SAITAMA, April. 5 ― Cherry blossoms on the banks of an agricultural canal in Minuma, Saitama Prefecture, are now in full bloom. They bloom brilliantly around the region called Minuma Tambo in which there are many fields for agricultural use.
Minuma Tambo was created in the middle of the Edo era by draining wetlands of about 1,260 hectares. Its surrounding areas have been urbanized, but you can still enjoy the view of vast rice fields and green areas, and the rice fields are surrounded by the canal and 1984 cherry trees, mostly someiyoshino, planted on the banks.
The area already had a long row of the cherry trees in the Taisho era. Then, the city of Minuma, an agricultural cooperative in Saitama Prefecture (JA Saitama), and the locals started to plant more cherry trees, 171 in total, five years ago in 2013 to extend the length of the row from 18 kilometers to 20 kilometers and made Minuma home to the longest cherry blossom corridor in Japan.
According to an operator of a nursery garden near the cherry trees, Shigeo Koizumi, 70, the trees were about the size of his arm in diameter 20 years ago. “But they are big trees now. Whenever I come to the nursery, I see more flowers blooming. To me, it’s an exciting annual event in spring,” he said.