Susaki City has two sides. It faces Tosa Bay on the Pacific Ocean to the south, and is bordered by mountains to the north. Today we are heading to the mountains to check out a rare type of cherry blossom that blooms in February—even amidst snow! While cherry blossoms are still some weeks away for most areas of Japan, Soudayama is awash with beautiful deep pink flowers
This kind of cherry tree is known locally as yukiwarizakura, which essentially means “cherry blossoms amidst snow”. The name seems fitting when you consider that these hardy trees bloom at a time when most other flowering varieties are still sleeping, waiting for the warmer weather! Around 1000 of these cherry trees bloom on the forested slopes of Soudayama, providing an early sight of spring
While it might still be cold, plenty of people venture out to see these early harbingers of spring. Moreover, the blooming season (around mid-February to mid-March) coincides with that of canola flowers, a cheerful yellow variety that harmonizes beautifully with the pink cherry blossoms!
If you’re planning to see yukiwarizakura, we recommend timing your visit with the annual Yukiwarizakura Candle Night event (however, please note that the event was canceled last year due to the pandemic so make sure to check the official website linked below for updates). It is a magical event where you can see the blossoms illuminated by the soft glow of candlelight. Candles are placed around the bases of the trees to show off the cherry blossoms to their best advantage against the dark backdrop of the forest, and food stalls add to the festive atmosphere
Wrap up warm, bring your camera and enjoy the abundance of natural beauty on Soudayama
It takes around 45 minutes to get to Soudayama from Kochi City by car
Check for yukiwarizakura updates: https://www.mantentosa.com/sightseeing/yukiwarizakura/index.html
Learn more about Kochi’s stunning flowers: https://visitkochijapan.com/en/highlights/Flowers