Travel Date: 22 November 2016
The Obara Shikizakura
Just when you thought the cherry blossoms or sakura can only be enjoyed during spring time, here in Obara, Aichi, Japan (or perhaps only in Japan), rare species of sakura trees called Obara “Shikizakura” bloom twice a year, first during spring and then again during autumn.
Obara is such a special place where you get to experience the best of both seasons, the cherry blossoms (spring) and the maple trees (autumn)! How cool is that??!!! 😀
How to get there
- Take the train until Toyotashi Station.
- Exit the train platform going down towards the bus station or bus stop.
- At the bus station/stop, look for bus stop number 1 and wait for the bus bound for “Kaminigi” (上仁木).
- There are two popular sites to see the Shikizakura:
- The first is the Obara Fureai Park (小原ふれあい公園). From the bus stop at Toyotashi station, alight at “Obara Okusa” (小原大草) station, and walk for about 5 mins going to the park. From the bus stop, cross the street on the right side and then walk straight going up the hill.
- The second is the Senmi Shikizakura no Sato (川見四季桜の里). To get there, take the same bus and alight at the Kaminigi bus stop (the last bus stop), then walk for about 15 mins. From the bus stop, check out the map going to the park, just go to the main road and head towards the right pathway.
- There is a published bus schedule of the Toyota Bus going in and out of Obara, but unfortunately, it is in Japanese (but google translate can help). Note that the schedule changes during weekdays and weekends. For example, during weekdays, here are the links for the bus schedules using Toyota Line Bus:
- Toyota Line bus schedule going to Obara: http://michinavitoyota.jp/portal/bus_sch.html?&q=lv+13*lv+13.w
- Toyota Line bus schedule from Kaminigi bus stop going back to Toyotashi Station: http://michinavitoyota.jp/portal/bus_sch.html?&q=lv+12*lv+12.w
- The bus ride from Toyotashi station to Obara Okusa bus stop takes more than an hour, and bus fare is 500 Yen (one way) and you can also use your train IC cards to pay for the fare.
Recommended route going to Obara
Traveling to Obara will take a lot of time since it is quite far from the main city area in Nagoya. I would suggest going there early in the morning since the place can get jam-packed and roads can get congested.
From Toyotashi Station, you can head first at Obara Fureai Park (小原ふれあい公園) and spend the morning in here.
At mid-day, go back to the Obara Okusa bus stop and take the Toyota bus heading further to Kaminigi bus stop (last bus stop) to reach Senmi Shikizakura no Sato (川見四季桜の里) and spend the afternoon in this area.
You can also check out the official map of Obara to help plan your route: http://www.kankou-obara.toyota.aichi.jp/english/map.html