I Enjoyed Takada Castle Hanami Festival in Joetsu Niigata
Several days ago, I went to see Joetsu Takada Park Hanami (花見) Festival with my friends.
Hanami translates into English as blossom viewing, but it usually refers to the Sakura cherry blossom viewing in the spring.
Joetsu Takada Castle Hanami Festival
The Takada Koen (高田公園) we visited lies in Joetsu City, Niigata Prefecture. In the park, there is a relatively new castle constructed in 1993.
In the Edo period, about 400 years ago, Matsudaira Tadateru, the sixth son of the first Shogun of the Edo Shogunate Tokugawa Ieyasu, ruled the region Takada.
Although he built a castle, a fire destroyed the original in 1870 in the Meiji period.
After that, there was no castle in the park for a long time, but 26 years ago, Joetsu City reconstructed this one.
Sakura trees in full bloom
We parked our car in a pay parking lot in the city center because the ones near the Takada castle are always full during the Hanami event.
We headed to Takada Koen on foot, and when we arrived at the entrance, we found this location map.
There was a great view of a moat, mountains, and Sakura when looking back at the opposite side.
On that day, the weather was clear and sunny. And luckily, the Sakura cherry trees around were in full bloom.
Into the Takada park
We headed to the main street after purely enjoying Sakura, where there were lots of Yatai.
Those street stalls offered various delicious-looking foods ranging from traditional Japanese confections, like Poppo Yaki, to popular Korean/Turkish snacks.
Walking through the crowd, we came to the red bridge crossing over the outer moat of the Takada castle.
From there, we enjoyed the spectacular view of Mt. Myoko, one of Japan’s Top 100 Mountains.
To the rooftop observation deck
A historical museum lies in Takada Koen, whose rooftop is open to the public during the Hanami festival.
Of course, lastly, we went up to the deck, where we enjoyed the beautiful scenery of Takada.
One of Japan’s Biggest Night Hanami Festivals
Source: Youtube 高田公園観桜会
Joetsu Takada Castle Hanami Festival is one of Japan’s Three Biggest Night Hanami Festivals.
And amazingly, in 2012, CNN selected this local event as one of the World’s Five Great Flower Festivals.