Obara Shikisakura Matsuri, Toyota

Cherry blossom viewing and autumn foliage are the two main seasonal enjoyments in Japan. Being the season of flowers, spring offers flower viewing at which time Cherry blossoms could be viewed at its best all around Japan. While in autumn, the surroundings will be filled with yellow to red colour ranges. But Obara region of Toyota city offers both the cherry blossom and autumn colours at the same time, during November-December. Once we enter the Obara region, we can see Cherry trees with small pale pink flowers all around.

These are a special variety of Cherry trees known as Shikisakura(four-season cherries) which blooms twice a year-once in Spring and again in Autumn season. Obara Shikisakura festival is conducted in the month of November when special programs are conducted at Obara Fureai park and Senmi Shikisakura no Sato, which are the Cherry blossom cum Autumn foliage viewing spots of Obara region. Among more than ten thousand Shikisakura trees in the Obara region, 100 years aged Maehora Shikizakura is preserved as a national monument.

Senmi Shikisakura no Sato(川見四季桜の里)

One of the main spots of the Shikisakura festival is Senmi Shikisakura no Sato(川見四季桜の里) which is a steep mountain filled with cherry blossoms. We can see colourful autumn maples peeping out in between the pinkish white atmosphere created by the cherry blossoms. There is a local temple named ‘Senmi no Yakushisan’ situated on the top of this mountain. Some hundred steps up to the mountain lead to this temple dedicated to the God of drugs, Yakushi. But anyway for cherry blossom viewing we have to walk the steep trails running along the valley in between the cherry trees, maples, and other trees. This site offers a very nice view of Shikisakura and autumn colours.

Yakushiji temple

Obara Fureai Koen

Obara Fureai Park(小原ふれあい公園) is a small park with a lot of autumn trees and Cherry trees which together creates a totally different autumnal atmosphere. Appart from the usual autumn spots filled with colours like orange, red and yellow, the park offers some bets sceneries created by the combination of light pink cherry blossoms and the red-tinted autumn trees. There will be stage performances and food stalls being conducted here during the festive time.

Washi no Furusato

Washi no Furusato(和紙のふるさと)is another tourist spot in Obara which is a museum of Japanese traditional washi paper. With an entry fee of 200 yen, this small museum can be explored. Washi paper arts ad strenuous washi papermaking process can be viewed in this museum. Workshops in the museum offer visitors a chance to try Washi paper handicrafts(separate fee is charged), while the souvenir shop has so many Washi paper-made gift items for sale.

Autumn(November) is the best time to visit Obara region, as both the Sakura and autumn foliage put hands together to make this place a unique site in entire Japan. The tourist spots of Obara are listed in this map.