Hirosaki City in Aomori Prefecture, a beautiful castle town located at the northernmost tip of Honshu main island of Japan, is well known as one of the best cherry blossom viewing spots of the country. Around 2,600 cherry trees of 50 kinds in Hirosaki Park blossom all at once in full glory, one month later than Tokyo. Speaking of cherry blossoms, this old park features Japan's thickest Somei-yoshino cherry planted in 1882, so many weeping cherry trees, cherry blossom tunnel and the so-called "Hana-ikada" meaning flower petals fallen on the water to drift along like small rafts. Hana-ikada is shown in the first picture. This park originally was the enclosure of Hirosaki Castle, which was built by the Tsugaru clan in 1610. After being abandoned in 1871, this castle was opened to the public under the name of Hirosaki Park in 1875. As for these sakura trees here, being originated from the ones brought from Kyoto in 1715, they had been additionally planted thanks to the donation from the locals ever since the castle grounds were renamed Hirosaki Park. The third picture shows the main tower of old Hirosaki Castle. This tower was built in 1810 and is the one and only original existing castle tower in the Tohoku Region. This tower is on the list of important cultural assets. As the original stone base of this tower was in need of full-scale repair work, this tower building was temporarily moved 70 meters without disassembly in 2015. This building, in short, doesn't stand on the original place now.
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