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2015/04/04 - Hiroshima Report
by scott

After a few days of cold, wet weather around much of Japan, it was nice to arrive in Hiroshima this morning and be greeted by warm, sunny skies. Like many cities around the country, the cherry trees in Hiroshima reached full bloom earlier this week (five days earlier in Hiroshima than in an average year), and have been putting on quite a show over the last few days. However the poor weather, which in some areas included bouts of light rain, comes with a cost at this point in the season as there is a high potential to knock the petals right off the trees. I wasn't sure how hard it rained yesterday, so I was unsure about what I would find around Hiroshima's popular cherry blossoms spots today.

Shukkeien Garden
April 4, 2015 - petals starting to fall

After stepping off the shinkansen and stowing my bags in a coin locker, I took a 10 minute walk over to Shukkeien, a traditional Japanese pond garden built in a style that shows miniaturized versions of scenic views. The garden has a few spots around its grounds where visitors can stroll under and enjoy cherry blossoms.

The flowers around the garden reached their peak earlier in the week and the season is starting to come to a close. The petals are now falling freely from the branches, and some of the more advanced areas of the gardens have passed beyond peak. Though it was relatively calm when I was visiting, there were plenty of petals on the ground, no doubt from last evening's showers, and any gusts of wind have the potential to kick up cherry blossom storms (hanafubuki). Unfortunately, it's expected to rain over the next few days so the main season at Shukkeien will likely come to a close in a matter of hours. After that it will just be a handful of later blooming cherry blossoms left in bloom around the garden.

Hiroshima Castle
April 4, 2015 - beyond peak

After another short walk, I arrived at Hiroshima Castle which has a several hundred cherry trees planted around its grounds. Some of the best spots lie along the castle's high stone walls which offer plenty of unique spots for cherry blossom viewing parties (hanami) under the trees.

The cherries around Hiroshima Castle were even more advanced than at Shukkeien, with lots of downed petals and plenty of green leaves beginning to show through along most parts of the castle grounds. Not quite the end of the season just yet, but at this point it may only be a matter of hours especially with the incoming weather.

Peace Park
April 4, 2015 - petals starting to fall

Again, after another sort walk I arrived at the Hiroshima Peace Park where the trees were the best I'd seen in central Hiroshima's popular cherry blossom spots. Though the park serves a somber purpose, during the sakura season it becomes a lively place, and was probably the hottest hanami spot today due to the great weather and the beautiful blossoms. If we are lucky the trees around the park will make it through the weekend's rain and from now are probably your best chance to see blossoms in the city.

April 4, 2015 - petals starting to fall

My final stop today was Miyajima, the iconic shrine island that can be conveniently reached from the Peace Park in a direct, hour-long ferry ride. A moderate number of cherry trees are planted around the town area of the island and in a few small parks along the mountain slopes on the outskirts of town.

The trees around the island were similar to those at the Peace Park. Most still had a good percentage of their blossoms, but were also losing petals pretty freely. Again, I wouldn't expect the season to last much longer due to the incoming rain.

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List of Posts:
2015/04/30 - Sapporo Report
2015/04/29 - Hakodate Report
2015/04/23 - Kakunodate Report
2015/04/22 - Hirosaki Report
2015/04/21 - Kitakami Report
2015/04/16 - Sendai Report
2015/04/16 - Fujigoko Report
2015/04/15 - Kyoto Report
2015/04/14 - Yoshino Report
2015/04/13 - Takizakura Report
2015/04/10 - Himeji Report
2015/04/10 - Takada Report
2015/04/09 - Tokyo Report
2015/04/09 - Kyoto Report
2015/04/08 - Fukushima Report
2015/04/08 - Matsumoto Report
2015/04/07 - Yoshino Report
2015/04/06 - Tokyo Report
2015/04/06 - Kyoto Report
2015/04/05 - Okayama Report
2015/04/04 - Hiroshima Report
2015/04/03 - Kyoto Report
2015/04/03 - Nagoya Report
2015/04/02 - Tokyo Report
2015/04/02 - Nara Report
2015/04/01 - Osaka Report
2015/04/01 - Kumagaya Report
2015/03/31 - Kyoto Report
2015/03/30 - Tokyo Report
2015/03/27 - Fukuoka Report
2015/03/26 - Kumamoto Report
2015/03/25 - Tokyo Report