Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Senbonzakura on the Odakyu-Enoshima Line

EMU Odakyu 8000+1000 series, Rapid Express train passes through Koza-Shibuya Station

With so many hanami (cherry blossom viewing) spots available, it's hard to select which one is the best. After wavering, I headed to the southwest over the last weekend, taking the Odakyu-Enoshima Line.

My destination was Senbonzakura in Yamato City, located in the central part of Kanagawa Prefecture. It is not an area for sightseeing and/or tourist attractions but it is a quiet hanami spot in a residential quarter.

Senbonzakura means "thousand cherry trees". As its name suggests, thousands of cherry trees are seen along Hikiji River, which flows through a residential area (see the following picture). Cherry trees have been planted by local people, who have given them enough care for a long time.

Today, Senbonzakura has become a famous hanami spot. Since it is located in a residential area, I saw many families who were enjoying hanami under the full blooming Sakura. They brought lunch boxes, BBQ sets, beer and sake (Japanese rice wine). I heard the chatter and singing of happy people.

To get to this beautiful spot, take the Odakyu-Enoshima Line and get off at Koza-Shibuya Station (see the top photo). The name Shibuya is the same as the busy downtown but this Shibuya is a quiet suburban area. It takes about one hour from Shinjuku terminal on the Odakyu Odawara Line. Since the direct operating trains from the Odawara to the Enoshima lines are not frequent, you might transfer from the Odawara to the Enoshima Line train at Sagami-Ohno, the interchange station.

Senbonzakura along Hikiji River near Koza-Shibuya Station on the Odakyu-Enoshima Line