The second half of April is typically when the cherry blossom season peaks in the north, especially in the Tohoku Region. Today, I visited Hirosaki, specifically Hirosaki Park, three days after Matt was here last week. Hirosaki Park is one of the top cherry blossom spots in Japan - in my humble opinion - containing about 52 varieties of cherry trees with the majority being the mainstream Somei Yoshino variety, and over 2600 cherry trees in total. The cherry blossom viewing period at Hirosaki Castle lasts almost a month, thanks to the variety of early and late flowering cherry trees.

There are two parts to enjoying the season here. The first part is visiting when the blossoms are at full bloom, and the second part visiting when the petals have started falling to see the petals floating in the castle moat. The blossoms were at full bloom when Matt visited last Thursday, and I observed today that the petals have started falling. I expect the best viewing at Hirosaki Castle to continue until Wednesday when it is forecast to rain.

A sakura festival is held until May 5, during which time, Hirosaki Park is illuminated from sunset till 22:00. Food and game stalls can be found on the park grounds, adding to the festival atmosphere.