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

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2015/04/08 - Fukushima Cherry Blossom Report

Today I bring you our first report from Fukushima in the Tohoku Region, while Joe will be updating from Nagano Prefecture. Eastern Japan had a cold spell overnight and the Kanto Region experienced light snowfall this morning. It was raining as I headed towards Fukushima this morning, and the rain turned to snow midway through my journey. Fortunately, there was neither rain nor snow when I arrived at my destination, just a cold wintry temperature of four degrees Celsius.

Fukushima City had the opening of its first blossoms (kaika) on April 2, a week earlier than the average year, and reached full bloom (mankai) four days later on April 6 thanks to the warmer than average temperatures last week. The Miharu Takizakura tree in Miharu City, Fukushima, reported the opening of its first blossoms on April 4, and may reach mankai in about a week. The blossoms usually last for about a week at their peak before the petals start falling from the trees, and strong wind and rain can shorten the peak viewing period.

Hanamiyama Park
April 8, 2015 - approaching full bloom (50-80%) (Somei Yoshino)

Hanamiyama Park is Fukushima City's top cherry blossom spot. There are about 30 different varieties of flora grown on about 25 hectares of land. Many, if not all, of the plants are grown on private land, but it is not considered trespassing if you stick to the walking trails. There are shuttle buses (250 yen one way, 500 yen round trip, frequent departures until April 29) from the east exit of the JR Fukushima Station, or alternatively, a taxi ride costs a fixed fare of 1550 yen one way (until April 30) from the east exit of the station.

I arrived at Hanamiyama to chilly weather and overcast skies, and started my walk around the large park to the various viewpoints. There are a number of well marked walking trails which made for a pleasant morning walk and volunteer guides stationed along the trails to provide assistance if required.

The most commonly seen cherry tree throughout Japan, the Somei Yoshino trees, were slightly above the 50 percent mark of opening, while the peach blossoms were approaching full bloom, and the nanohana (rape blossoms) and jugatsu cherry blossoms were at full bloom. It would be a few more days before the Somei Yoshino trees reach their peak, but the park is still beautiful to see as there are many other flowers in bloom and more blooming over the next few days.

The approach to the park lined with cherry trees
Many photographers near the entrance of the park with a few Somei Yoshino trees
Jugatsu cherry blossoms at full bloom
Along one of the walking trails
Vivid peach blossoms
I saw a few of these signs around the park
Over here, we can see a photographer in his natural habitat blending into his surroundings
Kanhizakura that are native to Taiwan and Okinawa
View of the town below
Sakura drain covers
Fields and flowers
Saw a number of trees with these tiny flowers around the park
Somei Yoshino blossoms against pink peach blossoms and yellow nanohana fields
Flowering trees covering the hillside and the walking paths on the hill
Clouds lifted a little to uncover the mountain tops
Live camera updates of Hanamiyama inside JR Fukushima Station

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List of Posts:
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