Staff Reports
Sean's Japan Travel Journal
by Sean, staff writer of japan-guide.com

previous post
list all posts
next post

2012/04/02 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kagoshima

It's that time of the year again! From today for about a month, the japan-guide team will be sweeping Japan from south to north, bringing you coverage of the cherry blossoms at famous locations across the nation. The cherry blossoms usually start flowering at Kyushu about a week before Honshu. We start off at Kagoshima, move upwards towards Kumamoto and Fukuoka over the next few days, before going further north to the Chugoku Region, the Kansai Region, the Kanto Region, the Tohoku Region, and finally Hokkaido around the first week of May. The cherry trees of Kagoshima started to flower on March 26, so we were expecting them to be between 50% and full bloom at this time.

Yoshino Park
April 02, 2012 - Full bloom

We arrived at Yoshino Park just a little after it opened its gates and were probably the first visitors for the day. The park offers a unique landscape with sub-tropical palm trees in the foreground and beautiful pink cherry blossom trees in the backdrop.

Moving closer towards the cherry trees, we noticed that there were those in full bloom (some even already had petals falling), and those which had only blossomed to about 60%. We asked the park attendant about the situation, and were told that full bloom (for the park in general) had been reached a couple of days ago; I guess in flowers, like in humans, there are late and early bloomers as well. The weather forecast predicts the next few days to be quite windy, which might decrease the longevity of the blossoms, but the current peak state should remain for a few more days at least.

Cherry blossom trees at Yoshino Park
Nice bunch of cherry blossoms
Interesting mix of palm and cherry blossom trees
Early flowering variety: many petals have already fallen
Late flowering variety: only a couple of buds have opened

Senganen Garden
April 02, 2012 - End of season

You might be wondering how it could be the end of season at Senganen, even though its location is not far away from Yoshino Park, which is currently at full bloom. Well that's because Senganen is better known for earlier blooming varieties of cherry trees. These cherry trees are way pass peak now and were green with leaves when we visited.

Senganen is therefore not the place to visit to catch Somei Yoshino cherry blossoms (the widely recognized mainstream variety because it is the most abundant in numbers and arguably the most beautiful). There were however still many tourists at the garden, because it is very beautiful just for the way it is. Only a few Somei Yoshino trees were spotted, and they were only about 10% to 50% in bloom.

Early flowering cherry blossom tree with only one surviving flower left
The tree with brownish leaves on the left of a famous stone lantern is a Yamazakura, also past its peak
Flowers on a rare Somei Yoshimo tree at Sengannen are only just opening

Dinosaur Park at Sakurajima
April 02, 2012 - Opening (10-50%)

Our final stop of the day was at Dinosaur Park at Sakurajima. We took a ferry to cross the sea from downtown Kagoshima to the volcanic peninsula. Schauwecker spotted me scribbling on my notepad during the ride and asked: "Don't you find volcanoes amazing?" He was implying that I didn't seem interested in the natural wonder that was right before our eyes. Of course I was, and I was taking periodical time off my writing to awe at the greatness of it; it's just the other thing on my mind was to complete today's project before the steak dinner that everyone is very excited about.

There were lots of children enjoying themselves at Dinosaur Park. They, of course, paid more attention to the dinosaur-shaped slides and swings than to the cherry blossom trees. We strolled along the park and observed many cherry trees in their fairly early stages of blossoming. It would probably take another three to four days before the majority of the trees reach full bloom. Dinosaur Park is a great location for outdoor gatherings, because it offers ample space for picnics, a large playground for children, and, of course, fantastic views of the Sakurajima volcano.

Car ferry with Sakurajima in the background
State of the cherry blossoms at Dinosaur Park
Many of the cherry blossoms still need a few days more before they become more dense with color
Dinosaur guarding the entrance to the park

previous post
list all posts
next post

List of Posts:
2014/05/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hakodate
2014/05/08 - Cherry Blossom Report: Matsumae
2014/04/23 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fujigoko
2014/04/17 - Cherry Blossom Report: Takato
2014/04/15 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fujigoko
2014/04/11 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2014/04/10 - Cherry Blossom Report: Yoshino
2014/04/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hikone
2014/04/08 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2014/04/05 - Cherry Blossom Report: Matsuyama
2014/04/03 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fukuoka
2014/04/02 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kumamoto
2014/04/01 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2014/03/06 - Shopping around Northern Osaka
2014/01/23 - Nikko in Winter

