Yawata Cherry Blossom Festival
I went to see cherry blossoms (Japanese: sakura) at Sewari-tei in Yawata City, Kyoto. ‘Sewari-tei’ means ‘a separation levee’, and it is located at the confluence of three rivers – Kizu River, Uji River and Katsura River. Sewari-tei is a famous cherry blossom viewing spot. The sign says ‘Welcome to Yawata Cherry Blossom Festival.’ (In 2017, the festival was held from April 1st to 10th.)
There are about 250 cherry trees at the levee. I had a wonderful time walking through the lovely cherry blossom tunnel. Below the levee, people were enjoying themselves on their picnic mats. Everybody looked very happy.
At the festival, you can enjoy a juggling show, a guided cherry blossom tour and boat riding. I think the highlight besides beautiful cherry blossoms is various food vendors. People bought lunch there, while local people brought lunch boxes from home.
Have More Fun
Near the levee, an observation tower was built in March, 2017. It is a new landmark in Sewari-tei area. In the cherry blossom season (in 2017, it was from March 25th to April 10th) you need to pay admission, but it is only 300 yen for an adult.
The tower is about 25 meters high. You can see 1.4 kilometers of cherry blossoms. The left river is Kizu River, and the right one is Uji River. There is Katsura River next to Uji River (it is out of the photo). The three rivers run ahead and meet, and make one big river that is called Yodo River.
Let’s have a walk to Yawata Hashirii-mochi Roho, a Japanese sweets store that is close to Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine. It takes about 10 minutes from Sewari-tei. Hashirii-mochi Roho has more than 100-year history, and is famous for Hashirii-mochi (white rice cake). In this season, you can also try sakuramochi that is wrapped in cherry blossom leaves. Two sweets with matcha green tea were only 600 yen. They were very good!