A new addition to Japan's bullet train network,
the Hokuriku Shinkansen, will begin on 14 March 2015.
The new line will significantly reduce travel
times between Tokyo, Toyama and Kanazawa.
Spring is the season for
seeing Japan at its best. Starting from late March every year,
enthusiasts gather in Tokyo , Osaka and many of Japan's other
cities for the cherry blossoms. However, the very short bloom
time, means that a number of overseas visitors often miss out.
Mid-April - Hokuriku Shinkansen
According to information provided by East Japan
Railway Company, the Hokuriku Shinkansen departs from Tokyo and
travels northward, with stops in Nagano, Toyama and Kanazawa - the
best spots for viewing cherry blossoms.
An one and a half hour ride from Tokyo delivers
passengers to Niigata Prefecture's Joetsumyoko Station where
Takada Castle, one of the three best locations in Japan for
nighttime cherry blossoms viewing, is located. The locale assures
an amazing viewing experience, with over 4,000 cherry trees
illuminated by countless paper lanterns aligning the roads.
Traditional Japanese food and local food specialties sold from 300
outdoor stalls at the event during the festival assure each
spectator an unforgettable time.
In addition, if you would like to visit the
famous Zenko-ji Temple, get off at Nagano Station along the
Hokuriku Shinkansen, and spend one night in Nagano Prefecture.
From Mid to Late April - Tohoku Shinkansen
From mid to late April, visit the ancient
Miharu Takizakura cherry tree by taking the Tohoku Shinkansen from
Tokyo to Koriyama Station in Fukushima Prefecture. The over 1,000
year old tree stands 13.5 meters high, with a trunk diameter of 20
meters. One of the three giant cherry trees of Japan, its light
pink flowers spread in all directions from the branches, giving
the appearance of a waterfall.
After Late April - Akita Shinkansen
Visitors still can see blooming cherry blossoms
in Japan after late April. Take the Akita Shinkansen from Tokyo
directly to Kakunodate in Akita Prefecture. Kakunodate is known as
"the little Kyoto of Michinoku", and attracts millions of visitors
during cherry blossom season. Spend one night at Folkloro
kakunodate, adjacent to Kakunodate Station, and feel refreshed for
the entire day by enjoying a breakfast of Akitakomachi, a variety
of rice that is a local specialty.
Cherry blossom viewing is not limited to Tokyo
and late March. Various Shinkansen trains heading north from Tokyo
provide a wide range of options for seeing cherry blossoms from
mid-March to the end of April.
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