Last Updated: Apr 9, 2023

The Senbonzakura of Torayama

Spring’s Mecca for Cosplay

Donny Kimball
9 min readApr 9, 2023

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With no ads promoting it or any sign to indicate it’s there, the Senbonzakura of Torayama steps its way towards being a holy place for cosplayers during spring.

Today, I’d like to introduce you all to a cherry blossom spot that most overseas visitors to Japan have never even heard of. Referred to in Japanese as the Senbonzakura of Torayama (lit. “The 1,000 Cherry Blossom Trees of Mt. Tiger”), this hidden locale can be found up in the Chichibu district of Saitama Prefecture. Unlike with the Meguro River, which is again now unbearable, only those in the know are aware of the Senbonzakura of Torayama. What’s more, as you may be able to infer from the subtitle, the vast majority of these informed individuals are cosplayers!

Hold on a second — Besides the pretty, pink backdrop what does a secluded cherry blossom location have to do with cosplay? Well, to tell you the truth, all I know is that the Senbonzakura of Torayama are extremely popular with people who are looking to dress up as their favorite anime or video game characters. How this trend got its start is beyond me; I looked at a website or two on the internet but couldn’t find anything regarding its origin. My guess is that it is just one of those things in Japan that is a thing because it’s a thing?

Anyway, what makes the Senbonzakura of Torayama worth visiting during spring are its amazing cherry blossoms. Home to somewhere around 2,000 trees, this cosplayer-famous hill is entirely blanked in pink during the latter half of March and early April. Should you happen to be visiting Japan during the season for full bloom, I really suggest that you consider this lovely location. While it’s a bit of a challenge to get there, the journey is not something that anyone familiar with Japan’s public transportation system can’t easily manage.

Note that you need not be a cosplayer to enjoy the Senbonzakura of Torayama. When I visited, there were plenty of people on romantic dates with their partners as well as dozens of Japanese family groups too. Should you be interested in seeing a part of Japan that most overseas visitors don’t even know about, definitely consider getting away from the perennially popular spots in the inner cities and checking out the Senbonzakura of Torayama. Trust me when I say that it will live up to anyone’s expectations!

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Donny Kimball

I'm a travel writer and freelance digital marketer who blogs about the sides of Japan that you can't find in the mainstream media. https://donnykimball.com/