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Cherry Blossom Report 2014
Official cherry blossom reports by japan-guide.com

2014 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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2014/04/03 - Uji Report
by schauwecker

Byodoin freed from its scaffolding

Most famous for Byodoin Temple, Uji is a city twenty train minutes south of Kyoto by JR Nara Line. Today I visited Uji to check not only its cherry blossoms, but also the state of Byodoin's main hall which had been undergoing renovation works for a couple of years, but was freed from most of its scaffolding recently.

Uji River
April 3, 2014 - full bloom

The best area for cherry blossom viewing (hanami) in Uji is along Uji River just outside Byodoin Temple, a ten minute walk from JR Uji Station or just outside Keihan Uji Station. The trees were at full bloom today, attracting lots of visitors in combination with the nice weather. The blossoms looked still sturdy, and I am confident that enough of them will hang on through the upcoming weekend to provide nice hanami conditions along the river.

Note that some construction work is currently going on in the riverbed of Uji River with the purpose to protect the nearby World Heritage sites from flooding that the river has been prone to over the centuries. The construction negatively impacts the scenery along some sections of the river but is no reason to avoid Uji.

Fashion-conscious tourists enjoy the view from a bridge

There are plenty of spaces along the river to enjoy a hanami picknick

The blossoms along the river were mostly still quite sturdy

Boat cruises are another way to enjoy the scenery

Uji at full bloom

Construction is going on in some areas of the riverbed

Byodoin Temple
April 3, 2014 - full bloom

For two years, the main hall of Byodoin Temple, Uji's main attraction, has been covered up for renovations during which admission to the grounds was reduced to 300 yen. On April 1, the original admission fee of 600 yen was reinstated as the bulk of the renovation works have been completed, and most of the hall has been freed of its scaffolding. Only the back part of the main hall remains covered through September, but the scaffolding cannot be seen when the hall is viewed from the front. Starting today, it has also become possible to see the interior of the main hall on tours again (additional 300 yen applies); however, the tours were so popular that a two hour waiting time applied when I visited around noon.

Byodoin is not a famed cherry blossom spot, but there are a few nice cherry trees here and there on the temple grounds. The Somei Yoshino trees were at full bloom today while one nicely placed, later blooming weeping cherry tree in front of the main hall has only just started to open and should reach full bloom by the weekend.

Nicely placed, later blooming weeping cherry tree in front of the main hall

Only when viewed from the side, the main hall still displays some scaffolding

Zoom-in onto the freshly renovated exterior of the main hall

Tours of the interior of the main hall resumed today

Somei Yoshino tree in full bloom

Weeping cherry tree and main hall

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List of Posts:
2014/05/09 - Hakodate Report
2014/05/08 - Matsumae Report
2014/05/01 - Hirosaki Report
2014/04/30 - Kakunodate Report
2014/04/24 - Kitakami Report
2014/04/23 - Mt. Fuji Report
2014/04/23 - Morioka Report
2014/04/22 - Aizu Report
2014/04/19 - Matsushima Report
2014/04/17 - Takato Report
2014/04/16 - Sendai Report
2014/04/16 - Matsumoto Report
2014/04/15 - Fukushima Report
2014/04/15 - Mount Fuji Report
2014/04/15 - Kyoto Report
2014/04/14 - Yoshino Report
2014/04/13 - Osaka Report
2014/04/12 - Kanazawa Report
2014/04/11 - Kyoto Report
2014/04/10 - Yoshino Report
2014/04/10 - Tokyo Report
2014/04/09 - Gunma Report
2014/04/09 - Hikone Report
2014/04/08 - Kyoto Report
2014/04/07 - Tokyo Report
2014/04/06 - Kyoto Report
2014/04/05 - Hiroshima Report
2014/04/05 - Matsuyama Report
2014/04/04 - Tokyo Report
2014/04/04 - Kamakura Report
2014/04/04 - Osaka Report
2014/04/03 - Kyoto Report
2014/04/03 - Fukuoka Report
2014/04/03 - Uji Report
2014/04/02 - Tokyo Report
2014/04/02 - Nagoya Report
2014/04/02 - Kumamoto Report
2014/04/01 - Kyoto Report
2014/03/31 - Tokyo Report
2014/03/29 - Kyoto Report
2014/03/28 - Kumamoto Report
2014/03/27 - Fukuoka Report
2014/03/26 - Tokyo Report
2014/03/25 - Kyoto Report