Takamatsu Pond is a favorite spot of mine because of the changes of scenery it provides each season. Located just off of Route 4, it is easily accessible and a wonderful place to visit, especially in the wintertime or during hanami season. The views are beautiful, and the atmosphere is peaceful. On a clear day Mt. Iwate can be seen as the backdrop to the already lovely view. With a circumference of 1.4 kilometers, it also makes for a nice afternoon walk, if you feel so inclined.
In the wintertime Takamatsu is famous for its swans, which migrate from Russia to escape the worst of the cold, and take a respite in Morioka. The pond has the highest volume of swans in Morioka in the winter, although you can also spot them along the Nakatsu River occasionally.
I personally enjoy visiting the pond in winter to watch the swans hobbling around on the ice; out of the water they’re not so graceful. Often you’ll see children and adults alike feeding the swans from the shoreline. And it is also quite common to see ospreys and ducks; occasionally you might even spot a falcon hovering above the pond.
In the spring, the area surrounding the pond explodes with crowds of people eager to catch the cherry blossom trees in full bloom, and many come prepare to have their own little hanami parties. Besides Morioka Castle Park, Takamatsu Pond is one of the best places to enjoy the cherry blossoms (sakura), and has even been voted as one of the 100 best cherry blossom spots in Japan. You can find food vendors and a festival like atmosphere as the revelers slowly finish off their warm sake or cold beer.
But even if you do not plan on having a hanami party, or visiting during the peak cherry blossom season, you can always enjoy a nice stroll around the perimeter of the pond, which features a walking path that meanders along the shoreline. It’ll take about twenty minutes to walk around the whole pond.
In the summertime, you can enjoy the pond from a different perspective by renting an uncovered row boat, or if you’re really brave, go for the covered swan shaped paddle boat that’s also available to rent for just 300 yen.
Easily one of my favorite places in Morioka, I would definitely recommend making a quick stop if nothing else. Or if you have the time, you could also pack a picnic lunch, find a nice grassy place and just sit, relax, and fully enjoy the scenery.
Takamatsu Pond is a 15 minute bus ride from Morioka Station (220 yen). From bus stop 11, take bus 307 heading towards Matsuzono Bus Terminal. Get off at the Takamatsu-no-Ike-guchi (高松の池口).
|Address||1 Chome-26-1 Takamatsu, Morioka-shi, Iwate-ken 020-0114|
|Access||[map]1 Chome-26-1 Takamatsu, Morioka-shi, Iwate-ken 020-0114[/map]|
|Opening Hours||Boat rental available in summer only|
|Price Range||Boat rental: 300 yen～1000 yen|