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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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2014/05/09 - Hakodate Report
by sean

Today, we bring you our last cherry blossom report for the year from Hakodate, Hokkaido. 2014 has been an early year for the sakura in Hokkaido, with many areas across the island prefecture observing the opening of the cherry blossoms between two to seven days earlier than the average year.

In Hakodate, the cherry blossoms started opening on April 28 and reached their peak on May 1, three days earlier than the mean date and eleven days earlier than last year. I visited the city's popular cherry blossom spots: Hakodate Park and Fort Goryokaku.

Hakodate Park
May 9, 2014 - beyond peak

I managed to catch some lovely views at the park, less of cherry blossoms that were still on the trees, but rather of the fallen petals nestling themselves on the lawns and flirting in the wind above the paths. A festival stall owner lamented that the cherry trees were still looking pretty full two days ago, until the recent rain took its toll.

While the stalls are scheduled to remain until May 18, this weekend is probably your last chance to catch vestiges of the sakura here, before even the petals on the ground get swept away by the park attendants.

Hakodate Park

Not many petals left on the branches

I found the views nice nevertheless

Paths at the park

Benches

There is a small zoo at the park

Let's hope that the kids' rides will be filled with kids over the sunny weekend

Fort Goryokaku
May 9, 2014 - beyond peak

Fort Goryokaku is a charming Western-style star-shaped cherry tree-filled citadel. This is the fortress where the final battle of the civil Boshin War took place in the 1860s, as the country entered into the Meiji Period.

The fort is otherwise known (only by my colleagues) as one of my three favorite cherry blossom spots in Japan. Today, even with only less than 10% of the petals still left on the cherry trees' branches, the fort, which is now a public park, was a beauty. I could almost recommend someone who specifically wants to see cherry blossoms to come just to see the remaining calyxes and stamens of the blossoms, because they contrasted well with the brown branches, the green vegetation, the grey stone walls, the yellow Tanpopo flowers, the white pigeons, the blue water in the moat, and Goryokaku Tower standing proudly in the backdrop.

There were many Kanzan cherry trees at the fort too, and their flowers were only beginning to open. These cherry trees will need another three to five days of warm weather before they are likely to be at their best.

Fort Goryokaku viewed from Goryokaku Tower

Goryokaku Tower

The Cyclist

The Photographer

The Bird

The Fellow Visitor

Without the blossoms, we can appreciate the branches better

Kanzan cherry blossoms

Straight lines and a curve

Nice clouds

Stone walls at the fort

Stairs at the fort

Moat at the fort

With that, I sign off, and on behalf of the japan-guide team we would like to thank all readers for your continuous support. For a review of this year's cherry blossom season, please see this page.

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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