Cherry Blossom Report 2013
Official cherry blossom reports by

2013 Cherry Blossom Forecast - Schedule of upcoming reports - Popular cherry blossom spots
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2013/03/21 - Fukuoka Report
by scott

Fukuoka Castle Ruins (Maizuru Park)

Today I headed over to Kyushu to check out the cherry blossoms around Fukuoka. The blossoms here were some of the earliest to open in Japan and were first seen on March 13th. They have been progressing nicely since then and are currently approaching full bloom around the city. Fukuoka's blossoms opened three days earlier than Tokyo's, and seem to be maintaining their slight lead over the those around the capital. Click over to today's Tokyo report when you're done reading this to compare.

Nishi Park (Nishi Koen)
March 21, 2013 - approaching full bloom (50-80%)

The first place I visited today was Nishi Park, a wooded, hillside park just a few minutes walk north of Fukuoka's castle ruins. The park is considered one of Japan's 100 best cherry blossom spots and has about 1300 cherry trees planted in small groves over lawns and picnic spaces spread out along the hillsides. Terumo Shrine, the family shrine of Fukuoka's former feudal lords, sits at the entrance to the park and had some of its more advanced cherry blossoms. Most of those trees were not quite at full bloom just yet, but may be there as early as tomorrow.

The approach to Terumo Shrine

A close up of some of the more advanced blossoms around Terumo Shrine

Some families were having some nice picnics under the trees this morning

There was more variation elsewhere around Nishi Park as it is pretty large and there are lots of little "micro climates" where the trees were at varying states. Many groups of trees were slightly less advanced and perhaps as much as a day behind their faster peers. Either way I think the majority of the park will reach full bloom by this weekend, although the weather forecast isn't looking very picnic friendly.

Nishi Park

A close up of some of the blossoms

Nishi Park

Some areas of the park look out over Hakata Bay

Fukuoka Castle Ruins
March 21, 2013 - approaching full bloom (50-80%)

Next to Ohori Koen Station, Maizuru Park is one of Fukuoka's best cherry blossom spots and a great place to have hanami parties. The park occupies the city's former castle ruins and has about 1000 trees planted around the surviving stone walls.

The majority of the cherry trees are planted below the former main citadel. Unfortunately, the observation platform that sits on the site of the former castle keep was closed off to the public, and I didn't see any notice on when it would reopen.

Maizuru Park

Cherry blossoms in front of Kinen Turret

People enjoying hanami parties at the base of the former main citadel

The trees looked great, however, and were approaching full bloom. Similar to Nishi Park, I would expect the castle to reach full bloom around the weekend. Maizuru Park will have a cherry blossom festival from March 22 to 31 with illuminations in the evenings (18:00-22:00).

A woman looks out from a former castle wall

Hanami parties around the Tamon Turret

That's right, that cat's on a leash

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List of Posts:
2013/05/09 - Hakodate Report
2013/05/08 - Matsumae Report
2013/05/02 - Hirosaki Report
2013/05/01 - Kakunodate Report
2013/04/30 - Kitakami Report
2013/04/18 - Sendai Report
2013/04/17 - Takayama Report
2013/04/15 - Fukushima Report
2013/04/12 - Matsumoto Report
2013/04/11 - Kyoto Report
2013/04/10 - Mount Fuji Report
2013/04/10 - Hakone Report
2013/04/10 - Kanazawa Report
2013/04/09 - Yoshino Report
2013/04/08 - Kyoto Report
2013/04/08 - Tokyo Report
2013/04/05 - Mount Fuji Report
2013/04/04 - Kyoto Report
2013/04/04 - Gunma Report
2013/04/03 - Takamatsu Report
2013/04/02 - Osaka Report
2013/04/02 - Hiroshima Report
2013/04/01 - Tokyo Report
2013/04/01 - Kyoto Report
2013/03/29 - Tokyo Report
2013/03/28 - Gunma Report
2013/03/28 - Kyoto Report
2013/03/27 - Osaka Report
2013/03/27 - Fukuoka Report
2013/03/26 - Nagoya Report
2013/03/26 - Kamakura Report
2013/03/26 - Okayama Report
2013/03/25 - Tokyo Report
2013/03/24 - Kyoto Report
2013/03/23 - Kagoshima Report
2013/03/22 - Kumamoto Report
2013/03/21 - Tokyo Report
2013/03/21 - Fukuoka Report
2013/03/20 - Kyoto Report
2013/03/17 - Tokyo Report
2013/03/12 - Tokyo Report
2013/02/28 - Kawazu Report