Sean's Japan Travel Journal
by Sean, staff writer of

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2012/04/24 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fukushima

After a short break, today we travel further north into the Tohoku Region to resume our cherry blossom reporting. It looks set to be a good day as we make our first stop at the famed Miharu Takizakura (Miharu weeping cherry tree) in Fukushima. During an average year, the Miharu Takizakura would have ...

"To me the Miharu Takizakura is a lady!" declared Schauwecker as I type. Gender rules in the English language? Well, I do actually get the feeling that all cherry trees have to be ladies, especially this one since it is particularly beautiful. As I was saying, during an average year, She would have reached full bloom by this time. This year however, due to cold weather, she had just only started to open her first flowers last Thursday, and so I am expecting her to have yet to reach the halfway mark.

Miharu Takizakura
April 24, 2012 - Just opened

I over-expected. The Miharu Takizakura had less than 10% of her blossoms open when we arrived. Nevertheless, there it stood, gorgeous, majestic, looking like a waterfall ("taki" means waterfall in Japanese).

Today around 8am there was a small crowd at the site to admire her beauty. This weekend, when assumedly she closes in on her peak, this crowd is expected to swell to thousands, and bus drivers for the buses running from Miharu Station will have their hands full. The bus service by the way, as well as the daily light-up from 18:00 to 21:00, will be extended until April 30. Interestingly, this service was supposed to have lasted only till April 23 as advertised on posters, and this shows just how much later than usual full bloom would be reached here this year.

For gardening enthusiasts, there are also shops selling offspring of the great takizakura, waiting to be added to your garden collection.

Hanamiyama Park
April 24, 2012 - Full bloom

Never heard of this place before. That was the thought on my mind when I received news that we were going to visit Hanamiyama Park in Fukushima city. Indeed, this place is a relative unknown among tourists, but I am happy to say that we have unearthed a gem of a hanami (cherry blossom watching) spot today.

It was a great visit: Somei Yoshino cherry blossoms in full bloom, blue skies, little streams, and slopes of mountains covered in the different hues of pink from other cherry blossom varieties, accentuated by colors from other different kinds of flowers and plants. Every corner turned seemed to provide a setting for a nice picture. In the words of Schauwecker, it felt like paradise (although I wasn't able to derive the same satisfaction as him by looking for frogs in the pond).

It was a good thing that we arrived early because by the time we were about to leave, lots of people were beginning to arrive via the bus service from Fukushima Station (250 yen, 15 minutes), which runs till April 30. The views of cherry blossoms here should still be very pleasant on April 30, next Monday, provided that the forecasted rain this Thursday and Friday does not claim too many casualties.

Shinobuyama Park
April 24, 2012 - Full bloom

It was also the first time we had visited Shinobuyama Park, which is located on a mountain not too far from the city center. We noticed considerably less visitors here, perhaps understandably so as it had less cherry trees and other flowering trees than Hanamiyama Park. Nonetheless the cherry trees here were also in full bloom and the scenery was quite attractive as well.

The park has multiple observation decks from where you have a good view of the city of Fukushima from above. Peak period here should similarly last through the weekend, as long as the weather allows for it.

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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