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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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2012/05/08 - Hakodate Report
by sean

The cherry blossoms of Hakodate officially opened on May 2 this year, slightly later than an average year. Peak was reached on May 5, and I read a report saying that the cherry trees remained in full bloom despite the rain yesterday; therefore I am confident to be able to catch good views today.

Obligatory picture taken from Goryokaku Tower's observation deck

Fort Goryokaku
May 8, 2012 - Full bloom

Fort Goryokaku is a Western style citadel home to over a thousand cherry trees, making it one of the most popular hanami spots in Hokkaido. In 1857, construction of the fort began. In 1864, the fort was completed. From 1868 to 1869, the Battle of Hakodate happened here. In 1914, the fort was opened as a park. In 1952, it became the only designated Special National Historic Site in Hokkaido. In 2012, it became one of Sean's top 3 favorite spots to view cherry blossoms.

I apologize for imposing myself on that piece of history. Today Fort Goryokaku and its cherry blossoms were in such a magnificent state that I couldn't help but voice out my admiration. The views of the cherry trees in full bloom, either up close or from Goryokaku Tower, were amazing.

6:30 it was when I arrived at the park, and there were already many there taking a morning stroll, walking their dogs, and doing exercises (entry to the park is free and it opens at 5:00 from April to October). For me, my waist, the palm of my left hand and my right index finger were the most exercised, as I was busy rotating around and snapping at the shutter of my camera, trying desperately to avoid missing any opportunity to create digital imprints of postcard-worthy scenery.

Goryokaku Tower in the distance
Translucent petals in the sunshine
Beautiful couple having their breakfast
Hakodate Magistrate's Office in the background
Serene moat
Many were seen taking a stroll
Picnic mats in place for the parties probably later in the day

Hakodate Park
May 8, 2012 - Full bloom

Hakodate's second most popular cherry blossom spot is Hakodate Park. Here, you can enjoy the view of numerous cherry trees, as well as visit the Hakodate City Museum. Today, I found the blossoms here to also be in full bloom. There were however significantly more unopened buds than at Fort Goryokaku: peak might have been reached here relatively recently.

I arrived at about 9:45 and visitors were just about slowly trickling in. The amusement rides at the park only begin operation at 11:00, but the small zoo (free entry) was already open. The cherry blossom festival here will last till May 13, although it is likely that the best period for hanami at Hakodate might have passed by then. Evening light ups during the festival will be till 21:00 on weekdays and 22:00 this weekend.

Fountain at Hakodate Park
Cherry blossoms in full bloom
Festival stalls starting to open
A white peacock bent on stealing the limelight
Amusement ride

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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