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Kanazawa: Blossoms Opening

Cherry trees around the Sakuragaoka entrance

Sakura season in Kanazawa started officially on April 1, 2019 when the first blossoms opened. Today, I headed to Kanazawa four days after kaika to see how far the flowers at two of the popular cherry blossom spots in the city have progressed since.

There was cold front over the beginning of the week which left about 1cm of snow - not a common occurance for April - in the city on Tuesday. That burst of cold weather slowed the progress of the blossoms, and I found that the flowers were still under the halfway mark to full bloom today. Judging by the state of the flowers here and the upcoming warm weather forecast, I expect the cherry blossoms in Kanazawa to reach their peak by early next week and for the best viewing to last through next week.

Elsewhere in the country, I am pleased to report that many cities that kicked off their sakura season in March are currently in their best viewing period. Osaka, Nagoya, Kumamoto, Matsuyama and Takamatsu are officially at full bloom. Warm and sunny spring weather is forecast for the next few days, and I expect it to be a busy hanami weekend. Over in the north, Fukushima is the first city in the Tohoku Region to report the opening of their first blossoms today. Our latest cherry blossom reports from various places in Japan can be found here.

Kanazawa Castle

Blossoms Opening

Kanazawa Castle was the seat of the Maeda Clan, feudal lords who ruled the Kaga Domain which is in modern day Ishikawa Prefecture. Today, only a few original structures remain and the central buildings that can be seen are detailed reconstructions. There are lots of cherry trees on the castle grounds, in particular at the Gyokuseninmaru Garden, by the inner moat, near the Ishikawamon Gate and along the perimeter of the castle walls. I found the cherry blossoms to be under the halfway mark to their best and should reach their best viewing in a few days from now given the forecast of warmer temperatures.

Until April 11, 2019, entry to the Kanazawa Castle park grounds will be from 7:00 to 21:30 (entry until 21:00), and the grounds will be illuminated from 18:00 to 21:30 during the same period.

State of the blossoms at Kanazawa Castle
Views along the perimeter of the walls
Cherry blossoms by the inner moat
Ishikawamon Gate and sakura
I always wish that the default hanami picnic mat didn't look like the construction tarp
Gyokuseninmaru Garden
The Nezumitamon Gate by the Gyokuseninmaru Garden is currently being reconstructed and is scheduled to open next summer
Looking down towards the bus stop between the castle and the garden
Kanazawa Castle on the right, Kenrokuen Garden on the left
The convenient Kanazawa shuttle bus on the road between Kanazawa Castle and Kenrokuen Garden

Kenrokuen Garden

Blossoms Opening

Kenrokuen Garden is one of the top three landscape gardens in Japan and one that offers visitors excellent seasonal views throughout the year. Cherry trees can be found throughout the garden especially along the row of shophouses near and around the Katsurazaka entrance, along the stream that runs through the garden and near the Hisagoike Pond. I found the cherry blossoms to be under the halfway mark to their best and should reach their best viewing in a few days from now given the forecast of warmer temperatures.

Until April 11, 2019, admission to Kenrokuen Garden is free and the opening times will be from 7:00 to 21:30 (entry until 21:00). The garden will also be illuminated from 18:00 to 21:30 during the same period.

State of the blossoms in Kenrokuen Garden
Cherry trees and lanterns all lined up
This will soon be a sakura tunnel
Cherry trees along the riverbank
These will all be open in a day or two
Good business at the shop inside the garden
Row of shophouses just outside the garden
Cherry tree at full bloom by the Hisagoike Pond