The cherry trees in Gunma Prefecture typically flower a few days after those in Tokyo. Thus, the prefecture makes a good destination for those missing the season at the capital by a few days. Below is a list of some of Gunma's most popular spots for cherry blossom viewing (hanami), including the typical timing for best viewing in the average year and japan-guide.com ratings. See also our nationwide list of famous cherry blossom spots.

Takasaki

Takasaki Castle Ruins and Takasaki Park

Early to mid April
A 10 minute walk west of Takasaki Station.
The Takasaki Castle Ruins and the neighboring Takasaki Park have collectively about 400 cherry trees and ample open spaces for picnics and cherry blossom watching parties to be held. Around early to mid April every year, festival food stalls are set up at the park and illuminations are held in the evenings.

Takasaki Kannonyama Park

Early to mid April
Take the Gururin Bus from the west exit of Takasaki Station and get off at the Byakue Kannon-mae bus stop (25 minutes, 200 yen, departures every 80 minutes).
Takasaki Kannonyama Park is a large, forested park in the mountains to the west of Takasaki's city center. The park is home to a 42 meter high statue of Kannon, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, as well as a few hundred cherry trees. During the cherry blossom season every year, the park holds illuminations in the evenings.

Maebashi

Akagi Senbonzakura

Mid April
On weekends and holidays during the cherry blossom season, take a shuttle bus from Akagi Station (30 minutes) or Maebashi Station (1 hour). A one day pass of unlimited rides costs 1000 yen. On other days, access by a rental car or taxi.
Akagi Senbonzakura is located about halfway up Mount Akagi to the north of central Maebashi. It features a two kilometer long road lined with over 1000 cherry trees that form a beautiful cherry blossom tunnel when in bloom. Pink moss in the open fields beside the cherry trees also bloom at around the same time, combining with the cherry blossoms to provide breathtaking views of various hues of pink.

Maebashi Park

Early to mid April
A 30 minute walk from Maebashi Station. The park is also served by several bus lines that depart from the station (10 minutes, 200 yen, about 1-2 buses per hour).
Maebashi Park has a few hundreds of cherry trees planted across a wide area with a big pond and lots of space for hanami parties. The park is located just beside the Gunma Prefectural Office Building which has a publicly accessible observation deck on the 32nd floor with nice views over the park and city (admission free).

Shikishima Park

Early to mid April
Take a bus from Maebashi Station (15 minutes, 250 yen, 1-2 departures per hour). Alternatively, the park is about a 10 minute, 1500 yen taxi ride from the station. It can also be reached from Maebashi Park in a 30 minute walk.
Shikishima Park is a large public park about two kilometers north of Maebashi Park. It is home to many of the prefecture's top sports facilities and offers opportunities for recreational activities such as having barbecues and riding leisure boats at the park's big pond. Each spring, many visitors come to enjoy the park's hundred or so cherry trees in bloom.

Ratings:    best of the best    best of Japan    outstanding