Asahigaoka Park is one of the most popular places in Saga prefecture for sakura and it is located within the grounds of the former Kashima Castle. Its Otemon and Sekimon gates are classified as Important Cultural Properties of Saga prefecture. Otemon gate is now used as the main entrance to the park, while Sekimon gate is used as the entrance to Saga Prefectural Kashima High School. Asahigaoka Park began earning a reputation as a great spot for viewing sakura when former Kashima Domain lord, Naoyoshi Nabeshima, opened up a part of Kashima Castle to the public and planted seedlings of Yoshino Sakura trees bought from the famous Edo Somei plant nursery. Now it is possible to enjoy such a spectacular view that it is referred to as "5000 trees in once glance". Asahigaoka Park is particularly popular as a spot to view sakura at night and every year from late March to early April a sakura festival is held, with crowds of Hanami merrymakers enjoying themselves into well into the night.
From train station: 3-minute taxi ride or 10-minute walk from Hizen-Kashima Station on the JR Nagasaki Main Line
Car: 25-minute drive from Nagasaki Expressway Takeo-Kitagata IC
Bus: 10-minute walk from Kashima Bus Center (in front of JR Hizen-Kashima Station)
● Open every day
● Parking Lot: Not available (temporary parking space available in Shimin Taiikukan Mae Hiroba square during the cherry blossom festival)
● Contact: Kashima Tourist Association, Tel: +81-954-62-3942