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Release | Fumie Sato

Abashiri Prison Museum in cherry blossom season is definitely photogenic!

網走市の桜「博物館網走監獄」鏡橋The picture is provided by Abashiri Prison Museum. 

Cherry blossom front moves northward from the end of March.
When sakura flowers bloom at different places in Hokkaido, the renowned tourist spot and the only prison museum in Japan “Abashiri Prison Museum” offers great photogenic views of cherry blossoms.


How “Abashiri Prison Museum” became a cherry blossom sight

Planting sakura trees begun since 1983, the year when “Abashiri Prison Museum” opened. 
The deceased first manager Hisashi Sato wanted to make the museum a cherry blossom sight. 

網走市の桜「博物館網走監獄」全体▲Approximately 200 trees decorate the museum now. (The picture is provided by Abashiri Prison Museum) 

At first, the museum staffs were involved in planting trees but trees often died. So the deceased second manager Ise Nakagawa invited gardening specialists. Then the number of cherry blossom trees in Abashiri Prison Museum increased gradually. 

網走市の桜「博物館網走監獄」中央見張所▲It has become one of the best cherry blossom sights in the region. (The photo is provided by Abashiri Prison Museum) 

They mainly plant Ezo Yama-zakura. Some trees are donated by citizens, and some trees grew from nursery trees donated by “Abashiri Sakura Preservation Committee”. 
After about 20 years from the start of planting, Abashiri Prison Museum became to be known as the famous cherry blossom sights, and people now can enjoy excellent views of cherry blossom flowers. 


Abashiri Prison Museum is surrounded by pink colors

“Abashiri Prison Museum” is one of the best tourist spots in Okhotsk area so some of you might have been there already. 
The cherry blossom season is recommended to those who have already been there and those who want to visit there in future.

網走市の桜「博物館網走監獄」上空からの舎房と中央見張所▲The picture is provided by Abashiri Prison Museum

Abashiri Prison Museum is an outdoor history museum. So you can go around the museum as you feel nature of Okhotsk. 
In the cherry blossom season, you can see the historical buildings as you walk along the pink colored promenades. 


Let’s take instagrammable pictures at pink-colored “Abashiri Prison Museum”!

When you see beautiful views and picturesque sceneries, you want to take pictures, right? 
Abashiri Prison Museum has many photo spots, and it becomes much better in cherry blossom seasons.

網走市の桜「博物館網走監獄」入口▲Ezo Yama-zakura has bright pink color. 

People in Okhotsk call the blue color of sky, ocean, and drift ice as “Okhotsk Blue”.
Don’t you think the contrast of “Okhotsk Blue” sky and pink cherry blossom flowers are the one scene you want to take home as a photo? 

網走市の桜「博物館網走監獄」鏡橋▲“Kagami Bridge” near the entrance of the museum. 

“Kagami Bridge” exists in the current Abashiri Prison. In this museum, it replicates the bridge which finished in 1917. 
The bridge is like an icon to separate the daily lives and lives in prison.
The bridge usually looks more depressing, but it seems rather beautiful in cherry blossom seasons. 

網走市の桜「博物館網走監獄」池の周り▲Cherry blossom trees around the pond. 

網走市の桜「博物館網走監獄」池と鏡橋▲The pond reflects bridge and cherry blossoms. 

You can take beautiful pictures with “Okhotsk Blue” sky, bright pink sakura flowers, and “Kagami Bridge”. 

網走市の桜「博物館網走監獄」庁舎▲The office building (The picture is provided by Abashiri Prison Museum)

When you pass the main gate built with red bricks, you will see the office building in front, which is an important cultural property. 

The building has some nostalgic taste from the mixture of Japanese and Western design which mimics Western buildings.

By adding cherry blossoms to the building, it feels like as if we have traveled back to the spring of Meiji Period. 


Cherry blossoms usually bloom around the end of holidays in May in Abashiri region, but it is always hard to predict the exact dates.
Check out the Facebook page of Abashiri Prison Museum! They post flower information as the date gets closer to the cherry blossom season. 

Enjoy the different atmosphere of Abashiri Prison Museum in spring. 


​Bonus: “Futami Sakura Namiki” in the property of Abashiri Prison 

Abashiri Prison Museum is involved in the preservation project of “Abashiri Prison Futamigaoka Farm’s Sakura Namiki” as known as “Futami Sakura Namiki” (Namiki is tree lines).

The tree line is located in the property of Abashiri Prison, but people are usually not allowed to enter the area. 

網走市「網走刑務所」二見桜並木1▲The tree line is known as dream cherry blossom tree lines, and they offer the trees to the public only once in a year. (The picture is provided by Abashiri Prison Museum) 

As they need to care about many things because the trees are located in the property of the prison, and  they have to make enough spaces to park visitors’ cars, some years they don’t open to the public. 

網走市「網走刑務所」二見桜並木2▲Follow the manners and enjoy the trees when it’s open to the public. (The picture is provided by Abashiri Prison Museum)

The place does not always open as the flowers bloom like other facilities, so check website and Facebook of Abashiri Prison Museum if you are interested in visiting the place. 


Related Links

- Abashiri Prison Museum
- Abashiri Prison Museum Facebook
  • Abashiri Prison Museum in cherry blossom season is definitely photogenic!

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Fumie Sato