Cherry Blossoms have always been equal to Spring. In the best of our knowledge, there’s just no way Cherry Blossoms can be seen in Autumn. Well after meeting this place, I guess, we have all been proven wrong. We now know the only place in Japan that allows us to witness both Autumn Leaves and Cherry Blossoms at the same time!
Come visit this magical place with me. Come meet Obara.
1. Senmi Shikizakura no Sato
Senmi Shikizakura no Sato is where you go if you would like to witness 1,200 Cherry Blossom trees in full bloom during Spring and Autumn. This heaven of colored-leaves is located in Obara.
Obara is located in Toyota City, Aichi, Japan. For people from Aichi, Toyota City is the most popular place to visit during Autumn, with Korankei Valley as its most popular tourist spot to do Autumn Foliage (Koyo and Momiji) viewing. It has only been very recently that people discovered the magic that is Obara, and all of us just cant’t get enough of it!
This special kind of Cherry Blossom is called Shikizakura, and it blooms twice a year. It blooms both in Spring and in Autumn. And the history?
Over 10,000 of the rare Shikizakura trees grace the Obara region, and are usually at their best from early to late November. The trees are said to have originated in the early 1800s when the samurai physician, Fujimoto Genseki was presented with one of the rare trees from a temple in Nagoya. This special tree, now designated as a Natural Monument, was planted in Obara, where it grew very well, spreading across the district.https://www.aichi-now.jp/en/spots/detail/132/
But wait, there is more to Obara than Shikizakura! In this article, I will be detailing all that Obara has to offer, and I promise you, there is a lot!
2. Obara’s Koyo and Momiji
The presence of Shikizakura might’ve made Obara famous, but it is definitely worthwhile to mention how captivating the Autumn-colored foliage present in the area.
First, let me show you the beautiful Koyo of Senmi Shikizakura no Sato.
Two words meaning “autumn-colored foliage” are koyo and momiji, both written with the same two characters, 紅葉. Koyo refers to the phenomenon of changing autumn colors, mainly when it occurs to the leaves of deciduous broad-leaf trees before the leaves fall to the ground. At some point in time, the word momiji became synonymous with the maple tree (kaede), the most beautiful of the autumn trees.https://www.jreast.co.jp/e/season/autumn/tanoshimikata.html
Their color start out from green, then they morph to yellow, then orange, and finally, the fiery red. It is such a delight to see. My pictures cannot even give justice to how beautiful these leaves are.
Majority of the Autumn trees in Obara are Kaede Trees (Maple), and their fiery red color really matches the soft pink color of the Cherry Blossoms. It is such a sight to see.
If you stroll around Obara, you just cannot help but notice other varieties of Koyo that are as beautiful as the famous Kaede Trees.
How can a place have so much beauty in it? It’s just crazy. If I would have the chance to stay there for more than a day, I would.
3. Rurikozanyakushi Temple
On top of all those beautiful Cherry Blossoms and Autumn Leaves around Obara, there is another bonus experience in store for you; the Rurikozanyakushi Temple. It is a Buddhist Temple that sits on top of Senmi Shikizakura no Sato.
Getting to the temple might need a little endurance because it would require you to climb up a couple of stairs in order to reach it. *laughs*
Other than the main building of the temple, it has this external altar where people stop by and say their prayers.
I might not believe in what they believe in, but it is just fascinating to witness their culture and religion up close. Makes you wish that your beliefs are also as strong.
4. Free Persimmons?
When you think that this place has nothing more to offer, you just suddenly see countless wild Persimmon Trees while you stroll around. Makes you think if it is okay to pick some along the way. I didn’t pick any because I didn’t have a container, but if I happened to have one, I would surely get some of those healthy-looking wild Persimmons.
Seriously tho. These Persimmons are easily within one’s reach. You can readily get one fruit or two if you really want to. Plus, they are countless. I was literally wondering if people got sick of them that they no longer bother doing a harvest.
And that’s a wrap!
Those 4 things are, for me, what define Obara as the beauty that it is. I say, it is such a beautiful Autumn destination. It is such a perfect place to visit if you want to be reminded of how amazing nature works.
How to go to Obara?
Good news is, Obara is very accessible. From Nagoya, you will just have to find a way to get to the subway’s Tsurumai Line (blue line). Any starting point is fine as long as you get to any of the stations for the Tsurumai Line. As for me, I am near Gokiso Station, so I started from there.
Some Tips and Tricks
- There are not many restaurants in Kaminigi. I suggest that you eat heavy before doing the trip. For snacks? Yes, there are snack bars and Vendo machines in Senmi Shikizakura no Sato.
- Check the Weather Forecast first. It was really hard when I came there because it was raining. Sunny days are really better, because you will be climbing some steep slopes.
- Best time to go in Obara is late November! When it comes to seasonal phenomenons such as this, timing is of absolute importance. You don’t wanna go there and see that the Cherry Blossoms and the Autumn Leaves are not yet in full bloom, right?
- Visit early! Obara has so much to offer that a half-day visit isn’t enough. So, start early.
- I recommend that you book a Tour from Klook for your visit.
Why? Because, Senmi no Sato is just a quick place to visit. 2 hours is enough. If you opt for a tour, they usually have more places to visit, thus, you will be able to visit a lot of places in a day, riding a tour bus. Very convenient, right?
And that is all. Thank you very much for joining this little virtual trip to Obara. I hope you go and visit the place. It is always better to witness the magic yourself.
Overall, I personally think that Obara is one of Aichi’s treasures. It is a place that deserves to be seen by the world. Hopefully, this article will help in doing that.