Winter Cherry Blossoms At Hirosaki Park In Aomori Prefecture | CoolJapan

Hirosaki Castle and cherry blossom trees in Aomori Prefecture’s Hirosaki Park. (Photo from: Aomori Tourism)

In the heart of Aomori Prefecture lies Hirosaki Park, a captivating haven where nature's beauty takes centre stage. Celebrated as Tohoku region’s most famous cherry blossom spot — from cherry blossom tunnels to petal-filled moats — Hirosaki Park is adorned with over 2,600 cherry trees, showcasing a diverse array of more than 50 varieties. From the classic somei-yoshino to the elegant shidarezakura and luxurious yaezakura, this spot is a modern-day botanical treasure trove. Cherry blossoms here usually grace the landscape from late April to early May, creating a breathtaking panorama that attracts admirers from within Japan and around the world.

The Winter "Cherry Blossoms" Light Up event in Hirosaki Park in winter. (Photo from: Aomori Tourism)

The park also plays home to a cherry blossom showcase in winter. It may be unthinkable for cherry blossoms to appear much earlier than their forecasted date, or even earlier than plum blossoms which bloom in late January. Still, they do — in the form of the Winter "Cherry Blossoms" Light Up event that is usually held from December to February.

The light-up involves snow-laden branches of the cherry trees adorned with 140 delicate pink LED projectors, casting an ethereal glow that mimics the blossoms in full bloom against the backdrop of the iconic Hirosaki Castle. As temperatures dip, the park becomes a frozen paradise, with the moat reflecting the sakura-coloured lights, recreating the poetic hanaikada, or "flower raft" phenomenon where cherry blossoms float along the water's surface after dropping from nearby trees.

The moat of Hirosaki castle. (Photo from:

Imagine strolling along the edge of the castle moat, the air crisp with winter chill and the surroundings aglow with the soft radiance of pink illuminations. This enchanting celebration brings forth a unique fusion of snow, cherry blossoms and radiant illuminations, offering a magical and captivating experience.

Pink lights are shone on snowy trees and illuminate the park. (Photo from: Aomori Tourism)

Visitors are advised to bundle up against the cold with their cameras ready to capture the fleeting beauty that defines the Winter Cherry Blossom Light Up. In addition, there is the Hirosaki Electrical Fantasy, a light-up event held in the area around Otemon, where visitors can enjoy the illuminations at Hirosaki City Hall and Otemon Square.

The Winter Sakura illumination at Hirosaki Park is a nightly affair that takes place until 29 February 2024 this season. Entrance is free, and the starting time may differ each month based on sunset times. It's an experience that transcends seasons, a magical journey through a winter dreamscape dressed in pink lights that recreate the ethereal beauty of cherry blossoms.