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Cherry Blossom Report 2012
Official cherry blossom reports by

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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2012/04/06 - Kyoto Report
by sean

I heard that the samurai liked cherry trees because they could identify their own lives with the transient nature of the cherry blossoms: impermanent, yet glorious.

Today our team reports from the three big cities of Kyoto, Tokyo and Nagoya. The first cherry blossoms opened in Kyoto on April 3 this year, one day later than forecasted. I am looking forward to see how much the cherry blossoms have progressed since.

April 6, 2012 - just opened (0-10%)

Arashiyama is famous for its splendid views of cherry blossoms in spring and koyo (autumn leaves) in autumn. Today, there was quite a crowd at the area near Togetsukyo Bridge. Everyone seemed excited that the cherry blossom season has arrived, and was happily taking pictures, even though the cherry trees weren't full with color yet.

Although many of the trees had only about 10% of their flowers open, I observed many buds looking pretty full, and would imagine them to open up nicely over the next few of days. It would take probably another week before full bloom is reached, making next weekend best to view cherry blossoms here.

The branches of the cherry trees will look more dense over the next few days
Buds look ready to open soon

Kyoto Botanical Garden
April 6, 2012 - just opened (0-10%)

My first plan after entering the gates backfired almost immediately: I was sneakily trying to take a picture of a large group of senior citizens gathering together in front of a nice picture spot. Before I could snap that shutter, a sharp old woman spotted me, and I ended up being made to take a picture of them for them with their camera.

The botanical garden of Kyoto is a good place to see various varieties of cherry blossoms. The varieties most numerous in numbers here are the Somei Yoshino, the Shidarezakura (weeping cherry tree), and the Yaebeni Shidarezakura (a later flowering variety of weeping cherry tree).

Currently, many of the cherry blossoms (Somei Yoshino) here have just started to open. The Shidarezakura are usually two to three days ahead of the Somei Yoshino, and accordingly I observed them to have more open blossoms, but I think they might still need about three to five days to reach full bloom. The garden will be holding light-ups from April 7 to April 15 nightly, from sunset to 21:00.

Kyoto Botanical Garden
Close up of some of Shidarezakura buds
Close up of some of Somei Yoshino buds
A beautiful weeping cherry tree; its state is slightly more developed than the others
Somei Yoshino trees with tulips in the foreground

Maruyama Park
April 6, 2012 - opening (10-50%)

I was unsure if I was walking in the correct direction to Maruyama Park, until I saw about a dozen of tour buses parked along the street. Yes, this is one of the most visited locations for hanami in Kyoto. Today, there was a good mix of locals and tourists, immersing in the festivities.

The state of the cherry trees here is slightly more developed than that of the previous two locations. The cherry blossoms are expected to reach peak in about three to four days, while those of the weeping cherry trees would probably need two days or so of mild weather.

Hanami parties have already started here
This weeping cherry tree has just about reached the 50% mark
Close up of some Somei Yoshino buds
Close up of some Shidarezakura buds

Daigoji Temple
April 6, 2012 - opening (10-50%)

My last visit of the day was to the Unesco World Heritage Site of Daigoji Temple. I noticed that the flowers of the cherry trees at the lower section of the temple were significantly more developed that those at the upper section. Full bloom can be expected of the cherry trees at the lower section near Sanboin (currently about 10 to 20%), a couple of days earlier than those at the upper section, which are currently only just opening.

About 50% of the flowers of the weeping cherry trees inside Sanboin are open, but they already provided a delightful light pink hue, making them very pretty to watch.

Crowd at Daigoji Temple

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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