Staff Reports
Raina's Japan Travel Journal
by Raina, staff writer of japan-guide.com

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2014/04/02 - Nagoya Cherry Blossom Report

Wedding couple at Nagoya Castle

Nagoya is 1.5 hours west of Tokyo and 35 minutes from Kyoto, famous for Nagoya Castle, and food like chicken wings and kishimen amongst others. Schauwecker joined me to check out the cherry trees in bloom in Nagoya. With the exception of Nagoya Castle, today was the first time I visited Yamazakigawa Riverside and Tsuruma Park. Even though it was a weekday, all three places we visited were surprisingly quite crowded.

Full bloom (mankai) was officially announced in Kyoto today, and looks like Sean was there just before it peaked according to his report yesterday. On the other hand, full bloom in Nagoya was announced officially on Monday, March 31, and I was not disappointed today. However, with the warm weather since the 31st, the flowers have bloomed really quickly and even though they are at full bloom, I'm afraid the blooming peak will not last till this weekend as the petals from some trees have already started to fall when there is a breeze.

Yamazakigawa Riverside
April 2, 2014 - full bloom

Yamazaki River is about 14 kilometers long and flows southwest towards Nagoya Port. There are about 600 trees along the length of the entire river. Today, we started our journey from near Mizuho Sports Park and walked about 1 kilometer north towards the wooden bridge, Kanaekobashi. The wooden bridge is about 1 kilometer away from either Mizuho Undojo-higashi Station or Mizuho Kuyakusho Station, and I recommend starting at one and heading towards the other.

View of part of Yamazakigawa Riverside with the cherry blossoms in full bloom
Close up of the Somei Yoshino variety

Yamazakigawa Riverside is one of Japan's top 100 cherry blossom viewing spots and is my favourite of all the three sites we visited today. Something about the quiet riverside and the cherry tree lined pedestrian path that makes it special for me. We saw many young families, old couples all there for the beautiful flowers that had just reached full bloom, and is expected to remain at its peak for a few more days. The area around the wooden bridge, Kanaekobashi, will be lit in the evenings from 18:30 to 21:00 until April 6th.

Weeping cherry blossom at full bloom near Mizuho Sports Park
Walking in the cherry blossom tunnel can be quite romantic
View of the wooden bridge, Kanaekobashi

Tsuruma Park
April 2, 2014 - petals starting to fall

Our second stop for today was Tsuruma Park. Like Yamazakigawa Riverside, Tsuruma Park is also one of Japan's top 100 cherry blossom viewing spots. There was definitely a festive vibe in the air (as well as tantalizing smells) with all the food stalls open and people picnicking under the cherry trees, or on the lawns, in the sun. The flowers at Tsuruma Park developed faster and are almost at the end of the blooming peak, with some petals starting to fall. As it is forecast to rain over the next two days, I expect the cherry blossoms to have even more petals falling, signaling the beginning of the end of the season.

Note that the closest station is Tsurumai Station. Follow the signs leadings towards the Greenification Center as that is where Tsuruma Park is. The subway station exit leads directly to the entrance of the park.

Tulips and cherry trees in full bloom make for a pretty sight
A closer look at the cherry blossoms in Tsuruma Park
A white sky of cherry blossoms above, and a sea of blue picnic sheets below
One of the many food stalls at the park
Coniferous trees on one side, cherry trees on the other
The white flecks are cherry blossom petals

Nagoya Castle
April 2, 2014 - petals starting to fall

Finally, our last site of the day, Nagoya Castle. With the cherry trees at full bloom, I can see why it is a popular spot to take wedding pictures. We saw at least three couples taking their wedding pictures on the castle grounds with the castle and cherry trees as their backdrop. There were also staff dressed up in period costume, and anyone is welcomed to take pictures with them. We also had the opportunity to see a few famous people at Nagoya Castle, but unfortunately, neither Schauwecker nor I knew who they were. We guessed they were famous judging by their entourage, the cameras around them and other visitors waving at them.

At one of the castle entrances
More Somei Yoshino blossoms at Nagoya Castle
The supposedly famous people posing for pictures

Like Tsuruma Park, the flowers at Nagoya Castle developed faster and are almost at the end of the blooming peak, with some petals starting to fall. Although, if you like to see the cherry blossom petals falling, like I do, then this is the perfect time to go to Nagoya Castle. Also, the first section of the reconstuction of Nagoya Castle's Honmaru Goten is completed and visitors are welcome to view the inside. The other two sections are slated to be completed in 2016 and 2018.

