For a fleeting moment in the spring, sakura trees spread pink blossoms. Japanese people have treasured and protected these trees since ancient times. Even now, you can unexpectedly encounter a large sakura tree on a street corner. Blooming quietly in the Kasuga area of Rifu, the Weeping Sakura of Kasuga belongs to a species of weeping sakura (specifically, benishidarezakura ). It is estimated to be over 200 years old. Although the tree is located in private yards, when the blossoms are in bloom, it stretches out to cover the heads of those who pass them on the street. People pause their comings and goings to admire these blossoms as part of a uniquely Japanese scene. In addition, for one night a year in mid-April, the sakura blossoms are illuminated.
ADDRESS Kasuga area, Rifu, Miyagi District
PHONE （NPO Rifu Tourism Association）022-356-3678
PERIOD Mid to late April
Using local guides, we provide many tours that let you discover and experience
the wonders of Japan lying hidden in the “everyday” of the nearby area.
Rifu is a town with a long history of nashi pear cultivation, and it boasts a flourishing industry of oyster, nori, and wakame seaweed farming in its two fishing ports. Blessed by its natural environment, the town is home to a variety of parks that can be enjoyed in all seasons and many famous cherry blossom spots, which crowds of tourists come to visit in the spring. Rifu also has a sports park that hosts international soccer matches and many famous artists from Japan and overseas. All kinds of events are held there throughout the year.
Seeing the scenery of Matsushima Bay is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Enjoy the view from the sea!
Harbour House Kaname／Tamotsu Sakurai
During the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the Miyagi Prefectural Sports Park’s Miyagi Stadium, which is located in Rifu, will host group stage matches and quarterfinals of the men’s and women’s soccer tournaments. Meanwhile, famous musicians often hold large concerts at the adjacent Sekisui Heim Super Arena, and many people visit from outside the town. In the fishing experiences for tourists that I run, you can experience the scenery of Matsushima Bay as Lord Date Masamune and Matsuo Basho would have seen it long ago. The fact that you can experience the bay’s atmosphere even if you are unlucky with the weather is an advantage that is unique to the tranquil Matsushima Bay. Knowing how to look at each rock and pine tree lets you experience the landscape quite differently. Experiencing an atmosphere that you can taste only in the rain and fog is a particular pleasure. Come and visit Rifu to see it!
Nashi pear cultivation in Rifu began with the planting of 150 trees in 1884. In September and October, more than 70 roadside stands spring up, and tourist farms allow visitors to taste freshly picked nashi pears. Pear wine, pear sweets, and many other products are available. Together with marine products—such as oysters, nori, and wakame seaweed—those nashi pear products are the souvenirs that represent Rifu.
Uma no Se
Weeping Sakura of Kasuga
Couple Sakura of Fujita
In spring, the town is adorned with cherry blossoms from trees that are over 200 years old. The weeping cherry tree, which is illuminated for one day only, and the “couple” cherry trees that are over 15 m tall, are truly spectacular. The Horse’s Back rock formation, which sticks out as if it is a natural jetty into Matsushima Bay, is another wonderful scenic spot. This little-known spot lets you look upon Matsushima Bay’s many distinctive islands.
1849 - 1925
A farmer from Rifu, Hino Tokichi was the first person to grow nashi pears in Rifu and built the foundations for its status as a center of nashi pear cultivation. The last of the nashi pear trees that he planted in 1884 still survives today.
From Sendai Station
【TRAIN】 From Sendai Station approx. 15 minutes to Rifu Station on the JR Tohoku Honsen Rifu Branch Line
From Sendai City
【RENTAL CAR】 From Sendai City approx. 30 minutes by rental car