A gorgeous natural tapestry of peach blossoms painted on the former rice terraces of the “Closest Village to Heaven”.
Kaizumi [川角] in Ohnan is known as the “Closest Village to Heaven”, not only for its elevation, but for the fact that the average age in the tiny community is north of 80. After winding up through the Kandani [神谷] rice terraces, you pop out of a tiny tunnel to find yourself on a mountaintop. Below, hundreds of peach trees, covered with pink and white blossoms, growing on terraces carpeted with bright yellow rapeseed flowers. The planting of the 2000 or so trees began 10 years ago as part of a re-vitalization effort involving local residents and nearby schools. Kaizumi is one special place and well worth the effort to get there.
The low key, but popular, Hanamomo Matsuri festival is held every year in April, timed to hopefully coincide with the blossoms being at full bloom, with food stalls, chindon-ya marching bands. With lots of visitors, the festival is Kaizumi’s liveliest day of the year. The blossoms can, of course, be enjoyed in the days before and after too, and in 2017 there will be people serving bowl of udon noodles in the week before and after the festival due to be held on April 8 and 9.