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Kyoto: Still Closed

Weeping cherry trees in the Kyoto Imperial Park

Today, I headed to Kyoto for our first cherry blossom report from the Kansai Region. While the start to the cherry blossom season in Tokyo was officially reported on March 21, Kyoto and Osaka have not reported the opening of their first blossoms (kaika) yet. Judging from the state of the cherry trees I saw in Kyoto today, it looks like it will be a couple more days before the season kicks off in the old capital.

Sam was in Tokyo today and reported that the blossoms are opening, and that the best viewing is expected to start later this week. Elsewhere in the country, Wakayama was the first city in the Kansai Region to report the opening of their first blossoms, and almost all the cities in Kyushu have reported kaika as well, except for Kumamoto.

Arashiyama

Not Open Yet

I started my day in Arashiyama where I found no open blossoms. Cherry trees can be found not far from the Hankyu Arashiyama Station as well as in the area around the Togetsukyo Bridge. The flowers were still in tight buds when I visited this morning and looks like it will still be a few more days before they open.

Chery tree grove not far from the Hankyu Arashiyama Station
Close up of the blossoms
Imagine cycling down this road when the flowers are in bloom
Cherry trees near Togetsukyo Bridge
Nothing open here yet

Kyoto Imperial Park

Approaching Full Bloom

My second stop for the day was the Kyoto Imperial Park. There is a grove of weeping cherry trees in the northwestern end of the park, and I am pleased to report that the cherry trees there were approaching their peak. I expect the best viewing of the cherry blossoms at the Kyoto Imperial Park to continue through the coming weekend and into next week. For those who are planning to combine a sakura viewing trip together with a visit to the Kyoto Imperial Palace at the park, note that entry into the palace complex is currently closed to the public until March 27, 2019.

This tree got a lot of attention at the park
Weeping cherry trees in bloom at Kyoto Imperial Park
Look at all these flowerz
Moar weeping cherry trees
Much pretty, such delicate

Maruyama Park

Not Open Yet

My final stop for the day was Maruyama Park, a popular cherry blossom spot in Kyoto. There were almost no open cherry blossoms at the park when I was there today, and it looks like a couple more days of warmer temperatures are needed before the flowers open. The festival food and game stores were getting ready for the coming flower season, and I saw some people enjoying their picnic under the cherry trees despite the lack of open blossoms.

That weeping cherry tree in the middle of Maruyama Park
Not too long before they burst open
Nothing open on this side
Close up of the flower buds
Hanami or should I say tsubomi?
Let's see how this place looks in a week from now