The pace of this year's sakura season has been about a week earlier compared to the average year. Temperatures over the last few days have been warmer than usual, resulting in an earlier best viewing period overall.
Today, I headed to some of the popular cherry blossom spots in Hiroshima to check out how the season has progressed. The opening of the first blossoms (kaika) was announced on March 22, 2018, and full bloom (mankai) was reached today, seven days later. Mild and sunny weather is forecast for the next few days, and is perfect for flower viewing (hanami) parties in Hiroshima. I expect this best viewing period to continue through this weekend and into next week.
Miyajima is an island best known for its giant torii gate which stands in the water. There are a few pockets of cherry trees on the island and today, I found that they were midway towards reaching full bloom. I expect the cherry trees to reach full bloom by this weekend and remain at their best for the next few days after that.
From Miyajima, I took a direct boat to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. The boat ride took about 45 minutes and I arrived to find the cherry trees lining the riverside to be at their best. I expect the best viewing period to continue through the weekend and into next week.
From the Peace Memorial Park, I followed the river and walked towards Hiroshima Castle. The riverside is lined with cherry trees making for a very pleasant afternoon stroll under the open blossoms. The trees along the riverside and at the castle have reached their best viewing period. I expect the remaining closed blossoms to open over the next few days and for the cherry trees to reach their peak this weekend. Nice weather is forecast for the next few days and I foresee lots of hanami parties especially over the coming weekend.
Shukkeien Garden is a beautiful landscape garden a short walk from Hiroshima Castle. Cherry trees can mainly be found at the main entrance and at the eastern end of the garden. I found the cherry blossoms to be at full bloom and expect them to remain at their best viewing period through this coming weekend and into next week.