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Hiroshima: Blossoms Opening

The cherry blossoms in Hiroshima were announced to have started opening six days ago, on March 22. Today, I visited both the Peace Memorial Park in the city center and the nearby island of Miyajima in order to check how far the season has progressed.

Despite above-average temperatures since Tuesday, most trees that I encountered today were surprisingly still below the halfway mark. On closer inspection, though, I noticed that a majority of buds were highly advanced and need only a little more warmth in order to open. I estimate that best viewing will start in Hiroshima and Miyajima before the end of the weekend.

Miyajima

Blossoms Opening

The cherry trees on Miyajima were on average still below the 50% mark; however, many buds looked like they needed only from a few more hours to a couple more days to open up. Considering today's very warm daytime-high of around 20 degrees and the relatively mild weather forecast to follow afterwards, I expect that best viewing on Miyajima will start sometime during this weekend.

My favorite cherry blossom spot on Miyajima is a small valley not far from the tahoto pagoda on the right side of the torii gate and Itsukushima Shrine (when viewed from the water) which is covered by a few dozen cherry trees. I was delighted to find this valley already beyond the 50% mark and approaching full bloom this morning. I expect best viewing in the valley to start as early as this afternoon.

Beach with a view
Miyajima's famous torii gate will be undergoing renovations from June 2019
View from Itsukushima Shrine towards the tahoto pagoda
The tahoto pagoda on the right side of the shrine (when viewed from the water)
A blooming yamazakura cherry tree overlooking Itsukushima Shrine
The cherry trees around the tahoto pagoda were still at an early state
But on closer inspection, most buds looked highly advanced
From the pagoda it is a few steps to the valley where many more cherry trees can be found
View over the valley
View of the valley
The state of the blossoms
The only two other visitors when I was there around 8:30am today (can you spot the second deer?)
Apart from the blooming weeping cherry tree at the left, most trees around the town were below the 50% mark
These buds are likely to all open within 48 hours
A small park with cherry trees above the town (on the opposite side of the shrine from the valley)
The state of the flowers there

Peace Memorial Park

Blossoms Opening

The cherry trees in Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park were a little bit behind those on Miyajima, with most of the trees only around 10-20 percent open. But the buds here, too, looked quite advanced, and I expect best viewing in the park to start around Saturday.

Cherry trees lining the river at the Peace Memorial Park
The trees were generally only about 10-20 percent open
A typical branch
One of the more advanced trees attracting the attention of bypassers
The A-Bomb Dome flanked by cherry trees barely open
Only a few blossoms have opened so far
The tulips (in the front) were decidedly more advanced than the cherry blossoms (in the back) today
The Peace Memorial Museum is scheduled to fully reopen on April 25, 2019 after years of renovation and partial closure