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Come enjoy a uniquely Japanese spring tradition with a traditional boat tour down the Shingashi River, under a canopy of blooming cherry blossoms.

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A unique way to see Japan’s Cherry Blossom celebrations. Every year, the Cherry Blossom celebrations of Japan take an extra extraordinary turn with the Koedo Kawagoe Spring Boat Tour in April. Beginning at the banks of the Shingashi River in Kawagoe City, Saitama Prefecture, the tour provides visitors with a picturesque view of the Cherry Blossoms that adorn its shoreline.

As passengers drift downriver, it is almost as though time has frozen, granting them a crystal clear snapshot of the skies above and nature’s beauty below. So whether you take on this experience alone or with friends and family, keep your eyes open to marvel at the season’s Cherry Blossoms’ transient beauty.

Gliding along the Koedo Kawagoe Spring Boat Tour in Japan, an unforgettable experience awaits. Underneath a canopy of delicate and romantic cherry blossoms, passengers bask in the breathtaking scenery while gently guided downstream. Five hundred meters of cherry blossom trees line the banks along what locals call ‘Little Edo’, creating a stunning sakura sight that beckons visitors from far and wide!

Koedo Kawagoe Spring Boat Tour, Image by Koedo Kawagoe Tourist Association

Koedo Kawagoe Spring Boat Tour, Image by Koedo Kawagoe Tourist Association

The petals surrounding the boat provide a stunning view as they gracefully and elegantly dance along the river’s surface. You won’t be able to help but sit mesmerized as you take in this awe-inspiring sight that will remain etched on your mind for days to come.

The cherry blossoms of Kawagoe

Sakura blossom season in Kawagoe is an eagerly anticipated event, drawing thrill-seekers and awe-seekers alike. Along the Shingashi River behind Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine, these delicate pink flowers set the scene for a blossoming culture of festivities.

Koedo Kawagoe Spring Boat Tour, Image by Koedo Kawagoe Tourist Association

Koedo Kawagoe Spring Boat Tour, Image by Koedo Kawagoe Tourist Association

The Sakura season presents a perfect opportunity to relax, bask in the beauty of nature, and, most importantly, experience all Kawagoe has to offer during this short window of time throughout March and April. With Sakura light-ups arranged at night, Sakura boat rides serving as a fun romantic escape, plus the Sakura Festival with its bewildering array of attractions and activities – you cannot pass up this outstanding Sakura experience.

Apart from the Shingashi River, the area of Kitain has many outstanding sakura blossom festivals. Stunning cherry blossoms can be found on its outskirts at Isanuma as well. In particular, the Sakura within Kawagoe Park takes home the prize for the most vibrant and impressive range of Sakura varieties. Their precious late-blooming double Sakura – Yaezakura – are breathtaking and renowned for its magnificence and beauty. As a result, visitors flock to this park each year to participate in the lively cherry blossom festival – an event never to miss if Sakura blooms hold a special place in your heart.

Exploring the city of Kawagoe, Japan

Kawagoe is a picturesque time capsule, sparkling with life and the enchantment of an era long past. Kawagoe’s streets are lined with iconic kurazukuri buildings, their red-papered walls brilliantly painted in traditional hues of ocher and grey.

Dating back to the Edo Period (1603-1867), Kawagoe’s most prominent area is Kawagoe Ichibangai Street, where visitors can wander through a wide array of traditional souvenir shops, restaurants and museums nestled amongst rustic warehouses. An antidote to our modern era, Kawagoe’s cobbled stones beckon all those longing for an adventure back in time.

Visiting the Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine

Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine, established during the Kofun period and estimated to be 1,500 years old, is a historically significant site in Kawagoe City of Saitama Prefecture in Japan. People from all over visit Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine for its miraculous benefits for marriage, family harmony, and love luck.

The shrine attracts traditional travellers and couples who believe it has something to do with finding eternal love. Others come looking for answers and peace; Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine offers an atmosphere of beauty and history along with a sense of divinity.

Koedo Kawagoe Spring Boat Tour

Every April, Koedo Kawagoe Spring Boat Tour takes visitors on an unforgettable journey along the picturesque Shingashi River behind the majestic Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine in Miyashitamachi 2 Chome, Kawagoe-shi, Saitama Prefecture, Japan.

Koedo Kawagoe Spring Boat Tour, image by sunuq on Flickr

Koedo Kawagoe Spring Boat Tour, image by sunuq on Flickr

Getting there is easy – take the Tobu Bus (Kawagoe 06) from either the east exit of Kawagoe station on the Tobu Tojo line or from Hon-Kawagoe station on the Seibu Shinjuku line and disembark at Miyashitamachi bus station.

The boat tour tickets come at around 500 yen per person – a small price for such a beautiful experience. From breathtaking river views to admiring religious architecture steeped in Japanese tradition, Koedo Kawagoe Spring Boat Tour promises an experience of a lifetime. ◼

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© This article was first published online in Jan 2023 – World Travel Magazine.

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