21 Mar 2018 in Have Fun
For an original take on sakura viewing, discover the tree with thousands of pink papier-mâché cows!
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!
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.
Or local spring sake, brewed using pure snow-melt water from Mt Bandai.
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!