A huge 1,000-year-old cherry blossom tree
In the town of Miharu, Fukushima Prefecture, you can find the Miharu Takizakura.
This Beni-Shidare Zakura, a type of Edo Higan weeping cherry tree, was designated as a national natural treasure in 1922.
Together with two other cherry trees, the Yamataka Jindai Sakura in Yamanashi Prefecture and Usuzumi Zakura in Gifu,
they make up the “Three Great Cherry Trees of Japan”.
The Miharu Takizakura cherry tree is estimated to be over 1,000 years old.
At 13.5 m high, its branches spread 25 m from east to west, and with its big,
thick trunk and cherry blossoms that bloom like a waterfall cascading downwards, this tree is nothing short of a masterpiece.
It’s so popular that each year around mid-April when the blossoms are at their best, roughly 300,000 tourists visit.
Transport to Takizakura
The two main modes of transport to get to the Takizakura tree are by train and car.
To get there by train, first take the Shinkansen and get off at Koriyama Station where you change over to the JR Ban’etsu East Line.
This will then take you to Miharu Station.
While the tree is in flower, there is a temporary Takizakura-Go bus that runs between Miharu Station and the Takizakura tree.
The Free pass ticket also includes the cost of admission to see the tree.
1-day Free pass
・Adult (high school students and above) 1,000 yen (admission included)
・Junior high school students 700 yen (admission is free for children of junior high school age and below)
・Elementary school students 350 yen
・Children (0-6 years) free
If you are taking the expressway, get off at either the Funehiki-Miharu IC or Koriyama-Higashi IC on the Ban-etsu Expressway,
and after about 20 to 30 minutes you will arrive at a parking lot near the Takizakura tree.
When crowded, use the parking lot at the Miharu Athletic Park and take a free shuttle bus to Takizakura.
It’s best to go early in the morning to avoid the crowds.
Finally, come face-to-face with the treasured Takizakura cherry tree
In order to see the Takizakura tree, there is an admission fee from the day after it has officially come into bloom,
right through to when the blossoms have fallen and its fresh green leaves are revealed.
It’s free for children of junior high school age and below, and there are no group discounts.
The ticket desk where you can pay and receive your admission ticket is in front of the tree.
You can re-enter as many times as you like throughout the day.
There are also many events which take place in the area surrounding the tree and the atmosphere is very lively.
There are rows of food and drink stalls, and you can try ‘guru-menchi’,
a type of minced fried cutlet made with green bell peppers, a local specialty of Miharu.
Once you pass the food and drink stalls, you will finally be able to see the Takizakura tree.
The cherry blossoms bloom like a waterfall and are impressive even from a distance, but while it’s in bloom,
a wooden footpath is also set up around the tree and if you follow it, you can also see the tree up close.
With its branches stretching outwards from a single trunk and each one filled with countless cherry blossoms,
the Takizakura tree is both majestic and beautiful.
Since the branches stretch out in all directions, it looks different depending on where you look at it from.
Try to find the spot you think is best.
If you want to take pictures, then it’s best to go after 9:00 so that the sun illuminates the tree as it rises.
The magical evening light-up of the Takizakura
The Takizakura tree is also lit up from 18:00-21:00, though the dates depend on the state of the blooms.
Unlike during the daytime, the tree looks magical and mysterious as it rises up from out of the dark.
When the light-up starts will depend on when the flowers are in bloom,
so please check the Miharu Tourism Association website before heading out to see it.
Also, it’s still a little chilly around this time of year, so make sure you bring an extra layer to wear.
As well as the Takizakura tree, there are 7 other locations around Miharu town where cherry blossoms are lit up in the evenings.
The name of the town, Miharu, or ‘Three Springs’,
is said to come from the three blossoms of plum, peach, and cherry which all bloom at the same time.
Including the Takizakura tree, why not enjoy all of the blossoms that Miharu has to offer?