Nikko, an ancient town full of historical sites including the World Heritage site of the Shrines and Temples of Nikko, is just around two hours from Tokyo, and is one of Japan’s most popular tourist destinations. In spring, famous cherry blossom trees bloom all over and some of them are even three centuries old. Visitors can enjoy the spectacular flower show simply by walking from the station. Between April 6 (Friday) and April 30 (Monday) Nikko hosts the Nikko Cherry Blossom Festival where, in addition to the beautiful flowering trees, visitors can enjoy special confectionery made from cherry blossoms. In some areas when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom they get lighted up at night producing a traditional Japanese atmosphere.
Three specially-selected spectacular cherry blossom spots
1.The weeping cherry blossom tree at the Takada family house has long been extremely popular even though it is located at a private residence.It is estimated to be 370 years old (full bloom: mid April-late April)
2.The Kokuzoson temple, registered as a designated cultural property of Tochigi Prefecture, is home to another beautiful weeping cherry tree said to be 350 years old. (full bloom: mid April-late April)
3.The “Kongo-zakura” cherry tree at Rinno-ji Temple is a registered natural monument that produces white flowers from pink buds. (full bloom: late April - early May)
Recommended shops selling special cherry blossoms confectionary
1.Meiji-no-yakata Cake Shop
This shop, located in front of Tobu Nikko station, sells cakes, tarts and cookies. There is a café on the 2nd floor. Pound cakes and cheesecakes made with cherry blossoms are available only in spring.
This restaurant, famous for its yuba (tofu skin), has been opened since the Meiji period (which is over 100 years). It is conveniently located 5 minutes from the station. The full-yuba course includes cherry blossom deserts which are served only in spring.
This purveyor of yokan and other Japanese confectionery has been open more than 80 years, selling kankintsuba a delicious treat made with salted cherry tree leaves in sweet bean paste.
4.Nikko Kanaya Hotel Craft Lounge
This hotel dates back to 1873. It includes a relaxed café. During the Nikko Cherry Blossom Festival , guests can enjoy cherry blossom parfait.
On the Tobu Railways website ‘Tobu Sakura Matsuri ‘we introduce information on recommended cherry-blossom viewing spots accessible from Tobu railway stations. During the cherry blossom season, various Tobu Group facilities will also hand out specially designed notepads decorated with dragons painted by HitofuderyuKoshuya of Nikko. The beautiful dragons are drawn in a single brushstroke.