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Aizu: Approaching Full Bloom

Sakura blossoms and Tsurugajo

The cherry blossom front line has moved towards the north, and this week, we are checking out the cherry blossoms in cities at higher elevations like the Fuji Five Lakes area as well as in the Tohoku Region. Compared to the early sakura season just about two weeks ago, the pace has seemed to slow down a little while we wait for the blossoms to open further north. Joe visited the impressive Miharu Takizakura in Fukushima Prefecture yesterday and reported that it is at full bloom.

Today I headed to Tsuruga Castle (Tsurugajo) in Aizu Wakamatsu, also in Fukushima Prefecture. The castle maintains its unique red tiles which stand out compared to the other castles in Japan.

Tsuruga Castle:
Approaching Full Bloom

There are approximately 1000 cherry trees on the castle grounds and today I found the blossoms to be at a range from opening to almost at full bloom. Many of the flowers will require at least another two to three days before reaching their best viewing. Rain is forecast for this coming weekend but it should not affect the longevity of the viewing period too much and I expect the best viewing period to continue through into next week. From now till May 6, the castle grounds will be illuminated from sunset till 21:30.

Many of the cherry trees looked like this
Looking down the Ninomaru grounds
Mount Bandai in the back
Not quite full bloom around the Sannomaru area
Looking down from the top of the castle keep
The cherry trees on the western end were definitely more advanced compared to the rest of the castle
Along the moat
Every turn a castle view
Imagine this at full bloom
Still not close to midway yet
Friendly buds
Beautiful day to be out in the park
Almost full bloom at the western end
Like floating on flowers
Private picnic spot
Where have I seen this image before
A bit of a sakura tunnel here
The take-away shop was doing good business today