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Fukushima: Full Bloom

The hillside of Fukushima's Hanamiyama Park covered in flowers at full bloom

As the cherry blossom season is wrapping up this week in much of southern Japan, the blossom "front" has started moving north as the season is now entering its best viewing period in the northerly Tohoku Region and high elevation areas like Mt. Yoshino and the Mt. Fuji area.

In central Japan, Kyoto and Osaka are now coming to the end of their full bloom period, but may still be relatively attractive a little further into the week depending on the weather. As Schauwecker reported yesterday in Tokyo, the blossoms there are now past their peak, with later-blooming varieties now blooming for those who missed the main season there.

Following the "main" sakura (cherry blossom) front, today I headed to Tohoku's southernmost prefecture of Fukushima, where I found one of the region's most impressive cherry blossom spots in full bloom.

Hanamiyama Park

Full Bloom

My destination for the day was Hanamiyama Park located in central Fukushima City. Literally meaning "flower view mountain", Hanamiyama is a park sprawled over a few small mountain slopes which in mid-late April is covered in a stunning array of flowering cherry blossoms and other flowering plants.

Today, almost every variety of flower in the park was at full bloom, with the exception of the more mainstream Somei Yoshino cherry blossoms, which were still opening but not far from reaching their peak. Walking up to the park's highest point, the flowers and views out to Fukushima City and the snowy Azuma Mountains were fantastic.

The park is easily accessible via a frequent shuttle bus from Fukushima Station (250 one way, 500 round trip, running from March 30 to April 21 starting at 9:00). Alternatively, a taxi ride costs a fixed fare of 1550 yen one way (until early May) from the east exit of the station.

Walking around the lovely residential area at the base of the Hanamiyama
Flowers all around the park area were at full bloom today
Most of the mainstream Somei Yoshino cherry blossoms around the park were still opening today but are making fast progress
The snowy Azuma Mountains in the background
Walking through a flower wonderland
Sakura mosaic
Climbing the 'mountain'
And it was all yellow
<3 from Fukushima
Yoshino eat your heart out
Blossoms still opening at the top of the hill (meaning even more time to enjoy the flowers!)
Hard to beat views
Flowers around every corner
Pretty pink petals
Not a bad place to call home
Pond denizen
House of flowers
Colors of spring