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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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2012/04/14 - Himeji Report
by schauwecker

Covered up Himeji Castle

Himeji Castle
April 14, 2012 - petals starting to fall

Today I made my annual visit to Himeji Castle to check on the current state of the cherry blossoms and the renovation works that had started on the castle two years ago and will continue through March 2015.

Like in many other hanami spots across Japan, this week's rain has shortened the full bloom period at Himeji Castle by a few days, and a considerable number of petals have fallen already. Nevertheless, The trees generally still had an intense look and will continue to provide an attractive setting for cherry blossom viewing (hanami) through this weekend.

Quite a few petals have fallen...
but the trees were still attractive...
and hanami activities were still ongoing (at 10 o'clock in the morning)
View of the Nishinomaru (Western Citadel) from the Honmaru (Main Citadel)

After checking the cherry blossoms, I paid an additional 200 yen to enter the huge scaffolding structure that currently covers up the castle. From the 7th and 8th floors of this structure, tourists are given the opportunity to observe the renovation works through windows.

Scaffolding structure covering up the castle keep
Tourists observe the renovation works through a window
Renovation works on the top floor's roof tiles have been completed
The two shachi roof ornaments stand ready to be moved back onto the top of the roof
Each shachi will be fixed onto a large wooden horn that can withstand the strong winds on the castle's roof
Further down the castle keep, the roof tiles were all removed for inspection
99 percent of the roof tiles are reused, and a small number of damaged ones are replaced

The interior of the castle keep is currently closed to tourists. By spring 2014 most of the works should be finished, but then it is going to take an additional year to dismantle the scaffolding structure. In total, it will take another three years until tourists can enjoy the sight of the castle keep in combination with the cherry blossoms again - in spring 2015.

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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