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

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2014/04/05 - Hiroshima Cherry Blossom Report

The iconic gate of Itsukushima Shrine

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.

Sean was in Matsuyama today and you can read his report here. With rain forecast for most of western Japan today, I wonder how the cherry blossoms fared where he was.

Miyajima
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.

Picnicking in a small park
Close up of the cherry blossoms with the five-story pagoda in the background

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.

Cherry trees near the two-story pagoda
View of Itsukushima Shrine and the five-story pagoda

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.

Deer in Miyajima
The little pink valley I visited
A little drizzle and the cold does not keep visitors away from Miyajima
The giant shrine gate with Itsukushima Shrine behind

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.

Picnicking under the cherry trees
Close up of the cherry blossoms against the boat that goes to Miyajima
The last of the cherry blossoms hanging on
The Memorial Cenotaph with the Peace Memorial Museum in the background

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.

Tour group visiting the Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound
Many thousands of paper cranes
More leaves than blossoms at the Peace Memorial Park
Cherry trees along the river near the Peace Memorial Museum

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List of Posts:
2019/10/23 - 46th Tokyo Motor Show
2019/03/20 - Moominvalley Park opens near Tokyo
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