Picnicing on the castle grounds
I had a green tea ice cream instead of picnicking
We saw two deer with heart shaped posteriors grazing in the castle moat
Nagoya Castle
Honmaru Goten open to visitors
Castle staff in costume on the left, and wedding couple on the right at Nagoya Castle

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List of Posts:
2018/12/31 - 2018 Travel Highlights
2018/10/25 - Business as usual at Tsukiji Outer Market
2018/08/19 - Hello Kitty Shinkansen
2018/05/16 - Cruising Tokyo's waterways
2018/04/17 - Wisteria blossoms in Ashikaga Flower Park
2018/01/18 - Shinanomachi, the Backcountry of Nagano

2017/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2017
2017/10/25 - The 45th Tokyo Motor Show
2017/10/11 - Dipping into the three onsen towns of Yamanaka, Yamashiro and Katayamazu
2017/07/24 - Remote Riches in Toyama
2017/07/03 - Spiritual Chichibu
2017/05/02 - Fuji Shibazakura Festival
2017/04/14 - Sneak Peek from Ginza Six
2017/03/21 - A bit of everything in Fukui
2017/03/13 - Nikko Toshogu Uncovered
2017/02/15 - Subculture in Ikebukuro
2017/02/07 - Travel to the Goto Islands
2017/02/06 - Nagasaki Lantern Festival

2016/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2016
2016/12/19 - Winter Illuminations in Tokyo
2016/10/24 - The way of old on the Kunisaki Peninsula
2016/10/11 - Following the Tadami Line in Oku Aizu
2016/08/27 - Fool's Dance at Koenji Awa Odori
2016/08/16 - The three sacred mountains of Dewa Sanzan
2016/06/20 - Train travel into the Ise-Shima region
2016/04/03 - Setouchi Triennale 2016
2016/03/08 - The hunt for Namahage on the Oga Peninsula
2016/03/02 - Sake Sangria
2016/02/20 - Tokyo Plum Blossom Report
2016/01/26 - Tour de Reinan: Obama, Oi and Takahama
2016/01/25 - Tour de Reinan: Tsuruga, Mihama and Wakasa

2015/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2015
2015/12/10 - 48 hours in Tokushima
2015/11/20 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2015/11/19 - Autumn Color Report: Kankakei
2015/11/18 - Autumn Color Report: Korankei
2015/11/17 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2015/11/13 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2015/11/10 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2015/11/09 - Autumn Color Report: Koyasan
2015/11/08 - Autumn Color Report: Miyajima
2015/11/07 - Autumn Color Report: Dazaifu
2015/10/28 - The 44th Tokyo Motor Show
2015/10/21 - Hirado, where East meets West
2015/10/20 - Kujukushima Islands and Winter Illumination at Huis Ten Bosch
2015/10/19 - Navigating the Christian sites in Nagasaki
2015/10/18 - Cosplay at Haco Stadium Tokyo
2015/10/15 - Autumn Color Report: Nikko
2015/10/05 - Autumn Color Report: Route 292
2015/09/28 - Autumn Color Report: Oze
2015/09/24 - Autumn Color Report: Alpine Route
2015/09/16 - Nakanojo Biennale 2015
2015/08/19 - Traditional culture and hot springs of the Aizu Region
2015/08/17 - Nature and Hot Springs at Naruko Onsen
2015/08/04 - Echigo Tsumari Art Triennale 2015
2015/04/30 - Sapporo Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/29 - Hakodate Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/23 - Kakunodate Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/22 - Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/21 - Kitakami Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/16 - Sendai Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/09 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/08 - Fukushima Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/06 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/03 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/02 - Nara Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/01 - Osaka Cherry Blossom Report
2015/03/31 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2015/03/27 - Fukuoka Cherry Blossom Report
2015/03/26 - Kumamoto Cherry Blossom Report
2015/03/25 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report

2014/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2014
2014/12/15 - Seasonal Illumination: Sendai
2014/12/09 - Seasonal Illumination: Tokyo
2014/12/04 - Autumn Color Report: Kanazawa
2014/12/03 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2014/11/21 - Autumn Color Report: Osaka
2014/11/20 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2014/11/19 - Autumn Color Report: Korankei
2014/11/18 - Autumn Color Report: Miyajima
2014/11/17 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2014/11/13 - Autumn Color Report: Fuji
2014/11/04 - Autumn Color Report: Fuji
2014/10/31 - Autumn Color Report: Karuizawa
2014/10/21 - Autumn Color Report: Bandai
2014/10/20 - Autumn Color Report: Towada
2014/10/01 - Autumn Color Report: Oze National Park
2014/09/29 - Autumn Color Report: Alpine Route
2014/06/19 - Toranomon Hills opens in Tokyo
2014/04/24 - Kitakami Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/23 - Morioka Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/22 - Aizu-Wakamatsu Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/16 - Matsumoto Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/15 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/14 - Yoshino Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/13 - Osaka Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/12 - Kanazawa Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/10 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/06 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/05 - Hiroshima Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/04 - Osaka Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/03 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/02 - Nagoya Cherry Blossom Report
2014/03/31 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2014/03/26 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2014/03/04 - Early Tokyo Blossom Report