2013/12/31 - Sean's Travel Highlights 2013
2013/12/06 - Kamakura Report
2013/11/26 - Tokyo Report
2013/11/22 - Kyoto Report
2013/11/21 - Miyajima Report
2013/11/19 - Korankei Report
2013/11/18 - Kyoto Report
2013/11/11 - Sakurayama Report
2013/11/08 - Karuizawa Report
2013/10/29 - Nikko Report
2013/10/18 - Nasu Report
2013/10/17 - Nikko Report
2013/10/14 - Mount Fuji Report
2013/10/10 - Oze Report
2013/09/27 - Alpine Route Report
2013/09/13 - Nakanojo Biennale 2013
2013/08/07 - Exploring Tokyo 2: Around the Tokyo Imperial Palace
2013/05/20 - Tottori Sand Museum 2013
2013/05/07 - Fuji Shibazakura Festival
2013/05/02 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hirosaki
2013/05/01 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kakunodate
2013/04/30 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kitakami
2013/04/23 - Northern Kanto Flower Report
2013/04/17 - Cherry Blossom Report: Takayama
2013/04/12 - Cherry Blossom Report: Matsumoto
2013/04/11 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2013/04/10 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kanazawa
2013/04/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Yoshino
2013/04/08 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2013/04/04 - Cherry Blossom Report: Gunma
2013/04/02 - Cherry Blossom Report: Osaka
2013/04/01 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2013/03/31 - Visiting Shodoshima for the Setouchi Triennale 2013
2013/03/28 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2013/03/27 - Cherry Blossom Report: Osaka
2013/03/26 - Cherry Blossom Report: Nagoya
2013/03/25 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2013/03/21 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2013/03/12 - Tokyo Early Cherry Blossom Report
2013/02/17 - Tokamachi Snow Festival
2013/02/16 - Zao Snow Monster Report
2013/02/15 - Yokote Kamakura Festival
2013/01/10 - Winter Visit to Manza Onsen
2013/01/02 - Tokyo New Year Report

2012/12/31 - Sean's Travel Highlights 2012
2012/12/11 - Autumn Color Report: Tokyo
2012/11/26 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2012/11/25 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2012/11/21 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2012/11/19 - Autumn Color Report: Takaosan
2012/11/16 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2012/11/15 - Autumn Color Report: Shosenkyo
2012/11/07 - Autumn Color Report: Yamadera
2012/11/06 - Autumn Color Report: Naruko
2012/11/05 - Autumn Color Report: Hiraizumi
2012/11/01 - Autumn Color Report: Kuju
2012/10/26 - Autumn Color Report: Minakami
2012/10/24 - Autumn Color Report: Nikko
2012/10/16 - Autumn Color Report: Norikura
2012/10/12 - Autumn Color Report: Oze
2012/10/09 - Autumn Color Report: Nikko
2012/10/05 - Autumn Color Report: Route 292
2012/09/28 - Autumn Color Report: Kurodake
2012/09/27 - Autumn Color Report: Kogen Onsen
2012/09/26 - Autumn Color Report: Asahidake
2012/09/17 - Exploring Tokyo: Gate Bridge
2012/08/20 - Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial 2012
2012/06/27 - Hiking at Mount Azuma
2012/06/18 - Legoland Discovery Center opens in Odaiba
2012/06/18 - Hydrangea Flowers in Kamakura
2012/06/04 - Tokyo Skytree
2012/05/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Sapporo
2012/05/08 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hakodate
2012/05/07 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hirosaki
2012/04/30 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hirosaki
2012/04/29 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kakunodate
2012/04/28 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kitakami
2012/04/28 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hiraizumi
2012/04/25 - Cherry Blossom Report: Sendai
2012/04/24 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fukushima
2012/04/15 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kanazawa
2012/04/14 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2012/04/11 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2012/04/10 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hiroshima
2012/04/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2012/04/07 - Cherry Blossom Report: Osaka
2012/04/06 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2012/04/04 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fukuoka
2012/04/03 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kumamoto
2012/04/02 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kagoshima
2012/03/22 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2012/03/08 - Plum Blossom Report from Kairakuen, Mito
2012/03/07 - Trip to Iwaki, Fukushima
2012/02/21 - Plum Blossom Report from Tokyo
2012/01/30 - Skiing in Inawashiro, Fukushima
2012/01/27 - Kusatsu Hot Springs