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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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2014/04/05 - Hiroshima Report
by raina

The iconic gate of Itsukushima Shrine

After yesterday's cool weather and falling cherry blossom petals in Osaka, I headed west towards Hiroshima today. It has been five days since full bloom was announced officially in Hiroshima, and today, I went to see how the flowers were faring. I arrived in Hiroshima to overcast skies and chilly weather. However this weather did not deter visitors to Miyajima, as they arrived in droves.

Sean was in Matsuyama today and you can read his report here. With rain forecast for most of western Japan today, I wonder how the cherry blossoms fared where he was.

Miyajima
April 5, 2014 - petals starting to fall

With it's iconic shrine gate (torii) standing in the sea, Miyajima is a popular place to visit regardless of season. Unfortunately it was high tide when I was there, so I wasn't able to walk to the foot of the giant torii. There are boats taking you to the foot of the torii if you want to visit it during high tide. The season here was a little slower than in Hiroshima. If you want to have a cherry blossom viewing party in Miyajima, you should go within the next couple of days before the cherry trees lose more petals.

Picnicking in a small park

Close up of the cherry blossoms with the five-story pagoda in the background

I visited the area near Itsukushima Shrine and the five-story pagoda, and also went to Taho-to, a two-story pagoda near the exit of the shrine. There were a few cherry trees near the exit of the shrine, but the best places to view cherry blossoms required a little bit of climbing up stairs as they are near the pagodas. These areas was also not as crowded as Itsukushima shrine and its immediate surroundings.

Cherry trees near the two-story pagoda

View of Itsukushima Shrine and the five-story pagoda

I also went to a little valley near the two-story pagoda which was absolutely beautiful. It had an other-worldly feel to it under the overcast skies. The ground was covered in pink petals, and the remaining blossoms and leaves covered the sky giving the place a pink glow. From Miyajima, I headed back to the ferry terminal and went to the Peace Memorial Park. A ferry ride to the Peace Memorial Park costs 2000 yen one way, and departs every 40 minutes.

Deer in Miyajima

The little pink valley I visited

A little drizzle and the cold does not keep visitors away from Miyajima

The giant shrine gate with Itsukushima Shrine behind

Hiroshima Peace Park
April 5, 2014 - beyond peak

My last stop for today was the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. There was a quiet and respectful feeling around the area, and the slight drizzle added to the sombre atmosphere. There were many visitors here as well, with most people exploring the A-bomb dome, the Memorial Cenotaph and the Peace Memorial Museum.

Picnicking under the cherry trees

Close up of the cherry blossoms against the boat that goes to Miyajima

The last of the cherry blossoms hanging on

The Memorial Cenotaph with the Peace Memorial Museum in the background

The cherry trees along the riverside were faring better than the ones in the park. I saw some people having cherry blossom viewing picnics along the riverside despite the slight drizzle. Some of the cherry trees in the park had more green leaves than cherry blossoms, and I am afraid the flowers will not last till next week. Like Miyajima, you should head to Hiroshima within the next few days to catch the last of the cherry blossoms.

Tour group visiting the Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound

Many thousands of paper cranes

More leaves than blossoms at the Peace Memorial Park

Cherry trees along the river near the Peace Memorial Museum

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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