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

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2014/04/14 - Yoshino Cherry Blossom Report

Taking a breather and enjoying the view

Sean went to Yoshinoyama four days ago and reported that while the blossom petals at the bottom of the mountain had started to fall, the flowers towards the top were 50-80% open. However, the real question for today is 'Did I have sakura cake for lunch too?' (Sean had sakura cake when he was there.)

I hopped on the Sakura Liner to Yoshino Station from Kintetsu Osaka Abenobashi Station. Osaka Abenobashi Station is located below the newly built Abeno Harukas building and across from JR Tennoji Station. Seats on the Sakura Liner must be reserved and are very popular during the cherry blossom season. I just managed to get the last seat available for my train and the journey took about 90 minutes.

Yoshino is in Nara Prefecture, and is a famous place to view cherry blossoms. There are walking trails for those who prefer not walking along the two-lane road. I saw visitors picnicking and enjoying the views. My favourite section in Yoshinoyama was just a little below the Hanayagura viewpoint, at the little community project area. It was high up enough and from there I could look down on the city, as well as see the cherry trees at full bloom.

Shimo Senbon
April 14, 2014 - petals starting to fall

Yoshino Station is in the Shimo Senbon area. There were lots of people waiting for the cable car towards Naka Senbon, as well as people waiting in line for the bus there. While it was a steep walk up to Naka Senbon, there were lots of trees providing shade and pretty good views of the cherry trees in the distance. It was a little difficult to judge the state of the blossoms here as some trees were losing their petals faster than others. But overall, the cherry trees have fewer blossoms than Naka Senbon.

Cherry tree and a rest stop
The blossoms are losing their petals
A weeping tree on the walk up towards Naka Senbon
Dango being sold at most shops
I had soy milk ice cream, not sakura cake

Naka Senbon
April 14, 2014 - petals starting to fall

The shopping street was closed to traffic and was crowded with visitors. I saw many tour groups marching through and headed towards various lookout points. There are more cherry trees along the side road than along the main shopping street. The crowd thinned out a little closer towards Kami Senbon and I had the opportunity to stand beneath a cherry tree and had a flurry of petals blow over me. It looked like it was snowing and I may or may not have breathed in a few petals that flew at my face. If that's what being in a snow globe feels like, I'd love to live in one!

Walking down one of the trails
Close up of the blossoms
Having a snack in the shade
Walking along the trail lets you get up close with nature
A weeping cherry tree along the way
Petals on the ground
Walking along the road offers great views too
Along the upper part of the shopping street

Kami Senbon
April 14, 2014 - full bloom

The way up to Hanayagura viewpoint was a little steep and I marvelled at the elderly who were making their way up slowly. I'd be even more amazed if they had started walking from Yoshino Station. The view at Hanayagura was beautiful and worth the walk up. Everyone around me only had good things to say about the view. The walk up was well worth it after all. Lots of people were queueing patiently to have their picture taken as well as taking their own money shot of the blossoms at full bloom at Yoshinoyama.

View from Hanayagura Viewpoint
Sturdy flowers on the branches
This community project area makes a good sunset viewpoint too
The 'Sakura Mankai!' photo point
Everyone's waiting for their turn to be in front at the viewpoint/font>
You can kind of make out where the road is
Train at Yoshino Station with cherry trees

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List of Posts:
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