Where to do Hanami in Kansai?
Wednesday, March 23, 2005 Posted: 09:52 AM JST
'Tis that time of year. The time that Japanese people get restless and news bulletins that resemble war reports appear daily on all the nation's TV stations. Serious reporters giving live reports "on location" about the latest status of the country's "Cherry Blossom Front". Where is it now and how do the flowers look this year? Soon after large legions of "flower viewers" move towards the front to deliver a strike while the flowers are still hot. Well, it is almost that dramatic... Where can you go in Kansai to do some serious flower viewing? We have just the list for you!
From late March
The Sekkoji Temple in Katsuragi City, Nara Prefecture. Get off a train at Taimadera on Kintetsu Minami Osaka Line or turn off at the Kashiwara Kashiba IC of Nishimeihan Expressways. You can see peony (herbaceous peony) in April and shakuyaku or a kind of peony in May.
From early April
The Jizoin Temple in Kita Ward, Kyoto. It is located in the area of the bus stop Kitano Hakubai town by bus from JR Kyoto Station. Drivers can reach there from the Kyoto Minami IC of Meishin Expressways to Nishioji Dori via National Route 1. The temple is commonly known as Tsubakidera where camellia is in bloom from the cold season.
The Koshoji Temple in Yoka town in Yabu-gun, Hyogo Prefecture. Passengers get off a train at JR Yoka Station on the San'in Line or via the Wadayama Kita IC of Bantan Expressways. Near the temple is Hachikita Kogen highland where the prefecture's natural treasure zazen grass blossoms from late March to early May.
The Ryogonji Temple in Ayabe City, Kyoto Prefecture. The nearest is JR Ayabe Station on the San'in Line and Ayabe IC of Maizuru Expressways. Cherry blossoms are viewed from late March while lotus can be seen from late June and sarusuberi crept myrtle in July.
From late April
The Ryukokuji Temple in Hidaka town in Kinosaki-gun, Hyogo Prefecture. Ebara is the nearest railway station on the JR San'in Line or the Fukuchiyama IC of Maizuru Expressways is for motorists. Camellia and dogwood blossom in early April and the tree of sara in early June. The Naomi Uemura Memorial Museum for the late Japanese mountaineer is found near the temple.
The Chogakuji Temple in Tenri City, Nara Prefecture. JR Tenri Station on the Sakurai Line and the Tenri IC of Nishimeihan Expressways are closest to the temple respectively. Rabbitear iris becomes available for viewing in May and hydrangea in June. Yamanobenomichi, Japan's oldest path built by government expenditure is located near the temple.
The Kyuanji Temple in Ikeda City, Osaka Prefecture. Ikeda Station on the Hankyu Takarazuka Line and the Ikeda IC of Chugoku Expressways or Kibe No. 1 exits on the Hanshin Expressways are the nearest transportation doorways to the temple. Cherry trees are in bloom in April, ogatama and shakunage rhododendron in May and azalea and the tree of sara in June.
From late June
The Hokongoin Temple in Ukyo Ward in Kyoto City. Visitors may take a walk from JR Hanazono Station on the Sagano Line or go there by city bus from Marutamachi Station on the subway Karasuma Line. Drivers may go from the Kyoto Minami IC of Meishin Expressways to National Route 1. They can see drooping cherry trees in bloom in April and azalea, iris, linden and the tree of sara in June. Nijo Castle is located near the temple.
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