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The 3 Great Cherry Trees Of Japan

“How old would the oldest cherry blossom be in the motherland of cherry blossoms?” - Here are the answers.

Visiting Japan during the sakura (cherry blossom) season is probably on hundreds of people’s bucket lists, including mine. Even for Japanese people, it is something almost everyone appreciates the beauty of it when this time of the year comes around.

During our online virtual tour “Fly from Home to Japan,” we visited 千鳥ヶ淵 Chidorigafuchi by the Imperial Palace to catch a sneak peek of the real cherry blossom viewing in Japan. Chidorigafuchi is known as one of the most popular sakura viewing spots in Tokyo with over 1million people visiting the area to enjoy the national flower at its peak.

In the United States, Washington D.C. is probably the most popular place to watch cherry blossoms. According to History of the Cherry Trees by the National Park Service, these trees were originally gifted by the People of Japan as a gift of friendship to the People of the United States in 1912.

So I wondered, “how old would the oldest cherry blossom be in the motherland of cherry blossoms?” and here are the answers.

The Oldest Cherry Blossom trees in Japan

There are three well known cherry blossom viewing spots, known as 日本三大桜, The 3 Great Cherry Trees of Japan.

1. Miharu Takizakura, Fukushima prefecture


This beautiful grand cherry blossom tree is said to be over 1000 years old and has been recognized as a national monument, as well as one of the best 100 sakura viewing spots in Japan.

Miharu Takizakura is located in Miharu town in Fukushima prefecture, and the name of the town “three springs” was named after the three spring flowers, plum, peach, and cherry blossoms burst into bloom at the same time.

The age is not only the impressive point about this cherry blossom tree but the size of the tree. This one massive tree is 12 meters (39 ft 4 in) tall, and at its widest point between branches is 25 meters (82 ft) across.


The night light show is available at Miharu Takizakura during the peek season. Although leasure travel is not available for most foreigners without a visa, here is the information about night light-up sakura viewing at Miharu Takizakura as of 2022.

Date: 4/9/2022 (SAT) ~ 4/9/2022 (SAT)
Time: 6pm - 9pm

Also, there is a park nearby about 5-7min driving distance with 3,200 cherry blossom trees where you can take a walk and enjoy the beauty of Takizakura from every angle.


How to get there

2. Yamataka Jindai Zakura, Yamanashi prefecture


Yamataka Jindai Zakura is located in the north of Yamanashi prefecture, one of the home prefectures of Mt. Fuji.

Yamataka Jindai Zakura is believed to be the oldest and the biggest cherry blossom tree in Japan. The expected tree age is over 2000 years old(!!) and the size is 10.3m tall (about 33.8 ft) and 11.8m trunk-circumference (38.7 ft) as it already explains the history behind the tree.

In Taisho-era, this tree was registered as the very first natural monument of Japan. It was also recognized as one of the new best 100 trees (新日本名木百選) in 1990.

There are a few legends behind this ancient tree. One says that the semi-legendary prince of the Yamato dynasty, Yamato Takeru no Mikoto, hand planted this tree himself. Another source believes that Nichiren, the founder of the Nichiren school of Buddhism, prayed for the revitalization of this tree and it started to grow full of life ever since.

Every year around April when the tree reaches its peak bloom, a lot of people visit from all over Japan to see and feel the sacredness of Jindai Zakura.

As well as Cherry Blossoms, there are about 8 thousand Trumpet daffodils blossoms around
the same time with the Southern Japanese Alps in the background, making the scenery even more post-card worthy.


How to get there

3. Neodani Usuzumizakura, Gifu prefecture


Representing Gifu prefecture, the last of The 3 Great Cherry Trees of Japan is Neodani Usuzumizakura.

The age of the tree is believed to be over 1500 years, with a height of approx. 16m (about 53 ft) and a trunk circumference of approx. 10m (32.8 ft) and the branches reach over 25m in all directions. The tree is also a registered national monument of Japan.

Usuzimi means light black ink that’s used for calligraphy and the name was derived from the process of the petals changing their color from soft pink to white, then to gray-ish pink. This is one of the rare cherry blossom trees in that progression of multiple colors petals can be observed in one tree.


During the season, almost 8000 people visit to see this beautiful cherry blossom tree daily. The night light-up view is also available.

Besides Neodani Usuzumizakura, Gifu prefecture offers many other tourist attractions such as UNESCO registered World Heritage Site Shirakawa-go, local hot springs, and other local artisans with traditional art crafts such as Mino Washi.


How to get there