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Cherry Blossom Report 2010
by japan-guide.com

This is the official japan-guide.com cherry blossom report for 2010. Please visit also our guide to cherry blossoms for more general information about cherry blossoms and this year's forecasts and our schedule of upcoming reports.

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2010/03/26 - Nara Report
by schauwecker

Cherry blossoms in Nara were reported to have opened six days ago on March 20. But due to unusually cool weather in recent days, the blossoms' progress has been rather unspectacular so far, and most trees still have more than half of their blossoms closed.

Heijo Palace
March 26, 2010 - just opened (0-10%)

A cyclist in front of cherry trees and Suzaku Gate on the former Heijo Palace grounds

I started my report of Nara at the former Heijo Palace grounds, where the main festivities for the 1300th anniversary of Nara Capital will commence in roughly a month on April 24. The works on the event venues were still ongoing, and generally, beautification efforts ahead of the big anniversary were in progress all over the city.

Construction works around the newly reconstructed Imperial Audience Hall are still ongoing

The Heijo Palace grounds are not known as a major cherry blossom spot, but among the spacious lawns, fields, archaeological sites and historic reconstructions, the visitor can find a fair number of cherry trees, including a cherry tree lined creek that stretches over several hundred meters.

Cherry tree lined creek on the former Heijo Palace grounds

Perhaps due to the lack of shelter on the open fields, the cherry blossoms around the former Heijo Palace grounds have only just started to open. Today's unusually cold weather did not help speed up their progress, but with warmer weather in the forecasts, the trees should head towards full bloom next week.

Kyoto's cherry blossom season is about to start

Nara Park
March 26, 2010 - opening (10-50%)

Next I proceeded to Nara Park, the city's most famous hanami spot, where roughly 1700 cherry trees slightly outnumber the estimated 1200 deer residing in the park.

Opening cherry trees in Nara Park

The trees generally had between 10 and 30 percent of their blossoms opened, although in some sheltered areas they have already passed the 50 percent mark.

Blossoms on these branches just started to open
Sheltered trees near Kofukuji Temple are already approaching full bloom
Trees in a forested area of Nara Park and fallen petals of an early flowering cherry tree variety

The highlight of the day were the cherry blossoms in Himuro Shrine opposite the Nara National Museum. Already in full bloom, the trees in the small shrine made for a spectacular sight, especially the large weeping cherry tree next to the entrance gate. Under normal circumstances, most of the other trees in Nara Park should be approaching full bloom by the middle or the second half of next week.

Himuro Shrine
Himuro Shrine's weeping cherry tree

Wakakusayama
March 26, 2010 - opening (10-50%)

Wakakusayama is the grass covered hill behind Nara Park that gets lit on fire every January in the spectacular Yamayaki ("mountain burning") festival. During spring and autumn, tourists are allowed to climb the hill (for 150 yen) and enjoy panoramic views of the city below.

Cherry tree lined hiking trail up Wakakusayama

Some cherry trees are planted along the hiking trail at the edge of Wakakusayama's main slope, allowing for some nice photo opportunities of cherry blossoms with the entire city in the background. The trees along the mountain's slope have only just passed the ten percent mark.

Cherry tree branches and the 5-storied pagoda of Kofukuji Temple
Close up of blossoms at Wakakusayama

Isuien Garden
March 26, 2010 - opening (10-50%)

Their number is not large, but the cherry trees around Isuien, a traditional Japanese landscape garden not far from Todaiji Temple, add an attractive touch of spring to the garden.

Isuien Garden

The Somei Yoshino trees in the garden had between 10 and 30 percent of their blossoms open, while an early flowering cherry tree of a different variety already started to drop some of its petals. Yet another tree, a promising looking weeping cherry tree, still had all its blossoms closed and stood shortly before kaika, the opening of the first blossoms.

Isuien Garden

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List of Posts:
2010/05/14 - Hakodate Report
2010/05/13 - Matsumae Report
2010/05/06 - Kakunodate Report
2010/05/05 - Hirosaki Report

2010/04/25 - Takizakura Report
2010/04/14 - Fujigoko Report
2010/04/10 - Kyoto Report
2010/04/09 - Kanazawa Report
2010/04/08 - Tokyo Report
2010/04/08 - Osaka Report
2010/04/07 - Kyoto Report
2010/04/07 - Kamakura Report
2010/04/06 - Yoshino Report
2010/04/06 - Inuyama Report
2010/04/05 - Tokyo Report
2010/04/05 - Hikone Report
2010/04/04 - Kyoto Report
2010/04/04 - Himeji Report
2010/04/03 - Nara Report
2010/04/03 - Miyajima Report
2010/04/02 - Kyoto Report
2010/04/02 - Hiroshima Report
2010/04/01 - Tokyo Report

2010/03/30 - Nagoya Report
2010/03/30 - Kyoto Report
2010/03/30 - Tokyo Report
2010/03/29 - Osaka Report
2010/03/27 - Kyoto Report
2010/03/26 - Tokyo Report
2010/03/26 - Nara Report
2010/03/26 - Himeji Report
2010/03/26 - Nagoya Report
2010/03/25 - Nagasaki Report
2010/03/23 - Tokyo Report
2010/03/23 - Kyoto Report
2010/03/22 - Kumamoto Report
2010/03/21 - Fukuoka Report