One unique aspect of Fukushima Prefecture is that the cherry blossoms can be enjoyed over a long span of time from late March through early May because of the variation in climate across the wide distances between the east and west. One area particularly famous for cherry blossoms that features many specifically famous trees is Miharu, which boasts more than 10,000 cherry trees. Why not take a trip to Miharu, the city of cherry blossoms, to experience springtime in Japan?
Countless tourists visit Miharu every year from mid to late April to view just one single cherry tree.
The tree that draws these crowds here is known as “Miharu Takizakura,” a tree over 1,000 years old and one of the three most famous cherry trees in Japan. Designated a National Monument, this massive “Shidare Zakura” (Cerasus spachiana f. spachiana) that reaches 13.5 m in height and 11.3 m in girth was given its name “takizakura” (cherry blossom waterfall) because the cherry blossoms that bloom from its long hanging branches seem to flow like a waterfall.
Unlike the normal enjoyment of cherry blossoms where one views entire groves of cherry trees, visitors come here to stand in awe at the singular beauty of this one great tree. This vision of countless cherry blossoms wrapping the hanging branches that spread in all directions is simply beyond words. The tree continues to awe innumerable visitors from both inside and outside Japan.
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The name “Miharu” is comprised of the Chinese characters for the phrase “three springtimes.” The origin of the name stems from the fact that here, the Japanese plum, peach, and cherry trees, which normally bloom one after the other, instead bloom all at once, causing three different periods in springtime to happen at the same time.
The town of Miharu fully embraces springtime when the cherry blossoms bloom on top of the already blooming plum and peach trees. Takizakura lives on as a symbol of the town as an elder statesman that has watched over the land for over 1,000 years. The blooming of its blossoms augers the arrival of spring and the coming to an end of the severe cold of winter. The people celebrate the coming of spring and share their joy together.
Once Takizakura blooms, the nights become bathed in illumination in an effort to further incite the celebratory atmosphere. Thus both the sight of the tree in day time bathed in spring sunlight, and the sight of its bewitching beauty that seemingly floats against the sky in the evening, are essential viewing.
Another advantage to Miharu is that one can view numerous famous cherry blossom locations and trees in a single trip. Takizakura is itself surrounded by many other famous ancient trees, such as the 400 year old Jizozakura, said to be Takizakura’s daughter, and the 350 year old Fudozakura, said to also be a descendant. Why not come here and enjoy the grandeur of these cherry trees that have grown for countless months and years?
Before you visit, make sure to prepare your favorite camera. Why not try for your best photograph through the trial and error of different shooting positions, camera settings, and even adjusting for wind direction or angle? Capture the many countenances of the cherry blossoms in photographs to use on your smartphone’s standby screen or to compile into albums.
Visitors can observe many different aspects of cherry blossoms within Miharu alone depending on the variety and location of the cherry trees. Cherry trees only display the beauty of their blossoms for but a fleeting moment each year. The blossoms all bloom at once for a brief time, and before long the petals fall to the ground. Make sure to check online for the latest information on the timing of the cherry blossoms before making your trip to Miharu.