Thanks to the recommendation by a store manager of kura-cafe, I decided to visit Tanagura Town of Fukushima Prefecture. It was my first visit to Fukushima Prefecture since the 2011 Earthquake off the Pacific Coast of Tohoku. (To tell the truth, I visited Fukushima area of Oze National Park last autumn. But it was not like Fukushima at all.)
Sakura at this town was simply beyond my imagination. Let me share the views of the floral town of Tanagura.
I went to Akadate Park in the first place to see the whole view of Tanagura town. Although this park is located in relatively higher altitude, it has already had some Sakura blooming this year.
This is the view of Tanagura Town. It is small and surrounded with mountains. But it turned out later that this town is well-organized and has enough stores and services to live inside the town. (For example, there are 7 convenience stores!)
By the way, the most appealing plant in this park was Oriental paperbush. We make paperbush from this plant in Japan.
After enjoying the whole view of the town, I started to go around to see some Sakura spots of Tanagura Town.
This is the Sakura Tree of Hope, located inside the ground of an elementary school. It is too big that I had to use my wide-angle lens to capture the whole view. It also turned out later that many of the Sakura trees of Tanagura Town are quite old, tall, and wide.
Here's a big Sakura tree at Kannonji Temple.
And this is Renshouji Temple next to Kannonji Temple. Tanagura Town used to be a castle town, where the feudal lords loved temples and Sakura.
I tried taking photos of the Sakura tree...
and the Sakura blossoms. Tanagura Town has really a lot of Weeping Sakura trees.
If you try walking, you will encounter big single Sakura trees throughout the town.
The Sakura trees here were like well-blending in with the landscapes of Tanagura.
At the center of Tanagura Town lies the most famous spot of the town, the Site of Tanagura Castle. You can enjoy Sakura blossoms in the midst of April and autumn colors in the midst of November.
You will surely find a big Keyaki tree at the entrance. They say this old tree is a symbol of Tanagura Town.
This is how the street around the moat looks like during Sakura season. I recommend you to walk here and forget everything about time.
You will be amazed not only by the volume of the white blossoms,
and not only by each of the tiny pretty blossoms,
but also by how these Sakura trees go well with the site of Tanagura Castle and its moat. When I caught a glimpse at this landscape, I even thought that the time had stopped. The site of Tanagura Castle is one of the greatest spots to enjoy Sakura landscapes.
But you know, there is another amazing Sakura spot in Tanagura Town.
This is the Weeping Sakura tree of Hanazono. It is quite rare to find single Sakura tree and its water reflection together even if you go around Japan. Tanagura Town is, indeed, one of such rare Sakura spots in the distance of 3-hour-ride from Tokyo.
And this is the best shot of the trip! It was a bit earlier than the sunrise, when the sunshine through the foliage spread among the mist. Indeed, I took photos of this Weeping Sakura tree in the sunrise time, in the daytime, in the sunset time, and even at night. I must summarize how this tree looks like in April in the next post.
Lastly, I express the deepest appreciation to kura-cafe and all the people I met in Tanagura Town. Thank you very much.