domain ruling Nabeshima clan. The temple's sando passage hosts some 100 cherry trees as they create a tunnel of cherry flowers during the blossom season. It's a very popular spectacle.

Go through the torii-style stone gate created back 1798 and you will see a 200-meter cherry tunnel leading straight to another stone gate with an arch build in 1817. This gate serves as both the beginning and the end of the cherry tunnel path. The sturdy construction of the both gates adds even more to the cherry blossom seen at the premises.

Saiikaibashi Park (Sasebo : Nagasaki prefecture)

Saiikaibashi Park hosts two bridges connecting Sasebo City and Saikai City in the Nishisonogi Peninsula over Omura Bay.

There are approximately 1,000 Yoshino cherry and prunus speciosa cherry trees implanted at the foot of the bridges and the slopes facing the bay. Recommended viewing period is between the end of March to early April. The contrast of nice curving bridges and the cherry blossoms is a sight to behold. If the timing is right, one of the three most impressive tidal whirlpools in Japan - Harioseto Strait tidal whirlpool - can be seen simultaneously here at the park during the blooming season as well.

Central parts of Kyushu

Oka Castle Remains (Takeda : Oita prefecture)

Oka Castle was initially constructed in 1185 to host Minamoto no Yoshitsune. Surrounded by steep valleys in all four sides, the castle was modeled after a domestically-renowned song called "Koji no Tsuki."

Here growing on the stone walls 325 meters above sea level are some 1,6000 Yoshino cherry, prunus serrulata, and prunus Iannesiana trees. This location is selected as one of Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossom Viewing Sites, drawing many visitors from all over Japan during the hanami season every year. Honmaru and ninomaru in particular are popular spots for viewing. Blooming season is typically between the end of March to early April. Oka Castle Sakura Festival held in early April features an reenactment daimyo procession.

Kumamoto Castle (Kumamoto-city : Kumamoto)

Feudal lord Kato Kiyomasa built this castle, Kumamoto Castle, in 1607 on the hills of then-called Chausu Mountain.

Selected as one of Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossom Viewing Sites, it is home to about 800 trees of Yoshino cherry, prunus serrulata, and Higo cherry. The view of the cherries from the top of the main tower is spectacular. Blooming season is from the end of March to early April. The trees will be lit up under the light after sunset, making it perfect for night-time hanami as well.

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Minamata City Cherry Line (Minamata : Kumamoto prefecture)

Minamata City Cherry Line is a 27km public road running between Yunotsuru Onsen and Yunoko Onsen.

Blooming here in season on the side of the highway are about 500 Yoshino cherry and prunus serrulata trees along with other types. It is one of Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossom Viewing Sites, and they are in full bloom from the end of March to early April. With the blue waters in the background, the scene is a stunner. Offered here during the season is the hanami boat for viewing the blossoms from the ocean as well.

Southern parts of Kyushu

Mochio Park (Miyakonojo : Miyazaki prefecture)

On the premises of Mochio Park is Mochio Shrine built sometime between 1818 to 1863. The shrine atop of the park gives a nice wide view of the city.

The location is one of Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossom Viewing Sites, hosting some 2,600 cherry trees planted and grown since 1870. Perhaps, the best spot for cherry viewing is along the sando passage leading to Mochio Shrine. This 2km walk way turns into a tunnel of cherry flowers during the blooming season. The annual Mochio Sakura Festival is held here from the end of March to early April.

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Tadamoto Park (Isa : Kagoshima prefecture)

On the premises of Tadamoto Park is Tadamoto Shrine where the greatest shogun of the Shimazu clan, Niiro Tadamoto, is enshrined.

1,000 Yoshino cherry trees implanted in the park are nicknamed "Tadamoto cherry," and the line of trees go up the hillside park for about 2km.

The south side of Nichinan Daiichi Park athletic field may be the best viewing location here. The open field provides visitors with a plenty of room for a relaxing time under the cherry trees. The park gets lit up with lights till about 10pm during the season. Recommended viewing period is from the end of March to early April.

Chikkoen (Nichinan : Miyazaki prefecture)

Chikkoen with a traditional Japanese garden was first donated to Nichinan City by the House of Peers member Genjiro Takahashi of Meiji government. It was then established as it is today along with the Japanese garden and other features.

There are about 1,000 Yoshino cherry trees here, and it has become one of the staple cherry blossom spots in southern Miyazaki.

There are about 1,000 Yoshino cherry trees here, and it has become one of the staple cherry blossom spots in southern Miyazaki.

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