Cherry Blossom Report 2013
Official cherry blossom reports by japan-guide.com

2013 Cherry Blossom Forecast - Schedule of upcoming reports - Popular cherry blossom spots
How to do hanami? - Cherry tree varieties - Post your own report

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2013/03/23 - Kagoshima Report
by scott

Yoshino Park

I spent my last day in Kyushu today visiting Kagoshima. One of the southernmost prefectural capitals of Japan, the blossoms here opened on March 15th and are currently at full bloom over most of the city.

Sakurajima Dinosaur Park
March 23, 2013 - approaching full bloom (50-80%)

After a quick ferry ride from the city center I arrived on Sakurajima, a large volcanic island (though technically now a peninsula) that dominates Kagoshima Bay. Sakurajima is one of Japan's most active volcanoes and has a near permanent plume of smoke rising from its crater.

My ultimate destination on the island was Sakurajima Dinosaur Park, a small hilltop park that over looks the ferry port below. The unique park takes its name from the life size dinosaur statues and dinosaur shaped play structures found around its grounds. It is also a nice cherry blossom spot as several hundred cherry trees are planted around the perimeter of the park and scattered about its lawns.

Unfortunately, Dinosaur Park happened to be one of the few places in Kagoshima where the blossoms have not reached full bloom yet. I suppose it's because they are more exposed and experience lower average temperatures than the other trees around the city. Either way, many of the trees have only just passed the 50% open mark and overall I don't think they will reach full bloom until around Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

Sakurajima Dinosaur Park

Only a little more than 50% of the blossoms were open today

A dinosaur (play structure) stands amongst the trees

A larger grove of cherry trees toward the rear of the park

Yoshino Park
March 23, 2013 - full bloom

After returning to the mainland I headed over to Yoshino Park, a sprawling public park in the northern part of the city and about 25 minutes by bus from Kagoshima Chuo Station. Over 800 trees are found throughout the park, with a rather large concentration of them around the southwest corner. The park has lots of well-manicured lawns and ample space for picnicking throughout the grounds.

In contrast to Sakurajima Dinosaur Park earlier this morning, the cherry blossoms around Yoshino Park have reached full bloom and were absolutely beautiful today. Some parts of the park, such as the big cherry tree grove in the southwest corner, were slightly ahead and at that perfect stage where the petals were just beginning to fall. I'm a little bit worried for these parts of the park, though, because of tomorrow's rainy forecast. But most of the park should probably be good through Tuesday before the petals really start to fall.

Yoshino Park

My first (and hopefully not last) full bloom of the season

The largest concentration of trees was around the south corner of the park

Yoshino Park is one of my top picks for hanami party spots, especially for families, as there is lots of space and a lot of other things around like play structures and fountains to entertain the kids. I was surprised today that it wasn't very crowded despite it being a Saturday at the peak of the season.

For the next two weeks (until April 7th) Yoshino Park has a cherry blossom festival during which they will extend their opening hours until 21:00. A few special events and an outdoor market will take place during festival period and the park will be illuminated in the evenings.

Lots of people were picnicking around the park's children's playground

Petals on the ground

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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