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Sakura Cherry Blossoms Nikko

Sakura historically blossoms between early April to late April in this part of Nikko. Follow our instagram; we'll post daily updates as Instagram Stories as to the status of the blossoms once they begin to appear. Add this event to your calendar to get updates; we will revise the dates as the cherry blossoms occur. Nikko is quite large. The difference in elevation is from 200m to 2000m above sea level and mountains peaks being up to 2600m. This has a very large impact on the weather, temperature and in April, the (Sakura) cherry blossoms’ arrival. Earth Hostel - Nikko Riverhouse is in southern Nikko at an elevation of ~300m, so it is usual to experience cherry blossoms a 3 to 5 days before tourist Nikko (The Sacred Bridge, Futarasan Shrine, Toshogu Shire, JR Nikko Station and Tobu Nikko Station) and near Chuzenji Lake, Yumoto, Yunoko, Senjogahara, Odashigohara and Nantai Mountain.   It is usually 2-3 weeks later that the cherry buds open around Chuzenji Lake, Yumoto, Lake Yu (Yunoko), Senjogahara, Odashigohara, Nantai Mountain. The plum blossoms (Ume) have been blooming for several days.That means that the cherry blossoms (Sakura) are next.  The cherry petals are luminous and irridescent which gives them an edge on beauty as compared with the plum blossoms. Not to mention that it should be slightly warmer 3 weeks later when the cherry blossoms arrive and this must also contribute to their popularity. Keep in mind that Nikko, Tochigi is a large mountainous region. The difference in elevation between Toshogu Shrine and Chuzenji Lake is around 600 meters, so it is cooler near the lake and therefore the blossoms may bloom slightly later. 100m from the hostel is a famous place for parking to view the numerous cherry blossoms along Black River about 50m south of the hostel. the hostel is in southern Nikko and at 300m above sea level  Keep your schedule open at this time of the year and be ready to have a cherry blossom party (hanami) on any night. It is quite rare that it lasts two weekends in any location. Enjoy the moment. The petals are delicate and will fall to the ground if it is windy or if it rains. Enjoy Spring. The park in the below post is a nice bike ride away to enjoy many sakura cherry trees along the river. The cycling post below is a beautiful, with or without cherry blossoms, drive or cycling ride in to or out of Nikko.


Nikko Toshogu Grand Spring & Autumn Festival

The Nikko Toshogu Grand Spring and Autumn Festival is an biannual event held at the Toshogu Shrine in Nikko, Japan on May 17th and October 17th. If features various traditional Japanese performances and ceremonies, such as a horseback archery demonstration (1pm on the 16th), a sacred dance performance, and a procession of people dressed in traditional samurai costumes. On the 17th, a grand procession takes place where a portable shrine called mikoshi is carried through town by 1,000 people dressed as samurai. The procession of 1,000 samurai is from 11am with portable shrines to the Otabi-sho (Sojourn Hall) before returning to Toshogu Shrine to re-enact the burial of Tokugawa Ieyasu. The festival is held to honor the memory of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate, who is enshrined at the Toshogu Shrine. During the festival, visitors can witness the ancient art of yabusame, which is horseback archery dating back to the Kamakura period. The yabusame event involves horseback riders shooting arrows at targets while galloping. This requires a high level of skill and precision, making it an impressive sight to behold. This procession replicates the funeral of Tokugawa Ieyasu, where his grave was moved from Mt. Kunousan in Shizuoka Prefecture to Nikko. The festival is a must-see event for anyone interested in Japanese culture and history.

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