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

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2014/04/05 - Cherry Blossom Report: Matsuyama

Jungle gym playground at Matsuyama Sogo Park

It was a rainy day in Matsuyama as I visited the city's cherry blossom spots with Schauwecker. The cherry blossom season started in Matsuyama this year on March 24 and peaked five days later on March 29. Although the cherry blossoms were on a decline by the time of our visit, we were nevertheless able to catch some pleasant views. However, with the afternoon showers in the area, more petals will fall and that would bring the season closer to its end.

Elsewhere in Hiroshima, Raina reported that the cherry trees were also quickly losing their flowers, so visitors hoping to catch the closing stages of the season there had better hurry.

Tram in Matsuyama

Dogo Park
April 5, 2014 - beyond peak

The spacious Dogo Park is located just a short walk from Dogo Onsen, a renowned hot spring town featuring the iconic Dogo Onsen Honkan bath house.

As we arrived at the park in the early morning, the usual crowds that come here for cherry blossom viewing (hanami) had not yet turned up, although there was a group already setting up their barbecue grill - having a barbecue in combination with a hanami party is quite common at this park.

In anticipation of the hanami parties later in the day, there were already many mats with names written on them laid on the lawns under the cherry trees. Unfortunately, this weekend is probably the last chance for visitors to see cherry blossoms here this year, for by the time the weekend is over, the cherry trees will likely provide shade with more leaves rather than with flowers.

Dogo Park in the early morning
Cherry blossoms (or the remaining of them)
Cherry trees by the canal
Baby blue and pink
Spacious lawns
Spots reserved for hanami
Cat, stairs, bicycle

Matsuyama Castle
April 5, 2014 - beyond peak

This is one of the best castles in Japan, featuring a main keep that has several secondary castle buildings adjoined to it. In spring, the beautiful Matsuyama Castle turns into a great cherry blossom spot as the hundreds of cherry trees standing on its compound burst into a pinkish-white. This year however, we missed the best viewing period for the sakura, as the majority of the cherry trees had already shed many of their petals, and I am afraid the season will not last more than another couple of days here.

Taking the chair lift up to Matsuyama Castle
Arriving at the castle
Many visitors at the castle
Closing up on the blossoms
Main keep of Matsuyama Castle
Nice cherry tree by castle wall
Cherry blossoms and lanterns

Matsuyama Sogo Park
April 5, 2014 - petals starting to fall

We unearthed a gem of a hanami spot in the Matsuyama Sogo Park. The park is located on a hill about one kilometer west of Matsuyama Station. Besides enjoying the hundreds of cherry trees at the park, visitors can also revel in great views looking onto the city and of Matsuyama Castle in the distance. Here, there are also spacious lawns for picnics and a huge jungle gym playground that turns adults green with envy.

Interestingly, the state of the cherry blossoms here today was much better than that at the previous two locations. The cherry tree branches were shedding their petals too, but overall the trees still had pretty full crowns. Should you happen to visit Matsuyama in the next few days, this would probably be your best bet for some pleasant cherry blossom views.

Matsuyama Sogo Park
Pretty blossoms
View from an observation deck at the top of the hill
Nice colors

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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