Cherry Blossoms 2012: Kagoshima Report (4/2)

Cherry Blossom Report 2012
Official cherry blossom reports by japan-guide.com

2012 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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2012/04/02 - Kagoshima Report
by sean

It's that time of the year again! From today for about a month, the japan-guide team will be sweeping Japan from south to north, bringing you coverage of the cherry blossoms at famous locations across the nation (with more frequent Tokyo and Kyoto reports in between). The cherry blossoms usually start flowering at Kyushu about a week before Honshu. We start off at Kagoshima, move upwards towards Kumamoto and Fukuoka over the next few days, before going further north to the Chugoku Region, the Kansai Region, the Kanto Region, the Tohoku Region, and finally Hokkaido around the first week of May. The cherry trees of Kagoshima started to flower on March 26, so we were expecting them to be between 50% and full bloom at this time.

Yoshino Park
April 2, 2012 - Full bloom

We arrived at Yoshino Park just a little after it opened its gates and were probably the first visitors for the day. The park offers a unique landscape with sub-tropical palm trees in the foreground and beautiful pink cherry blossom trees in the backdrop.

Moving closer towards the cherry trees, we noticed that there were those in full bloom (some even already had petals falling), and those which had only blossomed to about 60%. We asked the park attendant about the situation, and were told that full bloom (for the park in general) had been reached a couple of days ago; I guess in flowers, like in humans, there are late and early bloomers as well. The weather forecast predicts the next few days to be quite windy, which might decrease the longevity of the blossoms, but the current peak state should remain for a few more days at least.

Cherry blossom trees at Yoshino Park

Nice bunch of cherry blossoms

Interesting mix of palm and cherry blossom trees

Early flowering variety: many petals have already fallen

Late flowering variety: only a couple of buds have opened

Senganen Garden
April 2, 2012 - End of season

You might be wondering how it could be the end of season at Senganen, even though its location is not far away from Yoshino Park, which is currently at full bloom. Well that's because Senganen is better known for earlier blooming varieties of cherry trees. These cherry trees are way pass peak now and were green with leaves when we visited.

Senganen is therefore not the place to visit to catch Somei Yoshino cherry blossoms (the widely recognized mainstream variety because it is the most abundant in numbers and arguably the most beautiful). There were however still many tourists at the garden, because it is very beautiful just for the way it is. Only a few Somei Yoshino trees were spotted, and they were only about 10% to 50% in bloom.

Early flowering cherry blossom tree with only one surviving flower left

The tree with brownish leaves on the left of a famous stone lantern is a Yamazakura, also past its peak

Flowers on a rare Somei Yoshimo tree at Senganen are only just opening

Dinosaur Park at Sakurajima
April 2, 2012 - Opening (10-50%)

Our final stop of the day was at Dinosaur Park at Sakurajima. We took a ferry to cross the sea from downtown Kagoshima to the volcanic peninsula. Schauwecker spotted me scribbling on my notepad during the ride and asked: "Don't you find volcanoes amazing?" He was implying that I didn't seem interested in the natural wonder that was right before our eyes. Of course I was, and I was taking periodical time off my writing to awe at the greatness of it; it's just the other thing on my mind was to complete today's project before the steak dinner that everyone is very excited about.

There were lots of children enjoying themselves at Dinosaur Park. They, of course, paid more attention to the dinosaur-shaped slides and swings than to the cherry blossom trees. We strolled along the park and observed many cherry trees in their fairly early stages of blossoming. It would probably take another three to four days before the majority of the trees reach full bloom. Dinosaur Park is a great location for outdoor gatherings, because it offers ample space for picnics, a large playground for children, and, of course, fantastic views of the Sakurajima volcano.

Car ferry with Sakurajima in the background

State of the cherry blossoms at Dinosaur Park

Many of the cherry blossoms still need a few days more before they become more dense with color

Dinosaur guarding the entrance to the park

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List of Posts:
2012/05/09 - Sapporo Report
2012/05/08 - Hakodate Report
2012/05/07 - Hirosaki Report
2012/04/30 - Hirosaki Report
2012/04/29 - Kakunodate Report
2012/04/28 - Takizakura Report
2012/04/28 - Kitakami Report
2012/04/28 - Aizu Report
2012/04/28 - Hiraizumi Report
2012/04/25 - Mount Fuji Report
2012/04/25 - Sendai Report
2012/04/24 - Fukushima Report
2012/04/18 - Tokyo Report
2012/04/17 - Kyoto Report
2012/04/16 - Yoshino Report
2012/04/15 - Kanazawa Report
2012/04/15 - Tottori Report
2012/04/14 - Kyoto Report
2012/04/14 - Osaka Report
2012/04/14 - Himeji Report
2012/04/13 - Tokyo Report
2012/04/12 - Yokohama Report
2012/04/12 - Kamakura Report
2012/04/11 - Kyoto Report
2012/04/10 - Hiroshima Report
2012/04/09 - Tokyo Report
2012/04/09 - Kyoto Report
2012/04/07 - Osaka Report
2012/04/06 - Tokyo Report
2012/04/06 - Kyoto Report
2012/04/06 - Nagoya Report
2012/04/04 - Fukuoka Report
2012/04/03 - Tokyo Report
2012/04/03 - Kumamoto Report
2012/04/02 - Kagoshima Report
2012/04/01 - Kyoto Report
2012/03/31 - Tokyo Report
2012/03/22 - Tokyo Report
2012/03/15 - Tokyo Report

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