The Sawara cherry blossom festival takes place from April 1 to 15 every year in the district and on the grounds of the Katori Jingu Shrine.
The festival venue in Sawara consists of some separate areas: the Suwa Park, regions along the Ryoso irrigation canal and the bank of the Jukkengawa River near the Katori city office.
Cherry trees in those Sawara venues are primarily Yoshino cherries. More than 200 cherry trees are lit at night with 600 Japanese paper lamps varying in size during the festival period. Of the 3 festival sites, many people, in particular, visit the Ryoso irrigation canal to view cherry blossoms there day and night.
On the grounds of Katori Jingu, about 700 cherry trees from 15 kinds - most of them are Yoshino trees, Oshima cherries and Prunus jamasakura - blossom in full glory in the festival season. "Tunnels" made of cherry blossoms that emerge on the front and former approaches to the shrine are packed with visitors and cherry-blossom viewers every year. The cherry blossoms there are lit up at night, and one can enjoy the fantastic view of the flowers while enjoying an evening stroll in the pebble-covered precincts.
○ Suigo Omigawa Cherry and Azalea Festival
The Suigo Omigawa cherry and azalea festival takes place from April 1 to early May every year.
Well known as one of the most exceptional cherry blossom viewing sites in the Hokuso region, the Joyama Park boasts 1,000 Yoshino and other cherry trees, as well as 4,000 azaleas, which cover the entire mountain in the peak season. The spectacular bloom of flowers attract many onlookers day and night. The trees and flowers are lit up at night, offering spectators a fantastic night view of the cherry blossoms.
The Joyama Park is 30 minutes by foot from JR Omigawa Station and 10 minutes by car from the Katori Interchange.
The annual one-month Suigo Sawara iris festival is held in June at the Suigo Sawara Aquatic Botanical Garden. This festival features 1.5 million Japanese irises from 400 species in the garden, the largest number in the Orient. We are sure you will be satisfied with the spectacular sight of the whole 6-hectare garden - the pride of our city - being carpeted with purple, white, pink, blue and other colorful Japanese irises.
Visitors to the garden can also view irises from "sappa bune," sightseeing gondolas whose bottom is flat, sailing in the pond on the garden site. Sappa bune are typically steered by female skippers, and touring the garden aboard those gondolas is quite a relaxing experience.
During the festival period, one can also hold their wedding ceremony on the facility site. 3 days in the month are available for this service, and couples are able to experience an old-style wedding on boats. You should not miss this opportunity to see firsthand a traditional marriage ceremony unique to rural “suigo” waterside areas in Japan.
In June, when the iris festival is held, tourists can visit the Suigo Sawara Aquatic Botanical Garden by shuttle bus from JR Sawara Station. The festival venue is also accessible by car in 20 minutes from the Taiei and Katori interchanges on the Higashi-Kanto Expressway. If you take an express bus bound for Aso at Tokyo Station, get off at the "Shokubutsu En Mae" (In front of the botanical garden) stop to visit the facility. You can walk to the festival site in 5 minutes from there.
For more information, please contact the Suigo Sawara Aquatic Botanical Garden.
Address: 1837-2 Ogishima, Katori-shi, Chiba Japan
Opening hours during the iris festival: 8:00 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
Admission during the iris festival: 700 yen for adults and 350 yen for children
Note: Group discounts are available.
The annual cosmos festival takes place in mid-September in a 3-hectare cosmos field located within a 5-minute walk from JR Junikyo Station, and continues for an entire month. The cosmoses there are carefully grown by local tourism promotion groups, and vary greatly in colors, such as red, pink, white, orange and yellow. Large cosmoses cover the entire field during the festival season as if a carpet of flowers was spread.
One can also take a boat ride from the cosmos field to tour the Yodaura lakes and marshes. Passengers can enjoy the splendid sight of hundreds of striped mullets being surprised and leaping out of the water around boats. Enjoy the spectacular collaboration of flowers, boats and fish in Sawara!
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