Kaizu-osaki (海津大崎)

Kaizu-osaki is a shore reef area jutting out into Lake Biwa located in Makino-cho, Takashima City, Shiga Prefecture and it is one of Biwako Hakkei (Eight Views of Lake Biwa).

Summary

Lakeshore in Kosei and Kohoku areas including Makino-cho, Takashima City is famous as a scenic spot and shore reef of Kaizu-osaki glories in top scenery among them. The view of deep green mountain mass with Mt. Higashiyama as a principal peak on the blue, clear and gentle surface of the lake gives quite unique scenery in Lake Biwa where comparatively flat landscape is common and creates mysterious and ferocious atmosphere.

With respect to Lake Biwa, there is Omi Hakkei (Eight Views of Omi) which is said to have been selected by Masaie KONOE in the Muromachi Period in 1500 following Shosho Hakkei (Eight views of the Xiao and the Xiang in China) and they were expressed in Ukiyoe by Hiroshige UTAGAWA and became famous in early-modern times. While Omi Hakkei was selected mainly from Konan (literally, south of lake), Biwako Hakkei, which was selected on the occasion of designation of Lake Biwa and surrounding areas to Lake Biwa Quasi-National Park, were selected mainly from scenery representing vastness and wide variety of Lake Biwa based on the modern sense.

Cherry blossom in Kaizu-osaki

Sakuranamiki (row of cherry trees) of Kaizu-osaki was planted by Kaizu-mura (present Makino-cho Takashima City) to commemorate the completion of Osaki Tunnel in June 1936. Scenery in which pretty pink flowers extend like a belt between blue of Lake Biwa with full of water and green of Higashiyama mountains is a typical seasonal feature to announce the advent of spring in Okubiwako (northern part of Lake Biwa). In the middle of April, every year, approximately 600 Someiyoshino (Prunus yedoensis) cherry trees that extends for approximately four kilometers are covered by full blossoms and beautiful flower tunnel is crowded with many sightseers.

The birth of this sakura-namiki (row of cherry trees) was begun five years before the planting by Kaizu-mura by Seishichi MUNETO (37 years old at that time; living in Momose-mura [present Makino-cho, Takashima City]) who was working for Takashima regional office of Shiga Prefecture at that time as a worker for repairing roads and planted young trees, which he bought at his cost, during intervals of his work. Muneto was engaged in daily work of improvement and repair of prefectural roads which were not paved at that time and carried out his works with two assistants by patrolling every day with a cart loaded with sand and filling sinkholes with sand and flatten mounds by scraping. What shaked off his tiredness from exhausting labor was clear Lake Biwa and Chikubu-jima Islands off the coast which he could see from the road. He wanted to leave something for roads to which he was strongly attached and commenced to plant cherry trees by himself believing that sakura-namiki would make the scenery brilliant.

Three years later, when young trees began to bear flowers, the young men's association of the village began to cooperate with him. Under his instruction, members of the association carried water and soil with carts and plant young trees carefully so that the trees could take root reliably. Thus, the fact that cherry trees which Muneto and young people planted took root became a trigger for creation of the present sakura-namiki. After that, local people and people engaged in tourism fostered this sakura-namiki carefully and, when it was damaged by repeated heavy snowfall and mud and rock slide, they planted to supplement silently and continued to protect the sakura-namiki.

Cherry trees of Kaizu-osaki exceeded the age of kanreki (60 years old) and they lost their strength to some extent, but sakura-namiki which is proud of by inhabitants of Makino district are protected and fostered with care and is being inherited to the following generations. In March 1990, the sakura-namiki was chosen as one of '100 best sakura viewing points in Japan' by Nihon Sakura no Kai Foundation (literally, association for cherry blossoms in Japan) and it arouse attention from various places in Japan.

Places of interest

Azuchijo no chitenjo (literally, blooded ceiling of Azuchi-jo Castle)

Yoshitsune no kakureiwa (literally, rock for hiding for Yoshitsune)

Sakura-namiki

Shore reef

Osaki-dera Temple

Access

25 minutes on foot from Makino Station of JR Kosei Line -- Shuttle bus service is available only during cherry blossom season.
One hour and 35 to 40 minutes from Osaka Station by Shin Kaisoku (new rapid service) (It can be shortened by 20 to 25 minutes by taking Limited Express 'Raicho' and changing train at Omi Imazu Station.)
In the season of cherry blossoms, sightseeing ships are available (from Imazu Port and Nagahama Port)