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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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2014/04/11 - Kyoto Report
by sean

Haradani-en Garden

It has been nine days since the cherry blossom season peaked in Kyoto. Today, I visited the popular city again to report on some locations with later blooming varieties of the sakura, and I hope this would make a good reference for visitors arriving around this time.

Ninnaji Temple
April 11, 2014 - approaching full bloom (50-80%) (Omuro Cherry Blossoms)

Situated in the northwestern part of central Kyoto, Ninnaji Temple is one of the many locations in the ancient capital that is designated as a Unesco World Heritage Site. Of interest here is the Goten, a residence built in the style of an Imperial Palace; the temple used to be served by head priests of relation to the imperial family.

Ninnaji is also famous for its grove of late-blooming, locally-cultivated Omuro Cherry Trees. Today, I found the Omuro Cherries soon to be at their best. Peak views should arrive before dusk falls, and remain for five days or so with co-operative weather.

Ninnaji Temple's Omuro Cherry Tree grove

Omuro Cherries

Close enough?

Haradani-en
April 11, 2014 - full bloom (Yaebeni weeping cherry trees)

About two kilometers north of Ninnaji is Haradani-en, my favorite spot for hanami (cherry blossom viewing) in Kyoto. The garden is somewhat out of the way (I took a taxi from Ninnaji) and it is one of the pricier locations to visit at 1200 yen, but it is worth every penny spent.

Today, the garden had a myriad of flowers in bloom, creating a vivid painting of oil on my virtual canvas. From above, the Yaebeni weeping cherries in full bloom carried out an all-out assault on my optical sensualities. "It's pretty from every angle!" was one of the many praises lavished by fellow visitors who were obviously as impressed as I was. When little children stop running around and pause to appreciate the flowers for more than 18 seconds, you know you've got a gem of a place.

Outstanding views can be expected at Haradani-en lasting a couple of days beyond the coming weekend.

Haradani-en

Main cast of today's spectacle

Many places to relax and enjoy the scenery

Another color added on the palette

Like a painting

Philosopher's Path
April 11, 2014 - beyond peak

Over at the Philosopher's Path, the season is close to its end as the last petals of the Somei Yoshino cherry trees fall. There were some late-blossoming varieties of sakura in bloom, but overall I can't recommend this as the destination for your coming weekend's hanami outing.

Philosopher's Path

One of the last survivors

Still somewhat nice without cherry blossoms

Heian Shrine
April 11, 2014 - petals starting to fall (Yaebeni weeping cherry trees)

My final stop for the day was Heian Shrine, whose garden is famous for its Yaebeni weeping cherry trees. Today, I found the colors on the cherry trees to be not as saturated as they were in my last visit three days ago. Nevertheless, the views were still good and should remain so until the weekend is over at least.

With that, I sign-off from the Kansai Region. Scott will be in the area to bring you more reports next week, so please stay tuned.

Pond in Heian Shrine's garden

Somebody inserted her head into my close up

Weeping cherry trees in the garden

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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