9 Beautiful Cherry Blossoms Spots in Nagano (2023 Forecast and Access)

Feb 21, 2023

Here is our list of the places to go for cherry blossom viewing in Nagano. We know you all want to know how to get there and what’s the best time to visit. Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.


  1. 1. Oide Park (大出公園)
  2. 2. Matsumoto Castle (松本城)
  3. 3. Takato Castle Ruins (高遠城址公園)
  4. 4. Anyo-ji Temple (安養寺)
  5. 5. Komoro Castle Ruins Kaikoen Park (小諸城址・懐古園)
  6. 6. Garyu Park (臥竜公園)
  7. 7. Koboyama Ancient Tomb(弘法山古墳)
  8. 8. Takashima Castle(高島城)
  9. 9. Ueda Castle (上田城)

Oide Park (大出公園)

Oide Park is on the top list of our hidden sakura spots in Nagano. It is in Hakuba village, which is famous in winter as the Mecca for skiers and snowboarders. There are not many sakura trees in the area, but the highlights of this place are the snowcapped Japanese Alps in the background with the Hime river flowing in the foreground.


Blooming period: Late April – Early May

How to get there: The park is about a 15-minute walk from JR Hakuba station. You can also catch a taxi from the station which costs around 1,040 yen. For those starting from Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal, will take about 30 minutes on foot. So, riding a taxi is definitely a better option if you want to save time (about 1,600 yen). 


See Google Map >

See the bus timetable from Nagano to Hakuba > (stops at JR Hakuba station and Happo Bus Terminal)

Matsumoto Castle (松本城)

Matsumoto Castle, colloquially known as the Crow Castle, is the landmark of Matsumoto city. After entering Kuromon, the outer gate, you will see the black castle among the dangling sakura branches of pinkish Shidare-zakura. Outside the castle, there are about 300 sakura trees planted around the castle moats. The annual light-up event is held annually, so, don’t miss the night-time cherry blossom viewing here at Matsumoto castle!


Blooming period: Early-Mid April

How to get there: From Matsumoto station, it takes about 20 minutes on foot. But you can also choose to ride a “Town Sneaker” city sightseeing bus (North course), which departs every 30 minutes on weekdays, and every 20 minutes on weekends.


See Google map >

See Shinjuku – Matsumoto bus timetable >

See Takayama – Matsumoto bus timetable >

See all bus timetables to Matsumoto >

See Town Sneaker Bus timetable >

Takato Castle Ruins (高遠城址公園)

Takato Castle Ruins is one of Japan’s Three Most Famous Cherry Blossom Sites, with more than 1,500 cherry blossom trees in the area. There are so many that can almost turn the sky into a pink garden! Due to its immerse popularity, if you want to leisurely enjoy the scenery and hate crowded places, we recommend you avoid this place.


Blooming period: Early-Mid April

How to get there: From JR Chino and JR Inashi station, there are buses running to Takato Bus Terminal. From there, it is only a 15-minute walk to Takato Castle Ruins.


See Google map >

Anyo-ji Temple (安養寺)

This small Buddhist temple is truly a hidden gem for sakura viewing in Matsumoto city, Nagano. The best part of this place is the ancient weeping sakura tree with branches that hang down nearly touching the pond. Anyo-ji temple is just a few steps from the nearest station, very easy travel to.


Blooming period: Middle of April

How to get there: From JR Matsumoto station, get on Alpico (aka Matsumoto Dentetsu)’s Kamikochi line train, then get off at Samizo station (AK-09). The temple is only 1 minute’s walk from the station.


See Google map >

See all bus timetables to Matsumoto >

See the train timetable (Kamikochi line) >

Komoro Castle Ruins Kaikoen Park (小諸城址・懐古園)

Komoro Castle Ruins is another easy-to-access cherry blossom spot in Nagano, though might be a little bit far from other tourist attractions. Here, you can take a rickshaw tour around the castle ruins. There’s also a small zoo adjacent to the park, recommended for the family with small children.


Blooming period: Early – Mid-April

How to get there: Only 5 minutes walk from JR Komoro station.


See Google map >

Garyu Park (臥竜公園)

One of our favorite cherry blossom viewing spots in Nagano! Garyu Park is a park with a large pond in the middle, where you can enjoy a paddle boat. Along the walking path is an impressive sight of beautiful cherry blossom trees. There are many food stalls and restaurants where you can fill up delicious food. The best-selling menu is probably the chewy and sweet Hanami Dango (three-color dumplings).


Blooming period: Middle of April

How to get there: From JR Nagano, get on Nagano Dentetsu train to Suzaka station (about 30 minutes), then change to a bus to Garyu Park. You can board the Y or S bus route and get off at Garyu Koen Iriguchi bus stop (a 3-minute walk), or board the M route and get off at Garyu Koen bus stop which is right in front of the park.


See Google map >

See all bus timetables to Nagano >


*For bus timetables to Garyu Koen, please check at Nagano Dentetsu Website.)

Koboyama Ancient Tomb(弘法山古墳)

The name might sound a little scary but don’t worry because there is nothing spooky here! This ancient tomb is located on a hill in Matsumoto city. It is said that this ancient was constructed in the 3rd century and is one of the oldest tombs in Japan. There are about 4,000 sakura trees on the little hill, making it a little pink hill from when you see it from the ground. However, you will see the whole Matsumoto city, the snowcapped Japanese Alps, and striking cherry blossoms!


Blooming period: Middle of April

How to get there: From JR Matsumoto station, you can get to the hill in about 25-30 minutes by bicycle. Another option is to ride an Alpico Bus No. 10 or 23 (Namiyanagi-danchi line) and get off at Koboyama Iriguchi bus top. This will take about 15 minutes, or more depending on the traffic conditions.


See Google map >

See the bus timetable for Koboyama Ancient Tomb >

Takashima Castle(高島城)

Takashima Castle, also known as the “floating castle”, was built on a small island in Lake Suwa with only a tiny land connecting the island to the shore. Even though the castle is no longer on the island, there still remain the moats and gardens until this day. Though this cherry blossom spot is not the best on our list, it still worth is a visit if you are in the Suwa area during the blooming season! (Just for your info, Lake Suwa is best known for its hot springs and the fabulous views of Lake Suwa!)


Blooming period: Middle of April

How to get there: From JR Kamisuwa, the nearest station, it takes only about 10 minutes on foot.


See Google map >

See all bus timetables to Suwa >

Ueda Castle (上田城)

The Thousand Cherry Blossoms Festival is held annually at Ueda castle. Not only in the daytime, but you can enjoy cherry blossoms at nighttime, as well. The best thing is that they have plenty of food stalls (Yatai), selling countless street foods, from Takoyaki, Okonomiyaki, Karaage chicken, Yakisoba, chocolate banana, and the list goes on.


Blooming period: Middle of April

How to get there: From JR Ueda (Castle exit), the nearest station, it takes only about 10 minutes on foot.


See Google map >

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