2 to 3 hours
You’ve never experienced cherry blossoms like this!
Forget lugging about a blue-sheet and heavy bags of food and drink, or fighting the locals for the best picnic spot…
Enjoy your own private ‘Hanami’ (flower viewing) picnic in the serene grounds of 1200 year old Shiogama Shrine. Tables and chairs will be set-up for you underneath the hundreds of pink cherry blossoms, along with an ‘obento’ lunchbox of beautifully presented bite-size tastes of local cuisine, designed exclusively for this event. As you sit back with a glass of local sake or beer, switch-off and relax to the sound of a private Shamisen performance from a local musician. With no need to worry about cleaning-up, explore the shrine grounds and surrounding town before ambling back to the station, local souvenir in hand.
This is how to ‘Hanami’ like a pro!
More about Shiogama Shrine:
At 1200 years old, Shiogama Shrine is not only one of the oldest shrines in Japan it is also one of the most spiritually important. Of the 300 cherry blossom trees growing in the grounds of the Shrine are around 30 ‘Shiogamazakura’, a rare double-flowering variety designated as a national monument. As such, the grounds are a popular place for ‘Hanami’ in spring. The view of the soft-pink cherry blossom against the colourful shrine buildings is well worth the climb up the 200 steps to the main entrance of the shrine!
Arrive at Shiogama Shrine and be guided to your ‘Hanami’ party (we have already picked the best spot!).
Get ready to enjoy a Japanese style course-lunch served to you by a private chef. After some creative appetisers, open your cherry-wood lunchbox to find a selection of colourful spring-inspired mouthfuls of local seasonal cuisine.
Enjoy a selection of drinks including locally brewed craft beer and local sake from Shiogama.
Be treated to a live Shamisen performance by acclaimed local musician Oushin Odashima, recognized as best in Japan at the national Tsugaru Shamisen championship among many achievements. Relax to the sound of local folk songs and maybe some pieces you’ve heard before…!
For the finishing touch, experience making your own matcha green tea and enjoy alongside a traditional Japanese sweet.
Return to Hon-Shiogama Station. Take home some local goodies as a souvenir of your perfect ‘Hanami’ experience in foodie town, Shiogama!