Obara sakura
Photo: Vichaya Kiatyingangsulee/Dreamstime

This is the only place in Japan to see sakura and autumn leaves at the same time

Witness this unusual phenomenon at the annual Obara Shikizakura Four-Season Cherry Blossom Festival in Aichi prefecture

Kaila Imada
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Kaila Imada
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It’s almost impossible to choose between cherry blossoms and autumn foliage. While Japan’s two most spectacular seasonal attractions have a lot to offer respectively, who says you can’t enjoy them both at the same time? The Obara district in Toyota, Aiichi prefecture is home to the one-of-a-kind ​​Obara Shikizakura Four-Season Cherry Blossom Festival, where pink sakura bloom in autumn, just as the surrounding trees turn red for the season.

Now you may be wondering how it's possible that cherry blossoms can bloom outside of the usual spring flowering season. Well, these cherry trees are of a unique species known as Shikizakura. They bloom twice a year – first in spring and again in autumn.

Over 10,000 of these rare sakura trees grow in the district. They typically flower from early to late November, which coincides perfectly with the autumn leaves season. This year, the festival takes place from November 13 to December 5, and it's free. 

The festival spans the Obara district and the few venues where you can catch the pink blossoms and the red leaves at the same time include the Obara Fureai Park and Senmi Shikizakura-no-Sato. To make the most of your visit, plan a walking excursion through several of the most scenic spots. You can also keep up-to-date with the flowering status of each area on the festival website.

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