The 2016 Chinese Peony and Tree Peony Festival will be held at the Otaru Kihinkan (The Old Aoyama Villa). Designated as a Registered Tangible Cultural Property by the City of Otaru, it was built by the Aoyama family who were one of three herring fishing tycoons during the Taisho era. The total construction fee for this luxurious villa equivalent in today's money is 3 billion yen (roughly 27 million US dollars). Approximately 700 Peony buds bloom throughout the garden in this extravagant villa, making for a stunning sight.
June 11 (Sat.) 11:30～, 13:30～
Taiko "Kokyo" (Japanese drums)
June 11 (Sat.) & 25 (Sat.) 11:00 ～ 15:00
Senchado "Goyokai" Teichaseki (Japanese Tea Ceremony)
Complimentary at the Old Aoyama Villa
Free Parking (30 spaces)
Access by city bus from the Otaru Bus Terminal (in front of Otaru train station)
Gate 3 - #10 bus for the Otaru Aquarium
Get off at the "Otaru Kihinkan" bus stop
first bus at 9:50, then every hour after at :50 (10:50, 11:50, 12:50, etc.)
Gate 3 - #11 for the Otaru Aquarium
Get off at the "Shukutsu 3 Chome" stop, about a 5 minute walk to the Kihinkan
first bus at 8:40, then every hour after at :10 and :40 (9:10, 9:40, 10:10, 10:40,etc.)
Unfortunately, most of the petals have fallen off from the above places, but the cherry tree at Tengu Mountain has just started to bloom. Because of its location, it is the last cherry tree to bloom in Otaru. This Ezo Mountain Cherry tree called Tengu Sakura by locals is adored by many, as when the blossoms are in full bloom, they form the shape of a heart.
There even was a pile of snow still left!
When lit up at night, the enchanting sight of the Tengu Sakura is simply breathtaking!! (photo taken last year courtesy of Chuo Bus)
The view from the observatory is spectacular whether it's daytime or nighttime so be sure to include this in your trip!