This year's cherry blossom season continues to progress quickly, with many major cities now well into their period of optimal viewing. With heavy rain around much of the country from yesterday into today however, it remains to be seen how much of dampener this may have on what remains of the season.

A day on from my trip to Mount Yoshinoyama, I today visited the quaint coastal city of Onomichi in Hiroshima Prefecture to check on the blossoms at Senkoji Park and along the city's well known temple walk.

While most of the blossom was still looking full and attractive, rain that lasted here until mid-morning had already thinned these out somewhat, while scattering a thin carpet of petals along much of my route.

After arriving into Onomichi Station, my first stop was at Senkoji Park, overlooking the city and the Seto Inland Sea from the upper part of a steep hill slightly to the north. Meandering through the park towards the summit observatory, I came across a series of nicely laid out viewing spaces, some decked out with lanterns and other decorations.

Despite the rain I found the blossom here to be in full bloom and mostly in good condition, although the emergence of green leaves and developing pink spots at the center of each flower made it clear we are already approaching the end of peak viewing. With no more rain forecast this week, I would expect them to still their best for another 2-4 days, but no longer.

From the park, I made my way back down towards the center of town for a stroll along Onomichi's famous temple walk - a 2.5 kilometer route winding through narrow residential streets, connecting dozens of small to medium sized temples.

Following the path as it wound it's way through a maze of narrow streets and up some treacherously steep flights of steps, I paused here and there to look at the odd tree or branch, occasionally following my nose into temple grounds if it looked promising. After a while the sun emerged, and I felt that my timing was pretty much ideal, with the blossom, the light springling of petals and even the sheen of rainfall somehow perfectly setting off the quaint surroundings.

While the progress of the blossoms along the walk were very similar to what I saw earlier at Senkoji Park, it seemed as if they had begun to bloom a day or two earlier, leaving them vulnerable to the rain - petals were strewn everywhere, in particular at Jizen-in and Saigoji where they formed a lovely pink carpet.

I would predict a good viewing experience for any visitors lucky enough to arrive in the next day or two - with the caveat that any further showers could drastically change this picture - with branches looking increasingly green and sparse thereafter.