Matsumae Park 松前公園 | Japan Luxury Travel Agency
Matsumae Park is home to Japan’s northernmost castle and the only castle in Hokkaido, Matsumae Castle. It is also one of the best places to experience cherry blossom season, with its thousands of trees. The park also features a great variety of historic ruins all hinting at Matsumae’s storied past.
Cherry Blossoms Season in Matsumae Park
With around 10,000 trees and 250 different varieties of cherry blossoms, Matsumae Park is an amazing place in spring
In Matsumae park, there is a small Sakura Museum just north of the castle keep with information about the development of the blossoms, and photos and preserved specimens of the types of cherry trees that you can see around the grounds.
Due to the large variety of cherry trees, Matsumae has an uncharacteristically long blooming season that lasts from late April to late May. During this time, Matsumae Castle hosts a cherry blossom festival complete with food stands, festival stalls and the occasional live event held on the grounds. The castle keep is also illuminated in the evenings until about 21:00 between April and November.
Address: Matsushiro, Matsumae, Matsumae District, Hokkaido 049-1511, Japan
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
Cherry Blossom Period: Late April to early May
Ease of Access
Around 95 minutes by bus from Kikonai Station: 95 minutes, 1300 yen one way, one bus every 1-2 hours
Direct buses between Hakodate Station and Matsumae: 3 hours, 2100 yen one way
Built on a hillside vantage point, walking through the grounds of Matsumae Castle which also known as Fukushima Castle, feels like stepping into another world. The scent of salt water and seasonal flowers mingle in the air, giving a commanding view of the entire Matsumae area.
Toward the end of the Edo Period, the castle was outfitted with cannon to counter the threat of foreign ships. As with many Japanese castles, Matsumae Castle’s original keep was destroyed several times over the centuries. The current three story high structure is a modern concrete reconstruction from the early 1960s which houses a local history museum displaying a selection of artifacts of the local Matsumae clan, including some items related to the Ainu.
Opening Hours: 9:00 to 17:00 (entry until 16:30)
Closed: December 11 to April 9
Admission Fee: 360 yen