Opened in 1900, Shiroyama Park is Nagano City’s oldest park. At just a ten minute walk from the famous Zenkoji Temple, the park also contains a museum, swimming pool, tennis courts, a free zoo and even a science centre, and is a well-known place to come and relax.
When the cherry blossoms come into bloom, Shiroyama Park is also known as the best and closest place to come and see the blossoms from Zenkoji Temple, known especially for its 'hanami chaya' - ‘Cherry-viewing tea houses’, due to its indoor areas in which food and drink can be enjoyed whilst making the most of the beautiful pink blossoms.
The concept of the ‘Cherry-viewing Tea house’ is unique to Nagano. Where other parts of Japan are getting warmer in time for the cherry blossom season, Nagano is still chilly in springtime, and sitting outside in typical ‘hanami’ style is not always an option. People therefore take their picnics and alcoholic drinks into the inside warmth, whilst admiring the blossoms through glass walls and windows.
The park’s Cherry-viewing Teahouse is open this year from the 7th April.
Location: Nagano-shi, Hakoshimizu, 1 Cho-me
Best time to see: from mid-April
Directions: 10 minute walk from Zenkoji Temple