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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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2012/05/07 - Hirosaki Report
by sean

One week after my last visit, today I visit Hirosaki again to check out the development of the cherry blossoms at its castle.

Main keep and inner moat

Hirosaki Castle
May 7, 2012 - End of season (Somei Yoshino)
May 7, 2012 - End of season (Weeping cherry trees)
May 7, 2012 - Full bloom (Yaebeni weeping cherry trees)
May 7, 2012 - Approaching full bloom (50-80%) (Other late blooming varieties)

I was surprised to find that the petals of the Somei Yoshino cherry trees had fallen by such an extent. Not only did I come too late to see hanafubuki (blizzards of falling petals) here, even the moats were pretty empty of fallen petals. The ground was still soggy, so I'm guessing that the wet weather of previous days must have shortened the lifespan of the blossoms.

Nevertheless, there was still much to see at the castle grounds: the many Yaebeni weeping cherry trees near the main keep were in full bloom (albeit already shedding petals). Other varieties such as the golden-yellowish Ukon and the pinkish Azuma Nishiki were also at their peak, while the dark pinkish Kanzan were only at about the halfway mark.

Following the end of the Golden Week Holidays yesterday, the festivities have mostly ended. The west moat which was filled with rental boats just a week ago has returned to its usual calm. Some festival stalls still remain open, but the crowds have mostly dispersed and visitor numbers seem to be gradually going back to normal. The huge hanami parties have gone, but little picnics were spotted under the shade of still flowering trees. The cherry blossom season here has yet several more days to go, thanks to the many trees of the late blooming varieties.

Mount Iwaki and the outer moat. The Somei Yoshino trees are quickly turning green
Not many Somei Yoshino petals left on the branches
The west moat was devoid of rented boats
Pretty Kanzan blossoms and buds
Most of the activity was at Honmaru
View from the third level of the main keep
Visitors enjoying the view
Unique Ukon in full bloom
Fugenzo have yet to reach the halfway mark
Sakura Tunnel and fallen petals
Shunyobashi Bridge
Azuma Nishiki in full bloom, the dark pink ones further away are Kanzan

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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