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

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2012/05/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Sapporo

Interestingly, a reliable source told me that the cherry trees in Sapporo went into full bloom within hours from having their first open flowers on May 1. In fact, the cherry blossoms opened earlier at Sapporo than at Hakodate this year, and this isn't usually the case. It's one of those cases whereby nature makes fun of us humans, ridiculing our forecasts that we so painstakingly make.

Odori Park
May 9, 2012 - End of season

Odori Park isn't exactly best known as a great cherry blossom spot; it is better known for the Sapporo Snow Festival which takes place here every winter.

Nevertheless, the park offers pretty nice views during spring, thanks to the presence of the Sapporo TV Tower, fountains and different types of other flowers. The several cherry trees at the park were unfortunately way past their flowering period by the time of my visit. It was considerably more difficult to identify these trees as they have become green with leaves.

Although I was slightly disappointed at not being able to catch the cherry blossoms here, my heart warmed when I came across a school of children who have come for an excursion. Their task was to look for flowers, and to draw and name them. A brilliant way to get to know nature.

Odori Park
End of season
Children having their class outdoors, the pink trees in the background are magnolia
Cute toddlers in carts and Sapporo TV Tower in the distance

Maruyama Park and Hokkaido Shrine
May 9, 2012 - Petals starting to fall (Somei Yoshino)
May 9, 2012 - End of season (Ezo Yamazakura)

Next stop, Maruyama Park and Hokkaido Shrine, which are located just next to each other. At many locations in Hokkaido, the Ezo Yamazakura variety of cherry blossoms shares the spotlight with the Somei Yoshino. In some cities, for example Kushiro and Asahikawa, Ezo Yamazakura rather than Somei Yoshino are taken as the official cherry blossom standard for the city.

At Maruyama Park today, I was lucky to experience the closing stages of the peak period of the Somei Yoshino. The trees were still full looking, but it was evident that the blossoms were fast shedding their petals with every gust of wind. Hanafubuki, meaning blizzards of falling petals, can be experienced here currently, but the intensity of the blizzards will weaken with every second that pass hereon.

The path that leads to Hokkaido Shrine is lined with Ezo Yamazakura trees, but I am afraid I came too late, and the trees had now more leaves than blossoms. Festival stalls at the park will remain open till the weekend.

Path leading to Hokkaido Shrine
Closeup of some blossoms
Another class of students come along
Lovely tulips

Moerenuma Park
May 9, 2012 - Full bloom (Late blooming varieties)

I have to get this off my chest first: this park is absolutely gorgeous, with or without cherry blossoms. It is so beautiful that it might bring tears to the eyes of the artistically inclined.

Moerenuma Park has a cherry tree grove with various species such as Somei Yoshino, Ezo Yamazakura, Kasumizakura and Minezakura. Today, I found peak to have passed for Ezo Yamazakura here, but the late blooming varieties were in full bloom.

With this utterly beautiful park (pictures don't do it justice), we end this year's cherry blossom reporting. On behalf of the japan-guide team, we would like to thank our readers for reading, and invite everyone to join us for our autumn colors reports in the fall.

Cherry grove does not look whitish pink, because the leaves were out at the same time as the flowers
Many blossoms were heavily hidden by leaves
Moerenuma Park
Picnickers and campers

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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