Francois' Japan Blog
by Francois, staff writer of

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2011/04/03 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fukuoka

For our last cherry blossom report of this year from Kyushu, today I made a second trip to some of Fukuoka's cherry blossom spots. When Schauwecker visited Fukuoka for the March 31 Cherry Blossom Report, he found the city's flowers to be at quite an early stage of development, with over half of the buds still closed.

Today most of the cherry trees I saw were almost at full bloom, and at all the sites I vistied there were large crowds of people enjoying the flowers. The only negative about today's reporting was the cloudy weather that made it difficult to get nice pictures. As predicted in last week's report, Fukuoka's cherry blossoms will be reaching full bloom within the first couple days of this week.

Atago Shrine
April 3, 2011 - approaching full bloom (50-80%)

Atago Shrine is located up a rather large hill that is a 10 minute walk from Meinohama Station, one of the terminal stations of the Kuko Subway Line. At the top of the hill, the shrine grounds themselves are not very extensive but there are dozens of attractive cherry trees along the paths.

The main trees are very close to full bloom, but some of the trees off to the side have many buds that remain unopened. Because of the shrine's high elevation and proximity to the waterfrom there are nice views that include both Fukuoka City and Fukuoka Bay. However, there are not any views that also include cherry blossms.

Cherry trees at the entrance to Atago Shrine
The upper branches of some of the trees still have many unopened flowers
The flowers are very close to full bloom
A nice view of the the waterfront and Fukuoka Tower

Nishi Park (Nishi Koen)
April 3, 2011 - approaching full bloom (50-80%)

Located north of Ohori Park, Nishi Koen is an expansive park that includes a shrine and many spots for hanami. Although it has views onto the water, personally I found those of Atago Shrine to be more attractive. The park also has a lot of green space and walking paths that were very busy today with people looking for flowers.

Earlier blooming cherry tree varieties line the approach to Nishi Park from Ohori Park
The blossoms within the park are almost at full bloom
The park has many walking paths that pass by the cherry trees
The park played host to numerous hanami parties

Maizuru Park (Fukuoka Castle)
April 3, 2011 - approaching full bloom (50-80%)

Maizuru Park is located on the former grounds of Fukuoka Castle, and is the city's best hanami spot. Unfortunately, as Schauwecker mentioned in his report, the park's evening illumination and a few special events have been cancelled this year. Nonetheless, today there was a very festive atmosphere, with hundreds of people enjoying hanami parties and a variety of stalls selling festival food at the busiest spots. The park's flowers were also just at the verge of reaching full bloom.

The main grove of cherry trees in front of the ruins of the castle keep
Cherry blossoms in front of a castle turret
A path of cherry trees just beside the park
People picknicking near the castle's Tamon Turret
Hanami parties are much harder to see through the trees than they were three days ago

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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