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update:January 20, 2016

Omura Park

 

Omura Park covers a 22 hectare (0.22㎢) ground in the Kushima district next to Omura City Hall. Yoshiaki Omura, the first feudal lord of Omura-han, built Kushima Castle at this location in 1599. The castle proper no longer stands, but the raised foundation remains and is now the home of Omura Jinja (Shinto shrine). Also still standing from the original construction is the stone castle wall. The slope in the wall shows the sophistication of design for that time period. This slope made it difficult for ninjas to climb. In 1992, the look-out tower was replicated and is open to the public.


Being one of the top 100 historical parks in Japan and a well-known place for cherry blossom viewing, Omura park is visited by people from all over Japan. Omura-zakura (Omura Cherry Tree) is a particular variety of cherry tree and is recognized as the city flower. Two such trees in front of Omura Jinja are national natural monuments. In 2012, the Omura-zakura cherry blossom was immortalized as the town mascot, OmuranChan.

Omura is called the “City of Flowers,” so the park is certainly in accordance. On the park grounds, there are roughly 2,000 cherry trees, 10,000 azaleas, and 300,000 Japanese irises. There is a flower festival held from the later half of March through the middle of June. Food vendors and local crafts sellers set up shop along the pathways. It is a perfect get-a-way for anyone with an interest in natural beauty.