Shikizakura in Obara

Shikizakura, Aichi’s cherry blossoms in autumn

I’ve always wanted to see the famous cherry blossoms in Japan but in the two years that I’ve been traveling to that country since last year, wasn’t really able to time my trips during Spring. But then, I was told that we will be seeing the cherry blossoms during an invitational trip early this month. November? Cherry blossoms?

How the cherry blossoms look like at around mid-November and on a sunny day. Photo © AICHI PREFECTURAL TOURISM ASSOCIATION

YES. Cherry blossoms in November. At the height of Autumn. In JAPAN.

How the cherry blossoms look like at around mid-November and on a sunny day. Photo © AICHI PREFECTURAL TOURISM ASSOCIATION

I was intrigued. I was also ecstatic. To see cherry blossoms in November at the height of autumn. Wow. And the images of white and pink cherry flowers with the colors of the season were already dancing in my head before I even left the Philippines. And I was also ecstatic as our bus sped along the beautiful roads of Toyota City, passing beautiful mountains and trees already starting to change color. Passing small villages and into the waiting embrace of blooming cherry trees in Obara Fureai Park.

These trees are special. It is said that a small seedling from Nagoya was brought in Obara in the early 19th century by Genseki Fujimoto, a physician. And from that seedling, it spread in Obara District that it now numbers around 10,000 trees! This rare species is believed to be a hybrid of the mamezakura and edohigan species of cherry trees and perhaps that’s the reason that it blooms twice in the year, first in spring and second from October-December.

Our bus positioned at the parking lot as we were disgorged into the open. The weather though wasn’t really cooperating as it started to drizzle lightly when we arrived but it didn’t stop me from taking photos of the beautiful spread of blooms and autumn leaves before us. It was a sight to behold. Much better than what was in my head. And then it rained, adding to the more somber atmosphere in this photos.

It was early November and the trees were just starting to flower. What more if we visited at the height of the flowering cherry trees, around mid-November, and it was sunny? Saturated and crisp colors, a carpet of white and pink with touches of red and yellow from the leaves. Just like in pictures. But I didn’t mind. I was witnessing a unique phenomenon. and the view of these blooms with the colored leaves were actually beautiful. As they say, I hit two birds with one stone.

White and pink cherry blossoms

White and pink cherry blossoms

It was a sight to behold as a rare type of cherry tree blooms twice a year, both in Spring and Autumn.

It was a sight to behold as a rare type of cherry tree blooms twice a year, both in Spring and Autumn.

A mountain filled with cherry trees in bloom with autumn foliage

A mountain filled with cherry trees in bloom with autumn foliage

Autumn in Obara Fureai Park is just unique as you can see both cherry blossoms and the colorful leaves of autumn. This one is along a stream.

Autumn in Obara Fureai Park is just unique as you can see both cherry blossoms and the colorful leaves of autumn. This one is along a stream.

Close up of a cherry blossom

Close up of a cherry blossom

GETTING THERE: The best place to witness the Autumn cherry blossoms of Obara is at the Obara Fureai Park. From the AichiNow website: From Nagoya Station, take the subway Higashiyama Line. Alight at Fushimi station and take the subway Tsurumai line. Alight at Toyotashi station and take the Toyota Oiden Bus bound for Kaminigi. Alight at “Obara Okusa” stop and walk for 5 minutes. * Bus operation is subject to change. Please check it before your trip. If taking a private car, 20 minutes from the Tokai-Kanjo Expressway Toyota Fujioka I.C.

Thanx to Aichi Prefecture for making this trip possible. To know more about tourism in Aichi, check the official Aichi Now website.

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications.

He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces.

I’m open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

2 Comments

  1. Estan, Ang Langyaw (@LangyawMedia)
    December 2, 2016 @ 0:14

    Shikizakura, #Aichi’s cherry blossoms in #autumn

    https://t.co/HeQUxFgx5t #AichiPrefecture #AichiNowSP #japan https://t.co/ixIxleBr8a

  2. Estan Cabigas (@EstanCabigas)
    December 2, 2016 @ 7:45

    Shikizakura, #Aichi’s cherry blossoms in #autumn

    https://t.co/kOfbPN5JIy #AichiPrefecture #AichiNowSP #japan https://t.co/kGBuPPfhy1

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