Head to Chiba for Inzai City’s monumental cherry blossom tree

Head to Chiba for Inzai City’s monumental cherry blossom tree

by Ichiro Katayanagi
Stripes Japan

If you have been living in Japan for a few years, you know that Japanese people are madly in love with cherry blossoms. You may hear them talking repeatedly about the blossoms as the season approaches. Some may say the reason they love the blossoms is because they’re temporary: their transient nature is attractive.

Once I told a coworker that I wished cherry blossoms would bloom at least for a month as they tend to scatter too quickly. He immediately opposed it, arguing that was the case, the blossoms would no longer be beautiful. The blossoms are beautiful due to their short lives, he continued. I, however, still believe that the longer they are in full bloom, the longer we can enjoy them.

One spring day last year, a TV program reported that Yoshitaka no ozakura, a huge cherry blossom tree in Inzai City, Chiba was in full bloom. This tree is only in full bloom for three days with the best day to view would be the following day, the program said. So, if what my coworker had said was correct, then these would be far more beautiful blossoms than any of the others due to their extremely short life. I wanted to see this for myself, so I headed out the next day to see the tree for myself.  

According to Inzai City’s website, Yoshitaka no ozakura is about 10 meters tall, with a thick, 7-meter-wide trunk, branches spanning 26 meters wide and is over 300 years old. This ancient tree is designated as an Inzai City natural monument and the city updates the bloom condition online every year.

The next morning, I hopped on a train to the Imba Nihon Idai Station on the Hokuso Line. Instead of waiting 30 minutes for the next bus when I arrived at the station, I decided I couldn’t wait and took a brisk walk to the tree instead.

At first, there was no one else walking on the road with me, but the closer I got, there were a few people walking back talking about the magnificent tree. Finally, I reached a farm road where the tree stands.

Along the way, farmers and cafes took advantage of the annual foot traffic to sell fresh produce like bamboo shoots, daikon radish, and refreshments. Near the tree, booths in a clearing were also selling snacks to enjoy while cherry blossom viewing.

Booths in a clearing

Blossom peach trees and tulips near the cherry blossom tree

After walking for 15 minutes, I finally reached the tree. It was too gigantic to believe that it was one cherry blossom tree. Visitors surrounding the tree looked ridiculously small. When I looked up at the tree, I realized again how huge the tree was and was fascinated by its beauty. It is only one tree, but it is worthwhile to go all the way to the place at least once in your life.

Though I still wish cherry blossoms stuck around a little longer, I was glad I’d made the trek to catch these fleeting beauties before the end of their short season. Make plans and experience this stunning sight for yourself!

Yoshitaka no ozakura

Yoshitaka no ozakura

Yoshitaka no ozakura

Full-bloom dates in the past five years (According to Inzai City’s website)

2022: Apr. 8 - 10

2021: Mar. 27 – 30

2020: Mar. 28 – Apr. 3

2019: Apr. 8 – 12

2018: Apr. 2 - 4

Stately cherry blossom tree at Yoshitaka

Address: 930 Yoshitaka, Inzai City, Chiba Prefecture

Google Map

Admission: free

Website (Inzai City website)



-From Imba Nihon Idai Station on the Hokuso Line, take the Chiba Rainbow Bus to Sasai Station on the Keisei Line and get off at Imba Post Office, and walk for 30 minutes.

-From Kobayashi Station on the JR Narita Line, take the Nanohana Kotsu Bus to Sakura Station on the Keisei Line and get off at Kyoshujyo-mae, and walk for 15 minutes.


Park at *Imba Chuo Park and walk for 20 minutes.

No parking fees required.

Vehicles are prohibited to enter the roads near the cherry blossom tree during blooming period.

*Imba Chuo Park: 1518 Seto, Inzai City, Chiba Prefecture

Google Map

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