From Tokyo we took Tohoku Shinkansen and alight at Koriyama station in Fukushima Prefecture. Picked up rental car and visited Miharu Takizakura and Nihonmatsu in a day.
Miharu Takizakura (三春滝桜)
It took less than 30min to arrive at the huge parking lot (free), via national roads in light traffic. A top 100 sakura spot and one of three most famous sakura trees in Japan. It is a Benishidare-zakura (ベニシダレザクラ) belonging to the Edohigan (エドヒガン) family.
It was estimated to be more than 1000 years old, at a height of 13m+ and span over 25m. Taki in Japanese means waterfall and indeed it looks so.
Though it was crowded, everything was in good order. We stayed for an hour and on the way back to the parking lot bought some Okashi (sweets) and somen (noodles) made of sakura ingredients.
Next we headed north to Nihonmatsu in less than 30km away. Dropped by this Uchidenosakura, of 220 years old, at a height of 19m. It belongs to a rare variety of Ubahiganzakura.
There were no other visitor when we arrived. Stayed for about 15 min.
Nihonmatsu Kasumigajo Park (霞ヶ城公園)
arrived at the final top 100 sakura spot of this trip – Kasumigajo in Nihonmatsu city. Had lunch in local restaurant serving lunch sets opposite to park.
It’s famous for its 2500 sakura trees – akin to a sakura forest when viewed from a distance. Luckily they were in full bloom.
Rengeji Shidarezakura (蓮華寺 シダレザクラ)
There is a small visitor centre in the parking lot of Kasumigajo. The friendly lady handed some printed info on nearby sakura trees. So on the way back to Koriyama we dropped by this temple for this Shidarezakura of 300 years old, also belonging to the Edohigan family.
Dinner in Komakata Dozeu (駒形どぜう)
Upon returning to Tokyo/Ueno by Shinkansen, headed to nearby Asakusa for this 200-year old shop (from Edo era) serving Dozeu (pond loach). While seats were on the floor (by tradition) on 1F, we preferred table seats and were led downstairs, where there were more diners.
We ordered 2 portions of どぜうさきなべ (dozeu stripped of bones). The dozeu were served on nabe (heated plate on charcoal). On the side came plenty of chopped spring onions. It was delicious with spices like Sansho to serve with rice, while lighter than Unagi (river eel). On top I ordered a dozeu-jiru (soup) to try, it was quite thick.
Though whale meat (くじら) is on the menu, we always avoid it.
On the next day we returned home in Hong Kong. That was the end of another fabulous sakura trip 🙂
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