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Hirosaki: Full Bloom

These sakura are just fabulous

Continuing with our cherry blossom reporting in the Tohoku Region, I headed to Hirosaki Castle in Aomori Prefecture today. The castle is located in Hirosaki Park, and has over 2500 cherry trees of different varieties. The abundance of cherry trees makes Hirosaki Castle one of Japan's best cherry blossom spots, and a personal favourite as well.

The main cherry blossom season has already ended for most of the country, and for those who are arriving later this week or next week, northern Tohoku and Hokkaido would offer the best chances to see the seasonal flowers.


Full Bloom

I spent the day at Hirosaki Castle, checking out the cherry trees in the spacious grounds. I found the mainstream Somei Yoshino cherry trees to be at full bloom, while the weeping cherry trees (shidarezakura) to be opening. I expect the Somei Yoshino cherry trees to remain at their best till at least the end of the week. Rain and strong winds are forecast for tomorrow but the freshly opened blossoms should still be able to hold on strong. The shidarezakura cherry trees should be at their best by the end of this week, and visitors can expect to see different varieties of sakura at their peak.

The sakura festival at Hirosaki Castle will continue until May 7, during which festival food stalls can be found in the northern end of the grounds. The castle park is also illuminated in the evenings from 18:30 to 22:00, offering a different view and opportunities for night hanami picnics.

Cherry trees along the outer moat at full bloom
State of the blossoms
Fluffy pom pom bunches
Can't wait to see a petal galaxy here
Mount Iwaki looming in the back and cherry trees lining the outer moat
Walking into the castle grounds
Boat cruises (1000 yen for about 20 minutes) are offered in the middle moat during the sakura festival between 9:00 and 17:00
The huge shidarezakura in the Ninomaru grounds
Bridge to the main keep
Ongoing repair works to the main keep's foundations
Shidarezakura curtain
The main keep was moved about 70 meters so that its foundations can be repaired
Like wings ready to fly
A variety of cherry trees at the honmaru where the main keep is
Everyday life
Tangled up in shidarezakura branches
Rental row boats available at the west moat
Just keep rowing rowing rowing
Sakura tunnel
Not quite full bloom here, but only a day or two away from it
Festival food stalls at the northern end of the castle park
Picnickers everywhere
Somei Yoshino tree with the widest girth in the world at 5.37 meters
Oldest Somei Yoshino tree in the world at 135 years old