This year, cherry blossoms are expected to bloom in early-mid April. Here are some of the best places to view them:
The central park of Ichinoseki (10min walk from Ichinoseki Station) and the main viewing spot for cherry blossoms. From mid April to the beginning of May, about 400 cherry blossoms bloom to cover the mountain. During the peak, the cherry blossoms are lit up at night from 6:30pm.
2) Ichinoseki Yusuichi Kinen Ryokuchi Park 一関遊水地記念緑地公園
There are around 1000 cherry blossoms in this park and 100 different types, meaning that the best time to see them will differ. This is the most popular spot to do 'hanami (picnic party and flower viewing)' in Ichinoseki. The park is adjacent to the Ichinoseki General Gymnasium and has picnic benches and play equipment.
3) Genbikei 厳美渓
The blooms around Genbikei look beautiful in contrast with the water. If you have a walk around, you can also spot daffodils decorating the path along the gorge. Yoshino and Edohigan cherry trees are the most common blooms here. It is said that the Edohigan trees were planted in the middle of the 17th century by the order of feudal lord Date Masamune, who was in charge of the area. They are known as Teizanzakura, deriving from Masamune’s pen name ‘Teizan’. Teizanzakura are natural monuments declared by Ichinoseki and are located in the precincts of the Onsen Shrine on the north side of the valley and on the left bank of the Iwai River.
4) Tategamori Ark Farm 館ケ森 アーク牧場
A charming farm all year round with various flowers blooming in garden expanses - Although cherry blossoms may not be the main attraction, there are plenty of vivid spring flowers located in different parts of the farm:
Kagayaki-no-oka, Tenbodai (輝きの丘展望台）: rapeseed flowers, cherry blossoms Niji-no-oka no Garden (虹の丘のガーデン）: tulips, daffodils Yumemigaoka Garden （夢見ヶ丘) : tulips
Make sure to also check out their food products which are additive free. For more information (including prices and hours), check out their English website!
Lastly, I'd like to mention this special tree which can be found in front of Ichinoseki City Hall. This tree is a descendant of the famous Miharu Takizakura and was planted in 1987 in commemoration of Ichinoseki's sister city relationship with Miharu, Fukushima Prefecture.