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Cherry Blossom Report 2013
Official cherry blossom reports by japan-guide.com

2013 Cherry Blossom Forecast - Schedule of upcoming reports - Popular cherry blossom spots
How to do hanami? - Cherry tree varieties - Post your own report

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2013/04/02 - Osaka Report
by sean

Festival stall at Expo 70 Commemorative Park

News agencies reported that the peak for this cherry blossom season had arrived in Osaka just slightly before this past weekend. Following my visit six days ago, I returned to the city again to check out its cherry trees. It was another cloudy and slightly drizzling day, but I witnessed some nice views of the blossoms at Kema Sakuranomiya Park, Osaka Caste and Expo 70 Commemorative Park.

Kema Sakuranomiya Park
April 2, 2013 - full bloom

Kema Sakuranomiya Park is a riverside park with nearly 5000 cherry trees lining the eastern bank of Okawa River. Today the trees were at full bloom, providing impressive views of cherry blossoms at their best stretching for kilometers by the riverside promenade.

With that many cherry trees, it didn't come as a surprise that many blossoms were at different stages of their flowering cycle: some still looked relatively robust and fresh, while others looked a little jaded and had already shedded some petals. I think in general the cherry trees here will remain at full bloom for another couple of days, before their cherry blossoms start to lose petals in numbers.

For those who arrive in Osaka just after the main cherry blossom season, consider visiting the Osaka Mint Bureau, located on the western bank of Okawa River across Sakuramiya Bridge from Kema Sakuranomiya Park. The mint has a garden with a large assortment of late blooming varieties of cherry trees. It can be quite an eye opener looking at the different types of cherry blossoms that it has to offer. The mint's garden will be specially opened to the general public from April 16 to 22 this year.

Okawa River

Kema Sakuranomiya Park

Pretty blossoms

Bicycles parked by the park

Late blooming Ichiyo blossoms at Osaka Mint Bureau

Fugenzo buds were not near opening yet

Kids having fun at Kema Sakuranomiya Park

Osaka Castle
April 2, 2013 - full bloom

When I visited last week, the cherry blossoms at Osaka Castle were at a noticeably more advanced stage than those at Kema Sakuranomiya Park. Accordingly, while they were still at their best today, many blossoms were starting to turn dark pink at their centers: a sign that the petals will start to fall before long. Nonetheless, I caught some great views today, including that of the colourful peach tree grove outside the castle's northern moat which was also in bloom.

Visitors to the castle in two or three days should find increasing occurrences of hanafubuki (blizzard of falling petals). There is a festival going on at the castle's Nishinomaru Park from April 4 to 10 (9:00 to 20:00, 350 yen). At the festival there will be live music performances in the evenings, as well as "Sakura Fantasia Laser Shows" on April 6 and 7 (18:25, 18:55, 19:25).

Cherry blossoms at Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle's Nishinomaru Park viewed from the observation deck at the main keep

Peach blossoms also in bloom (left). Cute dog protective of its owners

Expo 70 Commemorative Park
April 2, 2013 - full bloom

Gleeful children running around playgrounds; rows of cherry trees lined up neatly along wide avenues; large lawns for families and couples to have their picnics; the smell of burning charcoal; festival stalls bringing out the celebratory spirit; nice music playing through the park speakers: these are the endearing qualities of the Expo 70 Commemorative Park that make it one of my favourite three cherry blossom spots.

Today the smell of rain added a tinge of romance to the air. The cherry blossoms were pretty and healthy. The light breeze made branches sway gently, but barely any of the petals were willing to fall yet. The lights were placed on the ground faced up, ready to receive the baton from the sun goddess.

This year's cherry blossom festival at the park will take place until April 14. During the festival, the park will operate daily until 21:00, having illuminations in the evenings.

Expo 70 Commemorative Park

Light rain kept away some visitors

Close up on some cherry blossoms

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List of Posts:
2013/05/09 - Hakodate Report
2013/05/08 - Matsumae Report
2013/05/02 - Hirosaki Report
2013/05/01 - Kakunodate Report
2013/04/30 - Kitakami Report
2013/04/18 - Sendai Report
2013/04/17 - Takayama Report
2013/04/15 - Fukushima Report
2013/04/12 - Matsumoto Report
2013/04/11 - Kyoto Report
2013/04/10 - Mount Fuji Report
2013/04/10 - Hakone Report
2013/04/10 - Kanazawa Report
2013/04/09 - Yoshino Report
2013/04/08 - Kyoto Report
2013/04/08 - Tokyo Report
2013/04/05 - Mount Fuji Report
2013/04/04 - Kyoto Report
2013/04/04 - Gunma Report
2013/04/03 - Takamatsu Report
2013/04/02 - Osaka Report
2013/04/02 - Hiroshima Report
2013/04/01 - Tokyo Report
2013/04/01 - Kyoto Report
2013/03/29 - Tokyo Report
2013/03/28 - Gunma Report
2013/03/28 - Kyoto Report
2013/03/27 - Osaka Report
2013/03/27 - Fukuoka Report
2013/03/26 - Nagoya Report
2013/03/26 - Kamakura Report
2013/03/26 - Okayama Report
2013/03/25 - Tokyo Report
2013/03/24 - Kyoto Report
2013/03/23 - Kagoshima Report
2013/03/22 - Kumamoto Report
2013/03/21 - Tokyo Report
2013/03/21 - Fukuoka Report
2013/03/20 - Kyoto Report
2013/03/17 - Tokyo Report
2013/03/12 - Tokyo Report
2013/02/28 - Kawazu Report