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Cherry Blossom Report 2011
Official cherry blossom reports by japan-guide.com

This year's cherry blossom season will be overshadowed by the tremendous loss caused by the recent earthquake. However, we believe that the blossoms will serve as symbols of hope and resilience and a source of motivation along Japan's road to recovery. With this in mind, we never hesitated to go ahead with our annual reports in order to inform travelers in Japan and readers across the world about this year's cherry blossom season.

2011 Cherry Blossom Forecast - Schedule of upcoming reports - Post your own report
Popular cherry blossom spots - How to do hanami? - Cherry tree varieties

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2011/04/11 - Takamatsu Report
by schauwecker

On the final cherry blossom reporting trip to Shikoku this year, I visited four hanami spots in Kagawa Prefecture and its capital city Takamatsu.

Kompirasan
April 11, 2011 - full bloom

I started the reporting with an early morning visit to Kotohira, the site of Kompirasan, Shikoku's most popular shrine. Although dedicated to the kami of seafaring, the shrine stands many kilometers inland on a mountainside hundreds of stair steps above Kotohira Station.

Along the ascent to Kompirasan
Trees were at full bloom today

Many cherry trees are planted along the ascent to Kompirasan. While some early flowering cherry tree varieties were already beyond their peak, the most numerous Somei Yoshino were at full bloom today and should remain beautiful for a few more days to come.

Along the ascent to Kompirasan
Along the ascent to Kompirasan

Ritsurin Koen
April 11, 2011 - petals starting to fall

For the rest of the day's reporting I headed to Takamatsu where I first visited Ritsurin Koen, one of Japan's most beautiful landscape gardens.

Cherry blossom tunnel and attractive picnic spots in the Western style part of Ritsurin Koen
Petals started to fall

The number of cherry trees at Ritsurin Koen was not overwhelming, but in both the Japanese and Western styled parts of the park there were a few groups of trees that made for some very attractive cherry blossom viewing.

The famous pond area of the garden did not feature many blooming cherry trees

The Somei Yoshino trees at Ritsurin Koen have started to drop their petals; however as of today they were still close to full bloom and should justify a hanami visit to the gardens for at least another couple of days.

Cherry blossoms among pine trees

Takamatsu Castle (Tamamo Park)
April 11, 2011 - full bloom

Another popular cherry blossom spot in central Takamatsu is Tamamo Park, the former site of Takamatsu Castle. Cherry trees were limited to a lawned area in the park's southwestern corner, the former horse riding grounds (Sakuranobaba).

Cherry blossoms in the Sakuranobaba area of the park

The several dozen young cherry trees in the park were at full bloom and should remain attractive for a few more days to come.

Full bloom at Tamamo Park
Restoration works on the foundation of Takamatsu Castle's main keep are ongoing

Megijima Island
April 11, 2011 - full bloom

In order to access the last hanami spot of the day, I boarded the Meon 2 ferry, which brought back great memories from last year's Setouchi Art Festival. I headed to Megijima Island, one of the festival's seven island sites, a twenty minute ferry ride from Takamatsu Port.

Meon 2 arriving at Takamatsu Port

Megijima Island is also known as the ogre island, because the ogres from the Momotaro story used to live in its cave. Hundreds of cherry trees are planted in an attractive park around the summit of the island's highest mountain, just next to the ogres' cave.

Cherry trees along the road to the island's tallest peak
Cherry trees were in full bloom

The trees on Megijima were generally in full bloom. The sight of the blossoms in combination with the Seto Inland Sea scenery was fantastic and made the highlight of my day.

Mountaintop park on Megijima
Mountaintop park on Megijima, spiced up by the shiny colors of some peach trees
The highlight of my day

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List of Posts:
2011/05/09 - Sapporo Report
2011/05/06 - Hakodate Report
2011/05/02 - Kakunodate Report
2011/05/01 - Hirosaki Report
2011/04/29 - Kitakami Report
2011/04/22 - Aizu Report
2011/04/21 - Sendai Report
2011/04/20 - Fujigoko Report
2011/04/19 - Tokyo Report
2011/04/16 - Kyoto Report
2011/04/15 - Osaka Report
2011/04/14 - Tokyo Report
2011/04/14 - Kanazawa Report
2011/04/13 - Yoshino Report
2011/04/12 - Kyoto Report
2011/04/12 - Okayama Report
2011/04/11 - Tokyo Report
2011/04/11 - Takamatsu Report
2011/04/10 - Osaka Report
2011/04/10 - Matsuyama Report
2011/04/09 - Kyoto Report
2011/04/08 - Tokyo Report
2011/04/08 - Yoshino Report
2011/04/07 - Hiroshima Report
2011/04/07 - Iwakuni Report
2011/04/07 - Nagoya Report
2011/04/06 - Kyoto Report
2011/04/05 - Tokyo Report
2011/04/04 - Kyoto Report
2011/04/03 - Fukuoka Report
2011/04/02 - Tokyo Report
2011/04/01 - Kyoto Report
2011/04/01 - Kagoshima Report
2011/03/31 - Kumamoto Report
2011/03/31 - Fukuoka Report
2011/03/30 - Tokyo Report
2011/03/30 - Kochi Report
2011/03/29 - Kyoto Report
2011/03/28 - Himeji Report
2011/03/27 - Tokyo Report