Hokuriku-Hida 3 Star Way & Takayama Cherry Blossoms
About the Hokuriku-Hida 3 Star Way
The historical city of Takayama is rated as a 3-star location in the French travel guide Michelin Green Guide Japan. Furthermore, nearby can be found more famous sightseeing spots of Japan which also happen to have 3 stars, including Kanazawa with its stunning Kenrokuen Garden and the gassho-zukuri farmhouse villages of Gokayama and Shirakawago, which are also UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These beautiful locations are considered to represent “real Japan”, featuring historical architecture, nature, traditional crafts, food culture, and more. The Hokuriku-Hida 3 Star Way, a sightseeing route known well in Japan and gaining popularity abroad, takes you through all these wonderful spots.
Easy Access with Launch of Hokuriku Shinkansen Line
In March 2015, a new Shinkansen bullet train line was opened between Tokyo and Kanazawa, greatly reducing the journey time between the two cities. What used to take approximately 3 hr 50 min now takes only approximately 2 hr 30 min.
There is also a high-speed bus route which links Kanazawa and Shirakawago through eight round-trips per day. Four of these round-trips head for Shirakawago via the historic village of Gokayama, and the remaining four go from Kanazawa directly to Hida Takayama via Shirakawago, making it much easier for foreign visitors to enjoy traveling around the Hokuriku and Hida regions.
Best Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots in Takayama
Takayama attracts many visitors in the spring, with its lush greenery and beautiful, vividly colored cherry blossoms. Check out our most recommended cherry blossom viewing spots below!
Miyagawa Ryokuchi Park
Miyagawa Ryokuchi Park, located under the Manninbashi Bridge downstream of the Miya River, is considered by the people of Takayama as a fantastic spot for relaxation. The Somei-Yoshino cherry trees that can be overlooked from over the Manninbashi Bridge are also truly exceptional.
Access: Take the Nohi Bus headed for Furukawa from Takayama Station on the JR Takayama Main Line. Get off at the JA Hidakiriushiten-mae bus stop and the park is located a 3 min walk from there.
The Nakabashi Bridge, located over the Miya River right at the center of the city of Takayama, is a famous landmark of Hida Takayama. This red bridge blends itself in great harmony with the surrounding cherry blossoms to create a truly beautiful scenery. The surrounding area is lit up at night to create a magical effect.
Access: 12 min walk from Takayama Station on the JR Takayama Main Line.
There are approximately 1,000 Somei-Yoshino cherry trees planted at the Takayama Castle Ruins. At this peaceful and tranquil park, which has been selected as one of the one hundred most beautiful forests in Japan, you can feel blessed by the touch of nature as you enjoy the stunning views of Takayama and the beautiful surrounding cherry blossoms.
Access: 20 min walk from Takayama Station on the JR Takayama Main Line.
This Edo-Higanzakura, a tree that has been designated as a national monument, is estimated to be over 1,100 years old. The shape of its branches resemble a dragon bending downward, a feature that earned it its name of Garyuzakura (garyu means dragon). Measuring 20 m in height and 7.3 m in circumference at eye level, this large tree has branches that extend to 30 m north and south, resembling a dragon dancing toward heaven.
Access: 1 min walk from Hida-Ichinomiya Station on the JR Takayama Main Line.
The Shidarezakura of Saikoji Temple, considered as a national monument of Gifu Prefecture, is estimated to be over 800 years old. This large tree, considered to be unusual even within the prefecture, features branches that can trail down to the ground during the cherry blooming season, offering visitors a truly beautiful scenery.
Access: Take the Shokawa Line on the Nohi Bus from Takayama Station on the JR Takayama Main Line, and change at Kiyomishisho-mae bus stop. Hop onto to the Kiyomi-Eguro line on the city-operated bus Nora My Car and get off at Shidarezakura Park.
This old cherry blossom tree, estimated to be over 500 years old, starts to bloom from late April to early May, just as the surrounding scenery starts to turn lush and green. This cherry tree has its own story, having been transplanted from its original location in 1960 due to the building of the dam, and is well loved by the citizens of Shokawa. During the cherry blossom season, this tree blooms magnificently as if remembering its original home submerged at the bottom of the lake.
Access: Located at 55 min drive from Takayama Station on the JR Takayama Main Line.