A 30-minute walk away (or a short bus ride) from the nearest train station, Toke Station, the park is known for its family adventure playgrounds and an abundance of blooms from February to September. Voted into the “Top 100 Best City Parks in Japan” for its cherry blossoms, Showa no Mori has 32 types of sakura, including the common Yoshino Cherry, Yaezakura and other rarer varieties. The elegant Yoshino Cherry blooms around the end of March to the start of April and the Yaezakura is a late starter, reaching its peak around mid-April.
The weekends during April see Showa no Mori’s dedicated cherry blossom area bustling with families and friends from around the neighborhood. The cherry blossom area has over 200 trees across over half an acre of lush, green grass, perfect to picnic on, if it’s permitted that year, or to wander around snapping pics. Elsewhere in the park, there are 400 other cherry blossom trees to spot. For kids (and fun-loving adults) who prefer a more active way to view the blossoms, the park boasts two long roller-slides, one of which is somewhat hidden amongst the trees and runs for over 109 meters. Relive the good old days by buying a mat and heading down yourself, seeing if you can take a cherry blossom picture or video as you speed down.
In response to the recent restrictions upon picnics and gathering, the park has proactively released a walking course, with various suggestions on how to enjoy the area to its fullest whilst on the move. As there are cherry blossom trees all over Showa no Mori, the walking course is a great way to spot many blossom varieties in one swoop, whilst remaining safe in the knowledge that children or those on wheels won’t hit any obstacles on the way.
In addition to walking courses, there are also cycling courses around the park, with bicycles available to hire for just 200 yen for two hours. Just turn up and pedal away through the cherry blossom tunnels. Whilst reserving a bike via booking is not necessary, BBQ booking is. There are some green spaces dedicated to BBQ-ers and booking is definitely advised as the spaces are limited. What’s better than BBQ and cherry blossoms?
And, if you can’t wait for cherry blossom season then head over for plum blossom season at the end of February until early March. During plum blossom season there is an ‘Ume Matsuri,’ (plum festival) which sees food stalls and local shops displaying their wares underneath the beautiful hot pink blossoms. For those who fancy a bit of culture in their cherry blossom days, head over to the nearby Hoki Museum to catch a highly-rated permanent exhibit of over 450 works of realism by over 50 artists. The museum restaurant is a standout feature of the area so booking is advised.