A Japan Dreamscapes (JDS) and Blain Harasymiw Photography Cherry Blossom Tour means you don't have to chase all across the nation of Japan to find that perfect cherry blossom and go home empty-handed. JDS photography tours and Blain Harasymiw photography workshops and tours have joined forces, and they have been chasing the cherry blossoms across Japan for over 20 years, and know from trial and error the best timing and spots nationwide. During some of the Tohoku adventures in search of sakura, our photo workshop leaders like to stop in Funaoka Castle Park.
The park became famous after a drama was based on its location back in Showa Year 45 (1970), and once the visitors witnessed the glorious cherry blossoms, the popularity remained, and the park sees over thousands of visitors each year almost precisely at this time to partake in hanami, or Cherry Blossom Viewing.
Once you step out of our SUV vans, you will see the slight grade of the hill spanning more than 300 meters with sakura trees distributed throughout the entire range of that area. The view also includes the Funaoka Kannon statue, an enlightened female or Bodhisattva which stands at a towering 24 meters high. From the base of the statue, you can see part of the Zao mountain range, the Pacific Ocean, and nearby Shibata Town. You can mix in amazing photo ops that include panoramic photos of cherry blossoms and spectacular sights in the background as well.
If you would prefer instead of walking to riding while taking pictures, there is an automated monorail that navigates through the park and under the canopy of sparkling cherry blossoms.
During the evenings at peak bloom, the park illuminates the cherry blossoms until well into the evening so we will enjoy photographing the cherry blossoms in an entirely different light.