Cherry Blossom Report 2012
Official cherry blossom reports by japan-guide.com

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Popular cherry blossom spots - How to do hanami? - Cherry tree varieties

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2012/04/14 - Kyoto Report
by sean

The cherry blossoms are beautiful, but their ephemerality makes it sad at the same time. Don't we all wish that the cherry blossoms will remain forever? But then again, such is the nature of humans that they'd be taken for granted if they did.

It's another wet morning as I set off for Arashiyama - maybe it's by no coincidence that the name literally means "Storm Mountain". No, that's just me being unhappy that my toes will be wet again; Arashiyama is actually a great spot to view cherry blossoms. I am, however, a little worried that the rain which carried on from last evening might have caused more petals to fall, following the bad weather this past Wednesday.

Later in the day I will also revisit Okazaki Canal, Keage Incline, Philosopher's Path and Maruyama Park, carrying the hope that the majority of the lovely blossoms will still be around to accompany weekend hanami (cherry blossom viewing) party goers.

April 14, 2012 - Petals starting to fall

Although it was drizzling slightly when I arrived in the morning, the visibility wasn't bad and I was able to catch good views from angles different from my past visit. Two rainy days in the past four days proved too much for some of the cherry blossoms, which have started to shed petals.

With more favorable weather conditions, peak period here could have lasted longer, but it seemed this period would end slightly prematurely this year. Nevertheless, the cherry blossoms were still very pleasant for the moment, and many were enjoying the scenery as I was.

Okazaki Canal/ Keage Incline
April 14, 2012 - Petals starting to fall

The rain stopped, and traces of the sun's rays filtered through the thick clouds. Then, it started to snow. Spring snow. Pink, fluffy, fluttering spring snow.

I was joined by many others at the trail along Okazaki Canal, gasping at the beauty of the scene of falling cherry blossom petals, onto the path and into the water. It was the first time I was caught in such a dilemma this year: unsure of whether to focus my lens on the blossoms on the trees, or on the falling petals floating gracefully with the wind. The result was a trigger-happy index finger pressing incessantly on the snap button.

Some consider this the most beautiful part of a cherry blossom's life: when their petals start to rain down. Again, behind the beauty of the scene lies a certain sadness within that the season will be over soon; but as the leaves start to replace the flowers, we have been assured that the trees are making no mistake in their year-long process of rejuvenating themselves, and thus we can all look forward to next season after this one expires.

Philosopher's Path
April 14, 2012 - Petals starting to fall

As I approached Philosopher's Path, I started to think again. This time I came up with an evil plot: my bag which was left open had gathered quite some cherry blossom petals; I'd stick them to cardboards, laminate them, attach ribbons and sell them as cherry blossom bookmarks on Ebay. Made in Japan.

The sun started to shine and crowds started to appear in hoards. Like the previous two locations, the petals have also begun to fall. Also like the previous two locations, peak probably wouldn't last into Monday, but at least the weekend hanami goers should still be able to enjoy nice views of the cherry blossoms.

Maruyama Park
April 14, 2012 - Petals starting to fall

Who are the worst singers on planet earth? The crows are. Monotonous. Repetitive. Persistent. In a nutshell: a nuisance. Only the desire to retain my composure among the literally thousands of other visitors kept me from taking my one-man army on a crusade to chase them all away.

It turned out to be a great day and as I write, the thousands are still immersing in the weekend festivities at Maruyama Park. I reckon many will also be present for the night festivities, which will last till 1 late at night.

It's dry again in Kyoto, and so it will stay tomorrow, but please hurry if you want to catch good views of the cherry trees - with soon to fall, falling or fallen petals - here.

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List of Posts:
2012/05/09 - Sapporo Report
2012/05/08 - Hakodate Report
2012/05/07 - Hirosaki Report
2012/04/30 - Hirosaki Report
2012/04/29 - Kakunodate Report
2012/04/28 - Takizakura Report
2012/04/28 - Kitakami Report
2012/04/28 - Aizu Report
2012/04/28 - Hiraizumi Report
2012/04/25 - Mount Fuji Report
2012/04/25 - Sendai Report
2012/04/24 - Fukushima Report
2012/04/18 - Tokyo Report
2012/04/17 - Kyoto Report
2012/04/16 - Yoshino Report
2012/04/15 - Kanazawa Report
2012/04/15 - Tottori Report
2012/04/14 - Kyoto Report
2012/04/14 - Osaka Report
2012/04/14 - Himeji Report
2012/04/13 - Tokyo Report
2012/04/12 - Yokohama Report
2012/04/12 - Kamakura Report
2012/04/11 - Kyoto Report
2012/04/10 - Hiroshima Report
2012/04/09 - Tokyo Report
2012/04/09 - Kyoto Report
2012/04/07 - Osaka Report
2012/04/06 - Tokyo Report
2012/04/06 - Kyoto Report
2012/04/06 - Nagoya Report
2012/04/04 - Fukuoka Report
2012/04/03 - Tokyo Report
2012/04/03 - Kumamoto Report
2012/04/02 - Kagoshima Report
2012/04/01 - Kyoto Report
2012/03/31 - Tokyo Report
2012/03/22 - Tokyo Report
2012/03/15 - Tokyo Report