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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2011/04/06 - Kyoto Report
by scott

Today I headed back out to Kyoto to resume coverage of the cherry blossoms in western Japan. This was our fourth visit to Kyoto this season, and during the day I was able to revisit some sights that we had reported on previously (Keage Incline, Okazaki Canal, Maruyama Park, Daigoji Temple) as well as add Heian Jingu to our list of covered spots.

Keage Incline and the Okazaki Canal
April 6, 2011 - approaching full bloom (50-80%)

Since our last visit to the Keage Incline on April 1, 2011 the cherry blossoms have advanced rapidly and are quickly approaching full bloom. It looks like it will be just be a few more days before they reach full bloom, and I would expect it to be very crowded here over the weekend.

The cherry trees along the Okazaki Canal were slightly behind those found along the Keage Incline only a few hundred meters away. Due to this I think you can expect the area to hit full bloom a day or so later than the incline.

Heian Jingu
April 6, 2011 - opening (10-50%) (weeping cherry)
April 6, 2011 - opening (10-50%) (somei yoshino)

Heian Jingu is a large shrine that is only a short walk from the Okazaki Canal. In fact, the large orange tori gate that you see in the picture above is the beginning of the approach to the shrine grounds. Heian Jingu has a large garden behind the main shrine building that features dozens of dark pink weeping cherry trees (Shidareyaezakura) which is a late blooming cherry variety. Their blossoms are still in the opening stages and don't look like they will reach full bloom for until the beginning of next week at the earliest.

There are a few scattered somei yoshino trees planted around the gardens. Their blossoms are slightly ahead of the shrine's weeping cherry trees, however they are still a little under 50% open and look like they will need at least a few more days to reach full bloom.

Maruyama Park
April 6, 2011 - approaching full bloom (50-80%) (weeping cherry)
April 6, 2011 - approaching full bloom (50-80%) (somei yoshino)

Maruyama Park's central weeping cherry tree has made good progress since our visit last week and looks to be just shy of full bloom. It may be just a matter of a day or two before the tree's blossoms are fully open.

The somei yoshino trees, on the other hand, look to have only just tipped the 50% open mark and will probably not reach full bloom until early next week. That didn't stop it from being crowded again with hanami parties. Or shall I say, reserved spots for hanami parties that will happen later in the afternoon.

Daigoji Temple
April 6, 2011 - full bloom (weeping cherry)
April 6, 2011 - approaching full bloom (50-80%) (somei yoshino)

Finally, I made a follow up visit to Daigoji Temple, one of the spots that Schauwecker covered on our first Kyoto cherry blossom report trip of the year. Since then the somei yoshino cherry blossoms have opened and look to be right on the verge of being fully open. I did see enough closed buds, however, that I think it will still be a day or two before full bloom is reached at the temple.

However, the early blooming weeping cherry trees around the temple grounds have clearly reached full bloom and look spectacular. Some are beginning to drop a few petals here and there when rustled by the wind, but they should continue to look their best for a few more days.

I also noticed that there were a few later blooming weeping cherry trees around the temple as well. These darker pink variety are just beginning to open and look similar to the trees at Heian Jingu. In any case, I wouldn't expect these to reach full bloom until later next week.

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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