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Hiroshima: Approaching Full Bloom

Cherry trees along the riverside

With the warm weather all week, lots of cherry trees have been flowering and from chasing the openings of the season, we have progressed to best viewing periods for the sakura season. Nagoya was one of the first few cities in the country to kick off the cherry blossom season, and full bloom (mankai) was declared today, 14 days after opening. Fukui on the other hand, took only four days to reach mankai. Other cities that reached full bloom today include Tokyo, Wakayama, Gifu and Tottori. The flowers usually remain at their peak for about a week after reaching mankai, so this weekend would be great for cherry blossom viewing (hanami) parties for those near these cities.

Today, I visited Hiroshima to check out the state of the flowers in the city. Most of them were still under the halfway mark, but are very close to reaching mankai within the next couple of days thanks to the warm weather. It is forecast to rain tomorrow, but the temperatures still remain warm and should not affect the blooming process too much.

Peace Memorial Park

Blossoms Opening

I started my day at the Peace Memorial Park. The sprawling park has about 300 cherry trees scattered around, with most of them along the riverside. I found the flowers here to be just under midway towards full bloom, and it should only be a few more days before they reach mankai. Parts of the A-Bomb Dome was under restoration since late last year, but most of the scaffolding has since been removed.

Staff who keep parks clean
Slightly more buds than open blossoms
Looking at the trees along the riverside
A couple enjoying the morning under the trees
State of the blossoms
This tunnel will be amazing in a couple of days
A group of exchange students at the memorial
Cherry blossoms and the A-Bomb Dome
Sakura flowers along the riverside
Residents exercising

Hiroshima Castle

Approaching Full Bloom

From the park, I walked along the cherry tree lined riverside towards Hiroshima Castle. It takes about 20 minutes to walk between the A-Bomb Dome and the castle. There are cherry trees planted along the moat as well as a small section filled with sakura trees. The flowers here were more advanced compared to at the Peace Memorial Park, and over halfway towards full bloom. The visitors at the castle were enjoying the open blossoms as I was at the castle. I expect the flowers to improve further over the next couple of days and be at their best viewing from the weekend.

Hiroshima Castle
The entrance to the main keep surrounded by cherry trees
Fluffy flower bunches
Looking down from the top of the castle
At a small clearing to the side of the castle
Blossoms almost at full bloom
Inside the small cherry tree corridor that could be seen from the top of the castle

Shukkeien Garden

Approaching Full Bloom

The last place I visited in Hiroshima was Shukkeien Garden, a beautiful garden not far from Hiroshima Station. There were a number of walking trails covering the garden and I followed them in search of the cherry trees (which weren't hard to find). The cherry blossoms were on their way towards full bloom and were just beautiful to see. The garden is illuminated in the evenings during the cherry blossom season until April 3 from 18:00 to 21:00 (entry until 20:30).

A temporary tea area just outside the Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum
Not long before these reach full bloom
Inside Shukkeien Garden
Cherry trees planted alongside tea plants
Everyone who passed this tree stoped to take pictures with it and of it
Give this a day or two to open completely
Sakura in the garden
Buildings and cherry trees from across the garden
A flower garden near the main entrance of the garden, with a weeping cherry tree on the right
Cherry trees and peach trees in the flower garden
At the shop and restaurant by the entrance