There’s no need to book a flight to Japan to get a glimpse of the Sakura flower. Around 40 Japanese Sakura trees were planted in Paoay, Atok, Benguet last 2016. You can visit the Sindaya and Yakiwari Sakura varieties at the Benguet-Kochi Sisterhood Park.
The Yakiwari Sakura variety bears pink blossoms while the Sindaya Sakura produces white flowers.
The Yakiwari Sakura trees started blossoming when we went to visit the place. The trees are still young and expected to mature in one to three years.
Sakura Flowers in Atok, Benguet
We arrived at the park at around eight in the morning with the sun shining bright but it was still cold. The relatively low temperature of the town made it the perfect place to plant the Sakura trees.
The area is surrounded by vegetable farms, and the view is quite stunning. I can imagine how the park would look like in the future, with all the Sakura trees in full bloom. It would be a great place to go for a picnic.
Cows and goats grazed around the place. On one side, some trees looked similar to the ones found in Mt. Pulag. The park has a simple comfort room and a few Nipa huts to sit in. There’s also a bed and breakfast ongoing construction to prepare for future tourists.
From Baguio City
- Ride a bus or van that passes by the municipality of Atok in Halsema Highway such as trips going to Sagada, Bontoc, Mankayan, and Abatan. You can find these in the Dangwa terminal located behind Center Mall, Magsaysay Avenue.
- Ask the driver to drop you off at Marosan’s Restaurant in Atok. The fare is around 100 pesos and travel time from Baguio is 1.5 to 2 hours.
- Once you’ve arrived, register at the Paoay Barangay Hall located a few steps behind the restaurant.
Upon registration, you can choose to avail of a car (usually an FX) to go to the park or hike. Renting a vehicle will cost you around 400 pesos which is good for five persons. Do note that the price may change without prior notice.
On the other hand, if you chose to hike, you’ll need to hire a tour guide. It will take you around 30 minutes to reach the park by foot.
If you have a car with you, no worries, the park has it’s own parking space.
Note: At the Brgy. Hall and Sakura Park, you will be asked for a donation as there is no entrance or registration fee that’s collected.
For more information, you can contact the tourist information center at 09465147799 and 09301892757.
Aside from the Sakura trees, you can also add in your itinerary the following points: Timbak, Grotto and the Northern Blossom Flower Farm where you can see the cabbage roses. This tour is priced at P1500 which includes the tour guide fee and transportation. This is good for around 5 persons.
For campers, yes you can camp in the park.