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

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2012/04/25 - Cherry Blossom Report: Sendai

Sendai is a city close to my heart because it was one of the first places that I had visited during my first trip to Japan to watch the World Cup ten years ago. Today we visit its cherry blossom spots. The city's cherry blossoms officially started opening on April 18 this year, and should be at their peak around this time.

Tsutsujigaoka Park
April 25, 2012 - Full bloom

We arrived at Tsutsujigaoka Park at seven in the morning and there were already many picnic mats laid out under the trees, in preparation of the hanami (cherry blossom viewing) sessions later in the day. In fact, we noticed some tents and other people sleeping with blankets on the sheets, which suggest that they might have camped overnight to reserve their spots.

Tsutsujigaoka Park has a good mix of Somei Yoshino, Shidare, and Yaebeni Shidare cherry trees (more information about cherry blossom varieties). The Somei Yoshino and the Shidare were at full bloom, while the Yaebeni Shidare were approaching full bloom as well.

Tsutsujigaoka Park early in the morning
Cherry blossoms in the morning sunshine
Somei Yoshino and weeping cherry trees
Some pretty Yaebeni Shidare cherry blossoms
Hanami party preparation

Mikamine Park
April 25, 2012 - Full bloom

Mikamine Park is an excellent place for hanami as it has lots of open space surrounded by cherry trees. While there were not many visitors at the park when we visited early at eight, it would most likely get more crowded in the afternoon and especially so over the coming weekend.

The cherry blossoms were at full bloom and the huge lawn at the park provided for a thoroughly enjoyable morning walk for us and other early birds.

Some teens playing baseball
Cherry blossoms in full bloom
Couple admiring the scenery
Early morning Mikamine Park

Nishi Park
April 25, 2012 - Full bloom

While Nishi Park does not have quite as many cherry trees as the previous two locations, there is a hanami festival going on here until the end of the month, which means delicious festival food available at the numerous temporary food stalls. The festival is from about ten in the morning to about ten at night.

The state of the cherry blossoms was similar to that of the previous two locations. Hopefully, the rain which is forecasted to fall tomorrow and the next day would not be too heavy, in which case cherry blossom viewing would still remain very pleasant for this weekend's hanami goers to the different spots in Sendai.

Festival stalls still yet to open as it was only nine in the morning
Cherry trees at their peak
Killing time while reserving a hanami spot
A subway station just beside Nishi Park is scheduled to be opened in 2015

Aoba Castle
April 25, 2012 - Full bloom

The Aoba area was unfortunately badly damaged during the earthquake last year. While not particularly a great location for seeing cherry blossoms, Aoba Castle offer good panoramic views of Sendai city. Construction work is however still undergoing at some parts of the observation platform, and is scheduled to be completed by May this year.

The few cherry trees at the castle grounds were nevertheless still quite pretty with their blossoms fully opened. One terrific picture would be that of the statue of Date Masamune (feudal lord of Sendai in the past) and the cherry tree by its side.

As we walked around, we could still see traces of the damage caused by last year's disaster, but conditions have visibly improved. Last year we reported about one of the stone lanterns which toppled over; that has been replaced with a new one. The main road leading to the location of the castle's former main keep, although still not open to motorists, is now open to pedestrians.

Date Masamune's statue
Some damage would take more time to repair
Stone lantern on the left has been replaced

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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