As spring continues to warm this year’s cherry blossom season has come to an end. During April, Snow Monkey Resorts welcomed many guests to the region on our 1-Day Snow Monkeys and Cherry Blossom Tour. Over the course of several weeks, we thoroughly enjoyed introducing our guests to the beauty of Nagano in early spring, typified by the countless blossom trees and groves that can be found throughout the area.
No two tours were the same. Given the variation in blooms around the region, we made the most of the fantastic sites nearby the snow monkey park, taking guests to some well-known cherry blossom spots – including Kokuganji Temple (as above) – along with the very local – such as the village of Sano (as below).
Introducing visitors to the importance of sakura (cherry blossoms) and hanami (flower viewing) in Japanese culture was one of the most enjoyable aspects for our guides; who cherished the opportunity to stroll and chat with guests under the canopies of pink and white. Cherry blossoms play a central role in traditional and contemporary Japanese culture. Their fleeting bloom, beauty, and fragility are seen as symbolic of human life, and cherry blossom season is a time to relax and reflect in a sea of soft color.
Tours also included visits to Iiyama Jyoshi Park (as below). Situated on the ruins of a historic castle, the park is a popular hanami spot for local residents. Guests were able to enjoy the blossoms away from the crowds and bustle of Kyoto and Tokyo, in a manner more reflective of how most Japanese families enjoy this time of year – a truly local experience.
But perhaps the most spectacular site we visited was the endless grove of cherry blossom trees found in Obuse (as below). In full bloom, the trees sway in the breeze and slowly drop their petals. Couples, families, and friends sit under the canopy and forget their troubles and for a short while, simply soak in the beauty of the blossoms…
We would like to thank all of the guests who joined us on our 1-Day Snow Monkeys and Cherry Blossom tour in 2018! We hope that you left Nagano with fantastic memories (and photographs) of your day with us and we hope that we can one day welcome you back!
While the cherry blossoms have now come and gone, we are already planning and looking forward to our cherry blossom tours next year! If you would like to join us, please keep an eye on our tour page for updated information regarding the schedule for snow monkey and cherry blossom tours in 2019. We hope to see you here!