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Kyoto's Cherry Blossoms 2010 / Mar 27

Introduce 2010 Kyoto's Cherry Blossom on Mar 27.
Temperatures in Kyoto have been unseasonally low in recent days with daytime highs six degrees below the average. As a result, the cherry blossoms have made almost no progress since my first report to the city four days ago. This morning I checked out the blossoms in Kyoto Gyoen, along Okazaki Canal, in Maruyama Park and around Kiyomizudera.

A cherry tree branch at Kiyomizudera
Kyoto Gyoen (Kyoto Imperial Park)
March 27, 2010 - full bloom

Shortly after 7am, I arrived at Kyoto Gyoen, the large public park that encloses Kyoto Imperial Palace and the first stop along my reporting route today.

Weeping cherry trees in the northwestern corner of Kyoto Gyoen

The best place for cherry blossom viewing in Kyoto Gyoen is around Konoe Pond in the northwestern corner of the park, where there are several dozen weeping cherry trees. Many of the trees are currently in full bloom and attracted a surprising number of photographers even at that early time of the day.

Kyoto Gyoen

Aside from the weeping cherry trees, which are currently in full bloom, there are several later blooming weeping cherry trees near Konoe Pond, which have not started to open their blossoms yet, but should be providing continued hanami opportunities for the coming two weeks or so.

Popular from the early morning hours

There are a few other cherry trees found here and there around the spacious Kyoto Gyoen, but most of the Somei Yoshino trees have only just started to open. And a small grove of peach trees with their glossy, almost artificial looking blossoms, is nearing the end of its flowering season.

Peach tree grove at Kyoto Gyoen

Okazaki Canal
March 27, 2010 - opening (10-50%)

The cherry blossoms, which line Okazaki Canal near Heian Shrine, are at a little advanced state with only about ten percent of the blossoms opened. Later during the season, the cherry blossoms can be enjoyed from boat cruises from the water, but full bloom is probably not going to take place before later next week.

Okazaki Canal

Opening cherry blossoms in front of Heian Shrine's torii gate

Maruyama Park
March 27, 2010 - opening (10-50%)

While the cherry blossoms have only little advanced since my last visit four days ago, hanami activity has considerably increased due to better weather and the fact that it was weekend. Most of the best spots in the park's central area were already reserved by the time of my visit around 8am.

Weeping cherry tree in Maruyama Park

The park's central weeping cherry tree, which follows a slightly earlier schedule than the Somei Yoshino trees, has progressed just a little bit and now seems to have about half of its blossoms open. The Somei Yoshino trees, on the other hand, still hover around the ten percent mark.

Weeping cherry tree in Maruyama Park

Under normal circumstances, Kyotoites and visiting tourists should be able to enjoy full bloom at Maruyama Park around next weekend.

Most spots for hanami parties are taken by 8am on this sunny Saturday

Kiyomizudera Temple
March 27, 2010 - opening (0-10%)

The situation looked similar at Kiyomizudera, where cherry trees have only around ten percent of their blossoms opened. Currently in full bloom, however, is the weeping cherry tree that spreads its branches over the stairs of the Sannenzaka Slope along the approach to Kiyomizudera.

Kiyomizudera's stage from below

Pond near the exit of Kiyomizudera

Weeping cherry tree in full bloom at the Sannenzaka Slope

By T.S. on Apr 1, 2010
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Author:T. SATOH