Cherry Blossoms Season at Hikone Castle, Genkyuen Garden
When spring comes to Hikone, nearly 1,100 cherry trees burst into bloom around Hikone Castle and Genkyuen Garden area, marking the most beautiful time of year to visit the castle and its grounds. The blossom are generally in full bloom around early April , and at the start of the month the castle grounds are always packed with people coming to enjoy the incredible natural beauty on display.
Hikone Castle and Genkyuen Garden
Hikone Castle, a national treasure in Hikone City, Shiga Prefecture, is famous as one of Japan’s twelve original castle towers. The castle was built by Naotsugu, son of Naomasa Ii, who was triumphant at the Battle of Sekigahara in the Warring States period.
Surrounding the castle site is Genkyuen Garden. This garden of the Japanese feudal lords of Hikone is designated as a national scenic spot. The garden is a Japanese landscape garden with a central pond and a circular walking trail. It was built on the grounds of Hikone Castle in 1677 by the local lord for the entertainment of his guests and his family. It is designed after a palace garden from Tang China.
There are four small islands scattered across the pond, connected by bridges. Hikone Castle’s main keep stands on the hill behind the garden, serving as “borrowed scenery”. A cluster of wooden buildings stand next to the pond. In the past they served the entertainment of the lord’s guests. Today, they can be used by contemporary tourists to enjoy a cup of tea (500 yen).
Next to the garden stands the Rakurakuen Palace, which served as the residence of the lord’s family. The large wooden complex is currently being renovated, which are scheduled to continue until 2025, but they barely have any impact on a visit to Genkyuen Garden.
Address: 1-1 Konkicho, Hikone 522-0061, Shiga Prefecture
Telephone: +81-(0) 749-22-2742
Opening Hours: 08:30 – 17:00
Ease of Access
A 15-minute walk along the straight main road from Hikone Station.
Price/ Entrance Fees
Castle and Genkyu-en: Adults: 800 yen / Children: 200 yen
Genkyu-en Only: Adults 200: yen / Children 100: yen
Castle, Genkyu-en and Hikone Castle Museum: Adults: 1,200 yen / Children: 350 yen
Cherry Blossoms Information (Japanese): https://www.hikoneshi.com/jp/event/articles/c/sakuramatsuri