A nature park known as a botanical area
Ozekiyama Park which is located in northwest Miyoshi City along the banks of the Gonokawa River is a famous park known for its flora such as the cherry blossoms and azalea in the spring, the green leaves in early summer, the maple trees in autumn, and the snowscapes in winter. In 1632, when territory was given to Nagaharu Asano in his position as the daimyo (feudal lord) of Miyoshi, his residence was established on Mt. Ozeki with an observatory placed at the peak. Currently, a 2-story observation point sits on the remains of that observatory where you can get a panoramic view of the city of Miyoshi. It’s an ideal drive since you can leave Hiroshima City at noon for the park and still return by sunset.
A famous place for cherry blossoms and fall colors
Approximately 1000 cherry trees’ worth of blossoms wrap around the mountain during spring. There are many varieties of cherry and there is a 500m-long sakura tunnel which forms along the river. At the Miyoshi Sakura Festival between late March and mid-April, the blossoms are also lit up at night, and especially on the first day of the festival, many people enjoy the sight of fireworks and the sound of taiko drums. From late October to mid-November, the deep red autumn leaves in the park are wonderful. In the evening, the trees around Seishin Pond are lit up which creates a space for visitors to be calmed by the Japanesque landscape.
Fit Hogen-ji Temple into your tour
Hogen-ji Temple was built by Nagaharu Asano, the very first daimyo of the Asano Clan who had a central role in the Genroku Ako Incident of the Edo Era, commonly known as “Chushingura”. Yoshio Oishi (Kuranosuke Oishi) who appeared in the story on the temple grounds, is famous for having planted the weeping cherry trees there. Gishi-do Hall where the wooden statues of the 47 ronin are enshrined cannot be entered but you can still view their detailed sculpted features due to the glass barrier at the front. The garden at the back of the main hall, Gukyokusen, requires prior reservations to view it.