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

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2013/04/17 - Cherry Blossom Report: Takayama

The famous Nakabashi Bridge

Takayama in Gifu Prefecture is a popular tourist destination, especially around its central area which retains a lovely old town atmosphere. Today I walked through the streets of the quaint town and visited some of its cherry blossom spots.

The cherry blossom season started in Takayama on April 7 this year, and had just recently peaked. Interestingly, after a few warm days including today and tomorrow (according to weather forecasts), the week from Friday is likely to see a return to somewhat chilly weather. This could result in a slightly preserved season here at Takayama.

Over at the Tohoku Region, Yamagata had its first open blossoms on April 15, while those at Sendai reached full bloom on the same day. Scott will be reporting from Matsushima tomorrow, so please check out his report for what I'm sure will be filled with nice cherry blossom pictures.

Miyagawa Ryokuchi Park
April 17, 2013 - full bloom

Miyagawa Ryokuchi Park is a simple park along Miyagawa River north of the town center. There are about a hundred trees surrounding a big lawn, which provides some good space for hanami (cherry blossom watching) parties. The cherry trees at the park were at full bloom today, and views are likely to remain good till a day or two beyond the weekend.

Two men preparing for a hanami party
Some cherry blossoms by Miyagawa River
There are ramps at the southern end of the park for skateborders to try stunts

Enakogawa River
April 17, 2013 - full bloom

Enakogawa is a narrow river that flows across the northern section of the old town. Although there is not a high concentration of cherry trees at any particular spot, cherry trees of serveral varieties are planted along the river flanked on both sides by old-fashioned houses, which provide the setting for a nice leisurely walk. Today, the cherry trees here were at full bloom, and peak would likely continue to the weekend and possibly beyond. Illuminations are held in the evenings till May 6, from sunset to 22:00.

Enakogawa River
Cherry blossoms at full bloom
Tranquil neighbourhood

Shiroyama Park
April 17, 2013 - full bloom

Shiroyama Park is the site of the ruins of the former Takayama Castle. It is located atop a hill south-east of the town center. I was very surprised when I arrived, because although the park is listed as a site for cherry blossoms, I didn't see much cherry blossom views at all. I took a closer look at the few cherry trees at the park grounds and noticed that, while they were at full bloom, they had very little blossoms - which made them look very sparse from a distance.

I checked with the nearby restaurant owner: he said that cherry blossom views here were much better in the past. Indeed, I looked at a picture of the same spot where I was at, and the trees did look fuller. I wasn't able to find out the reason for the decline in open blossoms nor when it started, but it could be due to certain diseases which affect cherry trees. Nevertheless, many were still at the park enjoying picnics, as it offers wide open spaces and many play structures for children. Shiroyama Park is also part of the Higashiyama Walking Course, a serene walking trail which leads through cedar woods and a series of temples and shrines.

The cherry trees (far center) were in full bloom but looked barren
Some open blossoms

Nakabashi Bridge
April 17, 2013 - full bloom

This is the best recognized landmark of Takayama. It is often spotted carrying ceremonial floats (Yatai) on pictures of the Takayama Spring Festival. Today, the many flowering cherry trees near the bridge added to the nice scenery. The blossoms were at a similar stage to those at the previous locations; maybe just a tinge more advanced; but most are still expected to remain to delight this weekend's visitors. Illuminations are held till 22:00 in the evenings until May 6.

View of Nakabashi Bridge from below
Healthy-looking cherry blossoms
Miyagawa River south of Nakabashi Bridge

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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