Beautiful Pink and Yellow! A ZEKKEI 5 for Springtime Cherry and Rapa Blossoms

Beautiful Pink and Yellow! A ZEKKEI 5 for Springtime Cherry and Rapa Blossoms
(Feature presented in cooperation with Yahoo! )

The long-awaited spring and the season of the blooming cherry blossom (called “sakura” in Japanese) are fast approaching. Cherry blossoms may be beautiful just as they are, but what we at ZEKKEI Japan’s editorial board would like to introduce to you today are some landscapes straight out of a book of fairy tales. Come spring, the yellow of rapa flowers (also called rapeseed) and the pink of sakura blend together to make a picture-perfect sight. Be sure to enjoy the very best that hanami (“flower viewing”) has to offer at these exquisite destinations.

The Great Isshingyo Cherry Blossom Tree (Kumamoto)

This view of a single massive sakura tree (said to be over 400 years’ old) blooming amidst a field of rapa flowers will take your breath away. Rapa and Japanese cherry trees bloom at around the same time, allowing you to enjoy the combination of rapa’s golden yellow and sakura’s reddish pink. Even if you’re not a serious photographer, there’s no doubt that you’ll find yourself unconsciously reaching for your camera here.
Blooming period:late March to early April

Minami Cherry Blossoms (Shizuoka)

The Minami Cherry Blossoms (“minami” means “south”) herald the coming spring in Japan. Both sides of the Aono River, which flows through the middle of Shimogama Onsen, are decorated with the petals of these early-blooming sakura. Look below the cherry trees and you’ll see the lovely yellow sheen of flowering rapa. This area is quite popular as the earliest place in Japan for enjoying hanami.
Blooming period: early February to early March

Cherry Blossoms of the Shinano River Levee (Nagano)

Stretching along the river for four kilometers and featuring around 600 cherry trees, this is one of the top spots in Nagano for gorgeously flowering sakura! Turn your gaze towards your feet and you’ll be greeted by rapa flowers; raise your eyes up and enjoy a sky full of blooming sakura. The cherry blossoms along the levee bloom later in the season, just in time for people traveling during the Golden Week holiday.
Blooming period:end of April to early May

Saitobaru Park (Miyazaki)

Saitobaru has one of the largest groups of ancient burial mounds (kofun tumuli) in Japan, and here you’ll be able to enjoy the scenic grandeur woven by over 2,000 cherry trees and 300,000 rapa flowers. As May draws closer, the new green leaves of late spring begin to assert themselves, creating a vivid contrast between pink, yellow, and green.
Blooming period: late March to early April

Mount Yufu (Oita)

With one of Kyushu’s greatest mountains as a backdrop, this landscape of contrasting pinks and yellows realized by the sakura and rapa is a marvel that can only be seen in the spring. The choral harmony of riverside coloration will fill you with the joy and warmth of the approaching season.
Blooming period: late March to early April

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