Most Popular Hokkaido Spring Events and Festivals 2019
Hokkaido shrine cherry blossoms can be your last chance to see the cherry blossoms of the year in Japan. In the precincts of Hokkaido Jingu (shrine), you will notice over 570 Ezo Yamazakura, about 300 Yoshino cherries, and about 180 Yaesakura trees. In addition, there are about 170 plum trees that bloom a bit earlier than the cherries.
Besides, you can enjoy the food stalls during the flowering season. As the area becomes busy with traffic jams annually, I recommend you use public transportation.
In Hokkaido, after a long winter, spring comes late and plum and cherry blossoms appear almost at the same time. Hokkaido Jingu is the most popular place to enjoy the plum and cherry blossom in Sapporo City. 200 plums and 1,400 cherry trees grow in the precincts. During the Golden Week holidays, it is the best time to see cherry blossoms, so the place becomes very busy.
In the Meiji period, there was Yoshitake Shima who was a Saga Samurai and bureaucrat. He developed urban development in Sapporo city and locals call him the “Father of Hokkaido settlement”. He headed to Hakodate from Tokyo by sea route and went to Sapporo. In addition to setting the place of the shrine construction in the current Maruyama, he devoted himself to the development of Sapporo. However, he was executed as one of the masterminds of “role of Saga” later in 1874. Senkichi Fukudama, a servant, mourned the death, gathered 150 cherry trees, and planted them on the approach road. This is the beginning of the cherry blossoms history in Hokkaido Jingu.
In the shrine, you can enjoy approximately 1,400 cherry and about 250 plum trees. The precincts make very popular cherry blossoms viewing spot for Sapporo citizens. The stalls line up during the Golden Week holidays, and it is crowded with many people. Please see how the cherry blossoms and plum blossoms flower at nearly the same time in spring.
・Ezo Yamazakura ～ Flowers are big, deep red
・Yoshino ～ growing fast, when full bloom and falling is superb
・Yaezakura ～ double-blooming also called button zakura
・Shidarezakura ～ Sakura rare in Hokkaido
If you go up the stone steps of Hokkaido Jingu and go through the second torii gate, you will see the Omotesando of the cherry blossom trees continuing to the main hall. This row of cherry trees consists of “Chishimazakura” trees.
I think that people outside of the Hokkaido cannot see it much.
Chishimazakuramainly grows in the eastern side of Hokkaido. Surprisingly, when it starts blooming, reaches full bloom, and at the end of bloom, the color of petals changes at each stage. Moreover, its color varies according to the tree, so it is the cherry tree you should definetely see!
It is a plum wine using plums which grow in the precincts. You can buy it at a small shop near the shrine – Juyojo.
Salted cherry blossoms which people collected in the precincts. You will notice konbu of Hidaka and black beans of Tokachi. Cherry blossoms open with fluffiness when pouring hot water on it. You can also buy it in the same shop near the shrine.
Dates (blooming period): Late April – Mid May, annually. 9:00-20:00
Place: Hokkaido Jingu
Address: 474 Miyagaoka, Chuo-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido
Official website (Japanese only): http://www.hokkaidojingu.or.jp/
15 minutes on foot from Maruyama Park Station on Subway Tozai Line
30 minutes from Sassondou -Shinkawa I.C.
Approximately for 250 cars
(free 1 hour, 500 Yen per hour since then)
Maruyama Zoo is a house for about 200 species and about 1,000 animals. Located at the foot of Mt.Maruyama, this zoo is blessed with the beauty of nature. This area is quite close to the city center of Sapporo. Besides animals popular among children such as tigers, giraffes, hippos, etc., you will also find “Tropical animal house” where you can observe them close by. Also, don’t miss “Bear house” with 6 different kinds of bears like Polar bears or Malay bears. In the “Reptile house”, you can learn the living style of many rare kinds of reptiles.
The biggest appealing point of Maruyama Zoo is enjoying “good relationship with animals”. Here are many chances for you to experience an exciting time with animals. In front of the outdoor stage, you can also watch how kites fly just close by or experience the traditional art of manipulating birds of prey, falconer by yourselves.
All through the year, Maruyama Zoo is open. In winter, I suggest you enjoy a snow festival. Why don’t you visit here to enjoy looking at Polar Bears relaxing on the snow, or see how the tropical animals spend the cold season?
Access→ Miyagaoka 3-1, Chuo-ku, Sapporo city
10-15 minutes on foot from Hokkaido Jingu.
Experience the steep slope, amazing panorama, and the jumping start point from an altitude of 307 meters.
Okura Zaibatsu, the founder of Hotel Okura donated it to the city of Sapporo by Okura Kishichiro Baron. So, it was a jumping stadium – “Okura Shanze” at the time of opening in 1932.
If you go to the summit with a lift, there is a viewing lounge. From the start point at an altitude of 307 meters, you will see the panoramic view of the city of Sapporo and Ishikari plain. In winter, you can enjoy pure white scenery covered with snow.
Access→ Miyanomori 1274, Chuou-ku, Sapporo city
Recommend a bus from Maruyama Park or Jingumae.
Lift fee is 500 Yen round trip.
Hokkaido Shrine is also a famous power spot. It is filled with the natural landscape of generosity and openness with fresh air. Why do not you visit the shrine to see cherry blossoms this spring? I am sure that Sakura in the north of Japan won’t leave you indifferent.
If you would like to see Hokkaido Jingu with its beautiful spring flowers and explore Hokkaido with a friendly local guide, please check the banner below!
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Planning on visiting Hokkaido this spring? Hokkaido boasts great food, especially seafood and dairy, breathtaking nature, and various things to do. Of course, Hokkaido spring events are outstanding. Whether you are heading to Sapporo city, north, or east, or west coast of Hokkaido, you will have amazing experiences. The following article picked up the most popular spring events and festivals in the northern Island of Japan this year! Please take a look!
A lot of people when they get to a Matsuri for the first time feel a bit lost. They confuse about what is happening around. If you are new to Japanese Festivals or want to know an alternative way of how you can enjoy these events, the following article will provide you with a set of helpful tips on how to choose a proper festival and activities you should try there. Please don`t hesitate to take a look at it!
Image courtesy of Tomomarusan
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If you are planning to visit Japan this spring and want to discover more cherry blossoms spots in Kyoto area, please check the following article. It’s covering the best Hanami spots in the old capital and provides you with the essential information, so you can get the most from your Sakura trip!
Here’s the link. URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/2566/
Osaka is very close to Kyoto. It will be a miss if you don’t visit Osaka to see cherry blossoms when you are in the Kansai area in spring. Please check the following article to find out the best cherry blossoms viewing spots in Osaka and Kansai!
Kyoto and Osaka have many beautiful spots to see Cherry blossoms. However, other areas also have excellent places for hanami. Tokyo features many of those spots as well! If you are in Tokyo around spring and looking for a place to see cherry blossoms, Why don’t you check the following article?