Cherry Blossom – Sakura in Japanese – is one of the best attractions in Japan.
Every year, we look forward to this time of the year. People are feeling happier and more positive.
April is the beginning of a new school year in Japan. Cherry Blossoms are usually in full bloom and are most beautiful at the beginning of April.
So we tend to associate cherry blossoms with a beginning of something new.
It’s a great opportunity and excuse to go out and do something fun or special.
If you wanna enjoy cherry blossoms fully as locals do in Takamatsu, you definitely have to come to Ritsurin Garden.
Ritsurin Garden is by far the most popular tourist destination in Kagawa prefecture.
If you don’t know about the Ritsurin Garden, you can click here to find out about Ritsurin Garden on my article.
Cherry Blossoms in Ritsurin Garden
There are about 320 cherry trees in Ritsurin Garden and lots of locals visit Ritsurin Garden when in full bloom.
When spring turns up, I make a point to visit Ritsurin Garden at least once either in the daytime or at night during the time of illumination.
If I don’t go see cheery blossoms, I feel like I’ve missed out on something very important.
It’s kinda our ritual to go out and enjoy cherry blossom every year. Everyone loves cherry blossoms in Japan.
Hanami Party under Cherry Blossoms in the Garden
In Ritsurin Garden, you are allowed to bring foods and beverages. So why don’t you do a Hanami Party in the garden?
What’s Hanami Party?
Hanami literally means “seeing cherry blossoms” in Japanese.
Hanami party is a party where you can have some foods and drinks under cherry trees, enjoying merry conversation and the cherry blossoms.
What better way to enjoy cherry blossoms than having a Hanami Party under beautiful cherry trees in full bloom?
Hanami party is one of Japan’s favorite culture, so why don’t you experience our fun culture in one of the most beautiful traditional gardens in Japan?
There is a supermarket called “Hallows Ritsurin ten”, a convenience store, Family Mart or a Macdonald within a 5-minute walk from the garden.
Get prepared well in advance!
Buy&bring some foods and drinks. Don’t forget to bring picnic blankets/sheets, and have a hanami party under cherry trees whether in the day time or at night.
If you have forgotten to bring picnic blankets with you, you can buy one in 100 yen shop called Daiso. Daiso is a Japanese 100 yen shop chain and you can find one of their shops everywhere in Japan.
There are more than 20 Daiso in Kagawa prefecture only. The nearest Daiso to Ritsurin Garden is this one in the shopping arcade. It’s about 15 minutes from the garden by walk.
Sakura-no-Tunnel on The East Side
If you wanna have a Hanami Party in the garden, Sakura-No-Tunnel（桜のトンネル）on the east side is the most spacious place and the most-sakura dense place.
Spring Night Illumination and Sakura in Ritsurin Garden
Every year, Ritsurin garden holds Spring Night Illumination.
During the night illumination, the garden is open until 9:00 pm, last entry: 8:30 pm. This year, it’s from 30th of March to 8th of April for 10 days.
If you don’t have any plan at night whilst you are in Takamatsu, just wander around in the garden and enjoy the cherry blossoms. It would be very beautiful.
Sanuki Udon Stall
There are some traditional cafes and food stalls during the spring illumination. You can try Sanuki Udon or local sweets if you are curious about local delicacies in Kagawa.
Charcoal Grilled Mochi (rice cakes) in a skewer at a traditional cafe
You can find these charcoal grilled mochi at Nanko(South Pond) on the edge of the garden at Fukiage-Tei teahouse.
Night Wasen Boat Ride The Past Feudal Lords Couldn’t Enjoy… but You Can…
Wasen（和船） means a Japanese Boat.
During the illumination, the garden operates night wasen boat rides from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm every 15 minutes, with 8 rides in total.
Past feudal lords used to enjoy a wasen boat but I don’t think they could enjoy a night wasen ride because electric lights had not been invented in Edo period (1603-1868).
Putting up so many torches everywhere would have been too dangerous and risky.
But, you can enjoy a night wasen boat ride that past feudal lords couldn’t enjoy. If you love to see the garden from on the water, it’s definitely worth a try.
Price: 610 yen for adults, 300 yen for kids(6 and over)
To buy tickets for the wasen boat ride, you can ask at the main entrance about it because there is some staff who speak English at the main entrance.
Note: there is a jazz concert on 30th of March (Sat) and 7th of April taking place in front of Shoko-Shourei Kan（Commerce & industry promotion hall) during the spring illumination.
The best time for cherry blossoms is always different but it’s usually at the beginning of April. Check before you come or ask me here on this blog, I’ll call the garden and check.
Opening hours: 5:30 am – 9:00 pm during the spring night illumination.
Entrance: 410yen for adults, 200 yen for kids; Wasen Boat ride: 610 yen for adults, 300 yen for kids over 6 years old.
Address: 〒760-0073 香川県高松市栗林町１丁目２０−１６
If you have any questions, please leave your questions in the comment box below. I will answer as much as I can.
I will go to this year’s spring night illumination and update some info and pictures after April.