by Raina, staff writer of japan-guide.com
2014/04/05 - Hiroshima Cherry Blossom Report
After yesterday's cool weather and falling cherry blossom petals in Osaka, I headed west towards Hiroshima today. It has been five days since full bloom was announced officially in Hiroshima, and today, I went to see how the flowers were faring. I arrived in Hiroshima to overcast skies and chilly weather. However this weather did not deter visitors to Miyajima, as they arrived in droves.
April 5, 2014 - petals starting to fall
With it's iconic shrine gate (torii) standing in the sea, Miyajima is a popular place to visit regardless of season. Unfortunately it was high tide when I was there, so I wasn't able to walk to the foot of the giant torii. There are boats taking you to the foot of the torii if you want to visit it during high tide. The season here was a little slower than in Hiroshima. If you want to have a cherry blossom viewing party in Miyajima, you should go within the next couple of days before the cherry trees lose more petals.
I visited the area near Itsukushima Shrine and the five-story pagoda, and also went to Taho-to, a two-story pagoda near the exit of the shrine. There were a few cherry trees near the exit of the shrine, but the best places to view cherry blossoms required a little bit of climbing up stairs as they are near the pagodas. These areas was also not as crowded as Itsukushima shrine and its immediate surroundings.
I also went to a little valley near the two-story pagoda which was absolutely beautiful. It had an other-worldly feel to it under the overcast skies. The ground was covered in pink petals, and the remaining blossoms and leaves covered the sky giving the place a pink glow. From Miyajima, I headed back to the ferry terminal and went to the Peace Memorial Park. A ferry ride to the Peace Memorial Park costs 2000 yen one way, and departs every 40 minutes.
Hiroshima Peace Park
April 5, 2014 - beyond peak
My last stop for today was the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. There was a quiet and respectful feeling around the area, and the slight drizzle added to the sombre atmosphere. There were many visitors here as well, with most people exploring the A-bomb dome, the Memorial Cenotaph and the Peace Memorial Museum.
The cherry trees along the riverside were faring better than the ones in the park. I saw some people having cherry blossom viewing picnics along the riverside despite the slight drizzle. Some of the cherry trees in the park had more green leaves than cherry blossoms, and I am afraid the flowers will not last till next week. Like Miyajima, you should head to Hiroshima within the next few days to catch the last of the cherry blossoms.