In my opinion, Yamazaki River is the best place to watch cherry blossoms in Nagoya.

Last week I posted an uninspiring photo of cherry blossoms. I can blame the poor quality of the photo (composition, lighting, etc.) on several things, but ultimately it’s because I didn’t try very hard. I have some much nicer cherry blossoms photos that I took at Yamazaki River.

Well, I didn’t really go out of my way this year to see the cherry blossoms. Actually, I did go to the zoo and botanical gardens the other day with the primary intention to see cherry blossoms. But I ended up watching the animals all day, and didn’t even make it to the gardens. Oops.

Anyway, I want to make up for it this week by posting some nicer photos now.

But first, I want to talk about the significance of the cherry blossoms.

Although the pale pink flowers are beautiful just by themselves, there is much symbolism behind them. They represent the beauty and fragility of live itself.

The cherry blossoms are only around for two weeks tops. This represents how short our own lives are. We only have a few years of beauty before we start to whither and fall. The flowers bud, blossom, whither, and die just like we do. Grim, I know.

The cherry blossoms also represent how fragile our lives are. They can be knocked off the tree before their time is up due to wind or rain. The same way, our own lives could be cut short at any moment.

But they are also beautiful, and they are a reminder of how beautiful our own lives are. They remind us how precious our lives are and not to take it for granted.

While the cherry blossoms represent life and death, they also represent rebirth and renewal. They bloom at the same time of the year that children and adults begin a new year of school or work. April is when school and work starts, so the flowers represent a world of new experiences and new possibilities.

Who would have thought you could read so much into a flower, huh?

They are so important in Japanese culture, there is a “cherry blossom season.”

It’s the one to two weeks when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. People anxiously watch the weather/cherry blossom reports, waiting until the blossoms are at their fullest. Then they gather in groups underneath the trees for picnics and parties.

Families, friends, coworkers, classmates. Groups of people meet on blue plastic tarps in the park to eat, drink, and sing. They often come early in the morning or the night before to reserve a coveted piece of ground. Parties can last all day, and even into the night, when some places put lanterns in the trees. It is completely normal to see drunk people in the park under the cherry blossoms.

I’m not a huge fan of drunken parties in the park, but I know a completely lovely place in Nagoya to watch the cherry blossoms in peace.

Cherry blossom viewing at Yamazaki River

The banks of Yamazaki River in Nagoya are the best place to watch the cherry blossoms, in my opinion. I’ve been to this place twice to watch the cherry blossom.

The first time I went by myself. It was so lovely, I made my husband come with me the second time so we could do hanami (cherry blossom viewing) together. We packed a picnic lunch and went to sit under the fluffy pink trees.

At Yamazaki River, cherry blossom trees line both sides of the river. The banks of the river have concrete steps, so it’s easy to sit under the trees. There is a path along one side where you can walk under the trees as well.

Both times that I went here, it was not so crowded as to be annoying. It was more couples, families, and older people than loud drunken parties. So it was more peaceful than some other parks.

So far, this is my top place to view cherry blossoms in Nagoya. Not only is it beautiful, but the atmosphere is not obnoxious. Also something about the water (what little there is of it) is soothing.

And with that, here are a few photos of the cherry blossoms at Yamazaki River.

cherry blossoms yamazaki river cherry blossoms sakura yamazaki river cherry blossoms

waterfall at yamazaki river picnic under cherry blossoms

cherry blossoms

Access

The cherry blossom covered part of Yamazaki River is next to the Mizuho Sports Centre. Take the Meijo subway line to Mizuho Undojo Higashi station.

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Author

After Teaching English in Korea and Japan for three years, Jennifer came to the profound realization that teaching was not the career for her. So, she went back to school. After brushing up on her Japanese for one year, she completed a Master's Degree in International Development at a university in Japan. She is currently working on her PhD. This blog was born as a way for her to write about her adventures in Japan and around the world.

22 Comments

  1. Wow, such a fantastic explosion of blossoms, so beautiful!! 😌☺️❤️

    • Aren’t they? There were even some that weren’t completely open yet, My favourite though is when they are just starting to fall, and there are petals on the ground.

  2. That is a beautiful, contemplative post. I often think of the fragility of it all especially when I am in the lap of nature, so it makes me think that most of us do have a common thread of humanity linking us up. The cherry blossom shots are spectacular. I would love to see it one day in person and sigh about how poetic the sights are.

    • It’s good to think about our mortality every now and then. The cherry blossoms serve as a bit of a reminder I think. It does feel a bit sad when they have all fallen on the ground, and the pretty pink trees are finished. But then the branches turn green with new life, so it’s also hopeful. Though I sometimes wonder if this original symbolism behind the cherry blossoms has been forgotten. I hope you will get a chance to see them. Anywhere, but especially in Japan.

      • Yes life renewed and refreshed every year without fail. It is a heartening sight and thought. I wish the same – that I get to see it in Japan. It is special there. We have just a few here and there around Northampton which give me immense joy even though they stand in couples rather than in clusters. We gotta do with what we are given, right? 🙂

        • Absolutely! If there is only a pair of cherry blossom trees near you, then enjoy the heck out of them. Two are still beautiful, and a solitary one would be beautiful too 🙂

  3. Always a Foreigner Reply

    The blossoms are amazingly beautiful! It seems as it would be so peaceful to just sit and be surrounded by the colors.

    • Yes, it is a nice place for a picnic and relax followed by a stroll along the path underneath the canopy of cherry blossoms or to play in the water. A peaceful way to spend an afternoon, especially if the weather is warm and sunny.

  4. I really enjoyed the section on the significance of the cherry blossom in Japanese culture. I’m unsure of how well versed you are with Japanese film, but its interesting that in many of the classic jidai-geki films, they start with a shot of running water with cherry blossom trees next to it – signifying the ephemerality of human life and the impending death of the protagonist. It really is deeply rooted in society

    • I’m not well-versed in Japanese film, modern or classic. But this gives me something new about Japan to discover, so thank you. Of course the protagonist would be the one to die in a Japanese film. That I’m not surprised about. I think the significance of the cherry blossoms goes back hundreds of years, which makes it even more meaningful, I think.

      • Yes they have a long history – in fact, speaking of cherry blossom history, I’m from Washington D.C. and all the cherry blossom trees on the national mall and by the Lincoln memorial were gifts in 1912 from the Mayor of Tokyo to celebrate the growing friendship between Japan and the United States. I’ve watched them bloom so many times and have always wanted to see them in Japan. Your pictures and beautiful and just make me want to go even more!

  5. I love the picture of the cherry blossoms with the bridge and waterfall in the back!

    • Thank you. It’s a nice little scene, isn’t it? The cherry blossoms are pretty by themselves, but the water makes everything even nicer.

  6. Great post Jennifer. It is so nice to meet you and read about you and the articles you are putting out. It is going to be enjoyable to follow along with you and see the world through your eyes and words for sure.

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