Biwako Valley Cherry Blossoms Festival – See Sakura at Ski Resort in Shiga
Osaka, Kyoto and Kansai
Kishiwada Castle Festival is an event you cannot miss if you are in Osaka this spring. Kishiwada City, which is at the south side of Osaka Prefecture, is famous for its Danjiri (float) Festival. This festival is famous as a “Kenka (fight) Festival”. Compared to other similar festivals this one is much more aggressive. Therefore, a lot of people have the image of Kishiwada as an energetic and passionate city, but Kishiwada City also shows a different side to the tourists in the spring.
The precincts of Kishiwada Castle feature over 170 Sakura trees (Someiyoshino kind). These cherry blossoms make Kishiwada Castle even more worth seeing. In this article, I would like to tell you more about this famous castle and its festival in spring.
There are two castles in Osaka prefecture. They are Osaka castle and Kishiwada castle.
Compared with Osaka castle, Kishiwada castle is less famous and smaller, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have charm.
Around 1334, Kishiwada castle was built by a famous Samurai – Takaie Nigita. Then, this castle was renovated by Hideyoshi Hashiba (later Hideyoshi Toyotomi, who was a very important lord during the Warring States Period in Japan), to be able to attack Kishu region (nowadays Wakayama prefecture).
After Hideyoshi Toyotomi’s time, there were some battles around this area and the owner of this castle changed after every battle. The castle tower first appeared in 1597, but Kishiwada castle burned in 1827 because of a thunderstorm. In 1871 the feudal domain system was abolished, and the prefecture system was introduced. With this historical movement Kishiwada castle lost its owner.
The special feature of Kishiwada castle is its garden, which has the name “Hachijin no Niwa”.
Hachijin (eight battle formations) no Niwa (garden) is a designated scenic spot, and this garden was designed by Mirei Shigemori. He was the first Japanese garden artist and researcher in the world.
This garden appeared in 1953. It has a sand style garden with a dry landscape. The design idea of this garden came from the eight battle formations of Shokatukoumei. He was a Chinese warlord in the three-land time (from 184 to 280) in China. The eight battle formations represent the sky, earth, wind, cloud, bird, snake, dragon, and tiger. Each battle formation is presented with a few stones. Each formation is located around the main stone figure which is in the center.
Kishiwada Castle Sakura Festival takes place from the 1st to the 15th of April every year. However, the main events only take place for one weekend. During these days, you will notice many street food stalls and Kishiwada castle boasts an outstanding illumination at night.
On one weekend during Kishiwada Castle Sakura Festival a Senshu (region around Kishiwada city) products exhibition takes place. Also, on one weekend during Sakura Festival, some groups show dance performances, Japanese drum shows, and puppet theatres are on the stage in the castle.
You can experience “Seigaiha (blue wave) drawing” in the Hachijin no Niwa as well. Seigaiha is one of the typical Japanese patterns. Usually, you cannot enter the garden. So, this festival is a special occasion when you can see this garden up close.
Dates: April 5th – 7th, 2019
Illumination time: April 1st – 15th, 2019. 30 min. after sunset to 23:00 (only during Castle Festival)
Place: Kishiwada Castle
Address: 9-1 Kishiki- cho. Kishiwada City, Osaka Prefecture
Official website (Japanese only): https://kishibura.jp/2019/03/14/haru_ranman_2019/index.html
Tell(Kishiwada Castle): 072-431-3251
Entrance fee: Adult 300 yen, under 15 years old free
From JR Osaka Station to JR Shin-Imamiya Station (JR loop line, inside line) 17 min.
From JR Shin-Imamiya Station to Nankai Line Shin- Imamiya Station, about 8 min.
7 min walk from Nankai Takojizou Station
Cherry blossoms are so popular because they are the symbol of spring, and also their beautiful flowering season is limited. Cherry blossoms bloom with pride and after 10 days start to scatter. This ephemeral life seems to overlap with the Samurai way of life who once lived in Kishiwada castle. Kishiwada Castle Festival is a perfect chance for you to see the picturesque scene of Japan and touch upon local community and crafts.
If you would like to see this heart-warming spring festival and explore Osaka with a friendly local guide, please check the banner below!
All images are courtesy of Kishiwada City
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Here`s the link. URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/2566/
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