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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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2010/05/06 - Kakunodate Report
by schauwecker

On the second and final day of my cherry blossom report to the northern Tohoku Region, I visited Kakunodate, a small city in Akita Prefecture, known for its beautifully preserved samurai district and its cherry blossoms.

Kakunodate Samurai District
May 6, 2010 - beyond peak

In order to enhance their remote rural town with some flavor from the distant capital, the former samurai residents of Kakunodate imported weeping cherry trees from Kyoto in 1656 to be planted in their gardens. A few hundred years later, over 150 weeping cherry trees are delighting thousands of tourists every spring with their exceptional seasonal beauty.

Due to this seasonal beauty and the annual promotional efforts by JR East to lure as many Tokyoites as possible into the northwestern corner of its service area, Kakunodate gets quite crowded during the cherry blossom season. So, in an effort to beat the crowds and get some pictures of the samurai district without the hordes of fellow tourists, I timed my report for 5am, half an hour after sunrise.

Despite the early start, I was in good company of two dozen or so elderly men with tripods, just as I had expected. The district remained calm throughout my stay. I left Kakunodate around 9am.

Like in Hirosaki, the cherry trees in Kakunodate opened their blossoms several days later than average in this year, and were in full bloom during the past few days. In the meantime, petals have started to fall and green leaves to emerge, but the trees' sight was still worth the trip. I am afraid, however, that a large percentage of blossoms is unlikely to make it through the weekend and that green will fully replace pink in the near future.

Emerging green leaves indicate the near end of the blooming season

Kakunodate Riverside
May 6, 2010 - petals starting to fall

In more recent decades, Kakunodate added to its weeping cherries two kilometers of somei yoshino trees along the river, which flows through the town not far from the samurai district.

The somei yoshino follow a schedule that is typically 2-5 days behind that of the weeping cherry trees. Although petals have only just started to fall in small amounts so far, green leaves are already developing quite prominently. Nevertheless, the trees still appear close to full bloom and I think that they may make it through the weekend in relatively good shape.

Kakunodate viewed from the site of Kakunodate's former castle

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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