Himeji Castle Park is the place to be this Spring. However, why not rent a free bicycle and go exploring. Try the vast Tegarayama Central Park, or pop into the mysterious Nagoyama Cemetery Park on April 8th for their annual festival from 10am. The combination of unique Buddhist stupas, pretty sakura, graves and incense is fascinating for something different. Explore the delightful Yumesaki riverside area for a stunning pink canopy backdrop. Pop into Shiota Hotsprings for a healing soak and gourmet lunch, then return to the riverside refreshed to sketch, write poetry, or take a nap surrounded by the spring colours.
The thrill of evening sakura can be enjoyed for free from 6-9pm at Nishinomaru Tei-en in the castle grounds from April 3-12 but expect crowds. Nearby Koko-en is a decadent Edo-styled strolling garden, that offers a more gentle sakura light up option April 3-5. Travel 15 minutes by train to Kakogawa’s famous Hiokayama Park for more evening hanami happenings.
Engyoji on Mt. Shosha is a perennial favorite spot with a spiritual edge, and includes breathtaking views of beloved Himeji Castle from the cable car. Hone your camera skills to capture the beauty of ancient temple edges with ethereal cascading sakura petals.
With several sake factories in Himeji, why not combine an afternoon of cherry blossom with a kampai or two?
For more detailed information contact the friendly, bilingual staff at Himeji Tourist Information Center at JR station or look online.