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

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2012/04/04 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fukuoka

If you haven't already noticed, castles - or the remains of them - are usually good places to do hanami (cherry blossom viewing). If you happen to be in Japan during the cherry blossom season and do not know where to go to see them, the nearest castle, should there be one, is likely to offer at least decent views.

Today we move north to Fukuoka, Kyushu's most populous city. After yesterday's gales across Japan, most cities woke up to sunny weather today. However, it has been forecasted that many cities in the Tohoku Region, Hokkaido, and some cities along the Sea of Japan are to experience strong winds for another day or two; good thing for the cherry blossoms in these areas that they are still hiding in their calyxes at the moment, and are thus protected from the rigors of the wind.

Fukuoka Castle Ruins (Maizuru Park)
April 4, 2012 - Full bloom

We were excited at the prospects of seeing nice cherry trees at their peak today, and were not disappointed by the many we saw here. Even from a distance, we could see the unmistakable pinkish white of the cherry blossoms; they were dense with color, suggesting that it is currently peak season at this location.

Despite today being a weekday, healthy crowds were at the park, happily seated on neatly placed picnic mats under the shade of the cherry trees, enjoying hanami. Judging by the amount of food and drinks some brought with them, I think they are probably intending to stay till dusk to catch the night illuminations of the cherry trees, which is held from 18:00 to 22:00 daily. Festivities which feature the night illuminations and festival food stalls will be until April 8, about the time when the ephemeral cherry blossoms here at Maizuru Park are expected to start fading away.

Slope leading to the location of the former castle's main keep
Pretty cherry blossoms
Strong turnout for hanami
Newly wedded couple enjoying the scenery
Ladies enjoying the flowers of a weeping cherry tree, which will take a couple more days to reach full bloom

Uminonakamichi Kaihin Park
April 4, 2012 - Full bloom

We made our first trip to the Uminonakamichi Kaihin Park (C̒Cl), a large seaside park with a zoo, jungle gyms and playgrounds for children, many open spaces for picnics to be held, and various types of flowers on display all year round.

The park is nicely done with wide streets for strolls, and a route demarcated with blue lines specially for bicycles. A long section of the cycling path was lined with rows of cherry trees with fully blossomed flowers. The cherry trees were of Somei Yoshino and Oshimazakura varieties, producing a nice mixture of different cherry blossoms to look at. It should remain pleasurable to view the cherry blossoms here for about another week.

Rows of cherry trees at full bloom
Gorgeous landscape with Nemophila in the foreground and cherry trees in the backdrop
Senior citizens gather for a party

Atago Shrine
April 4, 2012 - Full bloom

The state of the cherry blossoms at Atago Shrine was similar to that at Maizuru Park: they were also at full bloom and the window of their peak state should remain open for about another 5 days.

Atago Shrine is located at approximately 68 meters above sea level, and is well-known for its shrine grounds which offer a panoramic view of Hakata Bay, including the iconic Fukuoka Tower.

Nice bunch of cherry blossoms
A cherry tree at its peak
Splendid view of Hakata Bay from the shrine grounds

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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