Cherry Blossom Report 2011
Official cherry blossom reports by

This year's cherry blossom season will be overshadowed by the tremendous loss caused by the recent earthquake. However, we believe that the blossoms will serve as symbols of hope and resilience and a source of motivation along Japan's road to recovery. With this in mind, we never hesitated to go ahead with our annual reports in order to inform travelers in Japan and readers across the world about this year's cherry blossom season.

2011 Cherry Blossom Forecast - Schedule of upcoming reports - Post your own report
Popular cherry blossom spots - How to do hanami? - Cherry tree varieties

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2011/04/04 - Kyoto Report
by francois

Despite the official opening of the cherry blossoms taking place one week ago, the flowers of Kyoto's somei yoshino are still not far along in their development. However, with clear skies and warm weather predicted for the next three days, the flowers should be opening quite quickly and may start approaching full bloom within that time period. At the moment the most attractive cherry trees are certain early blooming weeping varieties (shidarezakura) that are scattered around Kyoto's cherry blossom spots.

This is our third cherry blossom report from Kyoto this season, with Schauwecker first visiting on March 29 (the day after the official opening of the flowers) and Scott reporting a few days later on April 1. We will be continuing our reporting from the city through this week and next.

April 4, 2011 - opening (10-50%) (somei yoshino)

Arashiyama is still at an early stage of the cherry blossoms season, with about 20-30% of the flowers open on average. The trees that line the riverside in particular have very few flowers. There are however quite a few trees that are further advanced, such as some of those that can be seen in the mountainside behind the river.

There is a cherry tree grove close to the Hankyu Arashiyama Station that was quite a bit further developed, and even had some hanami parties taking place. The trees that are not just beside the river are quite a bit more advanced. There was one tree near the station that was at full bloom, and had attracted many photographers.

When Schauweceker visited the area seven days ago he checked on the state of one of Arashiyama Park's most prominent weeping cherry trees. Located on the middle of the island, the tree opens a few days earlier than the somei yoshino. Today the tree had quite a lot of flowers, but the best trees that I saw were the shidarezakura in the garden of the nearby Tenryuji Temple. Visitors to Arashiyama in the next few days who are looking for cherry blossoms should give the temple a visit.

Kyoto Botanical Garden
April 4, 2011 - opening (10-50%) (somei yoshino)
April 4, 2011 - full bloom (shidarezakura)

The Kyoto Botanical Garden has a wide variety of plants, including a variety of cherry trees which obviously become a popular attraction in early spring. The somei yoshino were at a very early stage of development, with only about 10-20% of the blossoms open on average. However, there was a wide variety of cherry trees, so different trees will have different periods for full bloom over the next couple of weeks.

Once again, the most spectacular tree at the garden was a giant weeping cherry tree that is currently at full bloom. As an interesting side note, the tree happens to be genetically related to the famous weeping cherry tree at the center of Maruyama Park.

Kyoto Imperial Park
April 4, 2011 - just opened (0-10%) (dark pink yae-shidarezakura)
April 4, 2011 - full bloom (light pink shidarezakura)

The massive park of the Kyoto Imperial Palace has a particularly dense collection of weeping cherry trees in its northwest corner. Because the weeping cherry trees are currently at such an attractive state of development, I headed to the park for my last cherry blossom spot of the day.

Since Schauwecker visited last week, the light pink variety of tree has reached full bloom. There is also another later blooming variety of weeping cherry tree that has dark pink petals whose flowers have many more petals. The flowers of these dark pink yae-shidarezakura trees are just opening.

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List of Posts:
2011/05/09 - Sapporo Report
2011/05/06 - Hakodate Report
2011/05/02 - Kakunodate Report
2011/05/01 - Hirosaki Report
2011/04/29 - Kitakami Report
2011/04/22 - Aizu Report
2011/04/21 - Sendai Report
2011/04/20 - Fujigoko Report
2011/04/19 - Tokyo Report
2011/04/16 - Kyoto Report
2011/04/15 - Osaka Report
2011/04/14 - Tokyo Report
2011/04/14 - Kanazawa Report
2011/04/13 - Yoshino Report
2011/04/12 - Kyoto Report
2011/04/12 - Okayama Report
2011/04/11 - Tokyo Report
2011/04/11 - Takamatsu Report
2011/04/10 - Osaka Report
2011/04/10 - Matsuyama Report
2011/04/09 - Kyoto Report
2011/04/08 - Tokyo Report
2011/04/08 - Yoshino Report
2011/04/07 - Hiroshima Report
2011/04/07 - Iwakuni Report
2011/04/07 - Nagoya Report
2011/04/06 - Kyoto Report
2011/04/05 - Tokyo Report
2011/04/04 - Kyoto Report
2011/04/03 - Fukuoka Report
2011/04/02 - Tokyo Report
2011/04/01 - Kyoto Report
2011/04/01 - Kagoshima Report
2011/03/31 - Kumamoto Report
2011/03/31 - Fukuoka Report
2011/03/30 - Tokyo Report
2011/03/30 - Kochi Report
2011/03/29 - Kyoto Report
2011/03/28 - Himeji Report
2011/03/27 - Tokyo Report