Francois' Japan Blog
by Francois, staff writer of japan-guide.com

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2009/04/03 - Cherry Blossom Report: Nara

Nara Park
April 3, 2009 - approaching full bloom (50-80%)

There are approximately 1700 cherry trees at Nara Park. Many of Nara's main attractions can be found at the park, such as Todaiji Temple and Kasuga Shrine, and the area is famous for its roaming deer.

The cherry trees in general are at about 50% bloom, but a few areas are more advanced. The cherry blossoms found east of Todaiji Temple were quite impressive, as were the trees surrounding Sagi-ike Pond at the park's southern end. Himuro Shrine, located across from the Nara National Museum, had a particularly impressive and popular weeping cherry tree (shidare).

Cherry trees in Nara Park
Flowers of Himuro Shrine's shidare
Cherry Blossoms and Deer
A women sketches the flowers found east of Todaiji

Koriyama Castle
April 3, 2009 - approaching full bloom (50-80%)

Koriyama Castle is mostly ruins now, but the walls and moat of a typical Japanese castle make an attractive setting for viewing the cherry blossoms. The castle is located approximately two kilometers south of Yakushiji Temple, just outside the border of Nara City.

The area was quite busy today, and there were a number of stalls selling food and groups of people enjoying cherry blossom viewing parties (hanami). Between 50% and 60% of the flowers at the castle are in bloom. The trees at the middle of the ruins are less developed than the ones that line the moats.

The center of the Koriyama Castle ruins
The ruins seen behind blossoms
Cherry trees along the castle moat

Hasedera Temple
April 3, 2009 - approaching full bloom (50-80%)

Hasedera Temple is not actually located in Nara City, but is rather part of Sakurai City. It takes about an hour to reach Hasedera Temple from central Nara by train. The temple is about one kilometer from the train station, and English signs clearly mark the way.

The cherry trees at Hasedera are just before full bloom (mankai) and will reach their peak in a day or two. The temple was busy, but not overly crowded, and a large portion of visitors had brought elaborate camera equipment to photograph the cherry blossoms (sakura). The area at the moment is quite impressive, especially the view from the terrace at the main hall (hondo) and the pagoda with its neighbouring cherry trees.

The view from the main hall
Cherry blossoms along one of the temple's paths
Pagoda and neighbouring cherry trees

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List of Posts:
2011/09/01 - Final Post
2011/05/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Sapporo
2011/05/06 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hakodate
2011/04/22 - Cherry Blossom Report: Aizu
2011/04/21 - Cherry Blossom Report: Sendai
2011/04/16 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2011/04/15 - Cherry Blossom Report: Osaka
2011/04/14 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kanazawa
2011/04/13 - Cherry Blossom Report: Yoshino
2011/04/12 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2011/04/11 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2011/04/08 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2011/04/04 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2011/04/03 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fukuoka
2011/04/01 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kagoshima
2011/03/31 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kumamoto
2011/03/30 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2011/02/11 - Shiretoko Fantasia 2011
2011/02/11 - Asahikawa Winter Festival - by night
2011/02/10 - Asahikawa Winter Festival - by day
2011/02/09 - Sapporo Snow Festival 2011 - by night
2011/02/08 - Otaru Yuki Akari no Michi 2011
2011/02/07 - Sapporo Snow Festival 2011 - by day

2010/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2010
2010/11/26 - Autumn Color Report: Osaka
2010/11/26 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2010/11/25 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2010/11/24 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2010/11/23 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2010/11/16 - Autumn Color Report: Tokyo
2010/11/05 - Autumn Color Report: Yamadera
2010/10/27 - Autumn Color Report: Kuju
2010/10/26 - Autumn Color Report: Kirishima
2010/04/10 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2010/04/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kanazawa
2010/04/08 - Cherry Blossom Report: Osaka
2010/04/07 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2010/04/05 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2010/04/01 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2010/03/30 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2010/03/26 - Cherry Blossom Report: Nagoya
2010/03/25 - Cherry Blossom Report: Nagasaki
2010/03/22 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kumamoto
2010/03/21 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fukuoka
2010/01/23 - Wakakusa Yamayaki

2009/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2009
2009/11/26 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2009/11/25 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto Light Up
2009/11/23 - Autumn Color Report: Nara
2009/11/22 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto Ohara
2009/11/21 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2009/11/18 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto Higashiyama
2009/11/16 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto Kurama
2009/11/04 - Autumn Color Report: Hakone
2009/10/07 - Autumn Color Report: Hachimantai
2009/10/06 - Autumn Color Report: Mount Akita-Komagatake
2009/09/28 - Autumn Color Report: Kamikochi
2009/09/24 - Autumn Color Report: Oze National Park
2009/06/18 - Biking the Shimanami Kaido
2009/06/01 - Gunkanjima
2009/04/15 - Cherry Blossom Report: Osaka
2009/04/15 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2009/04/14 - Cherry Blossom Report: Himeji
2009/04/14 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kobe
2009/04/13 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kanazawa
2009/04/12 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2009/04/05 - Cherry Blossom Report: Yoshino
2009/04/04 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2009/04/03 - Cherry Blossom Report: Nara
2009/04/02 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kobe
2009/04/01 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2009/03/31 - Cherry Blossom Report: Himeji
2009/03/30 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2009/03/29 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2009/03/26 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2009/01/19 - Bears in Hokkaido

2008/12/03 - Autumn Color Report: Kamakura
2008/10/06 - Autumn Color Report: Lake Akan
2008/08/18 - Miyajima Trip
2008/06/09 - Post Towns
2008/05/08 - Baseball Game
2008/04/14 - ASIMO and Aoyama Cemetery
2008/04/08 - Ninja Restaurant