|Framed by the delicate petals of the Sakura at Ondagawa River in Machida|
MACHIDA City is located in the western part of Tokyo, which is about 30 minutes of train ride from Shinjuku, is said to be the “new power center of Tokyo,” via the Odakyu Rapid Express, or close to an hour by the slower Semi-Express train.
|The Machida train station|
It’s just a one bus ride from Narita or Haneda airports to this young city founded in February 1, 1958.
Machida, my host’s city of residence, was the base for my Japan visit for the cherry blossom season.
I liked how small the city’s (about 72 square kilometers in area with the economy geared towards the college crowd.) busiest area is concentrated around the train station, like a smaller version of the metropolitan Tokyo wards.
|Along one of Machida’s dining & entertainment areas|
|One of many “open” bars|
|My favorite stop at the train station.|
|AN addiction- chicken katsu.|
But my host, Henry, knew what I was my purpose in my visit and just like he promised, he took me to a couple of spots in his city to view the sakura.
One Street is one of Machida’s historic walking areas. It’s a long walk under the cherry blossom trees, I was told.
Unfortunately, the sakura bloomed early in this part of the city. There were only a few left on the branches lining the street. Judging by the number of mature trees lining the very long walking path, One Street is indeed a beautiful place to be at this season’s peak.
|More plants are planted along the road|
The second place I was taken to was breathtaking, and heavenly. It was the Ondagawa River.
|Heaven. Blushing cotton candy blooms from 400 sakura trees planted on a 2-kilometer stretch along the banks of the Ondagawa River in Machida City.|
The Ondagawa flows through Machida City. For most of the year, it’s a nice place for a scenic stroll under the shady banks of the river.
|The cherry blossom season lures in loclas & tourists to the Ondagawa River in Machida City|
This was my first encounter with sakura at the peak of its bloom.
|One off the bucket list-walk under the clouds of cherry blossoms|
Seeing the volume of the crowd, Ondagawa River is a popular destination among the tourists during the sakura season.
It’s the perfect place for a hanami, but the area has a limited space where tourists can spread picnic mats. However, we had to call ours a “strolling hanami”, and this was already enough for me.
|A “walking hanami” can be as fulfilling as a hanami done on the mats|