Sakura viewing with a difference

21 Mar 2018 in Have Fun

For an original take on sakura viewing, discover the tree with thousands of pink papier-mâché cows!

sakura-tree

If you’re staying at Hoshino Resorts Bandaisan Onsen Hotel during cherry blossom season, you’re in for a treat. Not just because the Aizu region is famed for its cherry trees; but also because the resort has created an alternative cherry tree in its lounge – where the sakura takes on the form of 2,000 pink papier-mâché cows!The cows are not just an amusing kawaii construction; they‘re a local tradition dating back 400 years. Known as akabeko, they’re a symbol of the region and a favourtie toy of children all over Japan.

While the cows are usually red in colour, Hoshino Resorts Bandaisan Onsen Hotel has made a whole tree-full of pink akabeko especially for sakura season!

pink-akabeko

The tree is lit up at night – with chairs strategically positioned for the best hanami (flower-viewing) experience. And as you admire the hanging akabeko, you can enjoy special hanami treats. Like pink akabeko ice cream, made with local milk and fresh strawberries.

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Or local spring sake, brewed using pure snow-melt water from Mt Bandai.

japanese-sake-cocktail

Outside the hotel, the real sakura is even more spectacular. Aizu is renowned for its five famous cherry trees, known collectively as Aizu Gozakura – and including the 650-year-old Ishibe Zakura.

And, at Hoshino Resorts Bandaisan Onsen Hotel, you’ll always get to see cherry trees at their prime. During sakura season, the resort runs a free bus that drops off (and picks up) guests at the most impressive cherry blossoms of the day!

sakura-aizu

sakura-sport

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