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is 4/30 too late for Hirosaki/Kakunodate cherry blossom?

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is 4/30 too late for Hirosaki/Kakunodate cherry blossom?

Hi,

I post the question here instead of Hirosaki forum due to more viewers here and Tokyo is a base for our spring trip.

The warm March weather indicates an early season for cherry blossom viewing in Kanto and Kansai regions. Is it also a warm weather in north of Tokyo? Mother nature is unpredictable and flowering is based on many factors, so even it is few days past peak for Yoshino, is it still worth the train ride? Also is there any late blooming to view?

Few questions regarding JR pass and NEX:

If we arrive NRT on Sunday 4/29, will we have trouble reserving a seat to either Kakunodate or Hirosaki for the next day? It is break between 2 weekend holidays but still within the festival time and I have read that it is always busy from Tokyo to Shin Aomori. Is this true?

I need to catch a NEX to NRT on Thursday 5/3. Will I be able to get a seat reservation since it is a busy travel day due to beginning of Golden week?

Thank in advance for your reply!

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1. Re: is 4/30 too late for Hirosaki/Kakunodate cherry blossom?

It's still a bit too early to tell.

In general terms, at very the end of April, Kakunodate’s weeping cherry trees might be a bit late (although the somei-yoshinos at the riverbank could be spot on), Hirosaki might be spot on in the usual year (this year is a pretty usual/normal year).

There are literary dozen"s" of places you can go to if you miss the exact time for cherry blossom at the most known spots in the guidebooks. I was in Yoshino last year around 8 and while it was full bloom in Kyoto, Yoshino's middle and upper 1,000s weren't ready yet. I had much better luck in Hasedera; it was *oh my gosh* sight.

If you ever miss Chidorigafuchi or Meguro River at peak in Tokyo, you can go a bit north to Motoarakawa River cherry blossom in Fukiage, or Kumagaya; another idea could be Gogendo no Sakurazutsumi.

If Kakunodate seems to early somehow, you might include Kitakami Tenshochi or Morioka Castle ruins; if Hirosaki is too late you might head over further north to Goshogawara's Ashino Koen.

Edited: 10 March 2018, 15:43
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2. Re: is 4/30 too late for Hirosaki/Kakunodate cherry blossom?

Here is the Cherry Blossom Forecast of this year. According to this, it will be fine in Kakunodate and Hirosaki on April 30.

https://www.japan-guide.com/sakura/

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3. Re: is 4/30 too late for Hirosaki/Kakunodate cherry blossom?

Yoshino is in the mountains. If you come around 10 April, then it should be fine for the middle 1,000s, probably a bit late for lower 1,000s, and a bit early for upper 1,000s; way too early for inner 1,000s. Even among the group of 1000s, there can be odd trees being early or late.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=El_6FrXKKL8

When the cherry blossom are peaking in Tokyo, I often go to the northern suburbs in Saita, Gumma, Tochigi Prefectures or to the mountain areas, to see more. Virtually every town has a proud and beloved cherry spot, and it's sometimes those place without anyone around that I've seen the most beautiful trees. Endless rows of cherry trees are great, but a lone-standing grand tree has a quality of its own.

I think you'll do fine by going to Kakunodate and Hirosaki on April 30. Weather forecasters aren't prophets to the point that they can predict the exact date of full bloom three weeks ahead and be responsible. It can rain cats and dogs before the full opening.

Edited: 10 March 2018, 16:22
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4. Re: is 4/30 too late for Hirosaki/Kakunodate cherry blossom?

This is the Hasedera in Sakurai, Nara Prefecture (elder sister temple to the one in Kamakura):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzRtXJq-hHc

Edited: 10 March 2018, 16:28
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5. Re: is 4/30 too late for Hirosaki/Kakunodate cherry blossom?

The issue with Akita Shinkansen Komaichi (for going to Kakunodate) is that it has no "non-reserved" seats (if there was, lining up early at Tokyo would solve the issue of seating). I cannot tell whether 4/30 would be fully reserved on what hours, but I do expect it to be a busy day (Monday have business people plus the expanding elderly population in Japan who have plenty of time to spend on cherry blossom viewing).

There are ways to travel, like taking the Hayabusa or Hayate to Morioka which should have seats, then (maybe, after spending some time at the Morioka Castle Ruins for cherry blossom), head for Kakunodate on a local train or perhaps Komachi that has seats.

Are you arriving in Japan on April 30?

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6. Re: is 4/30 too late for Hirosaki/Kakunodate cherry blossom?

Thank you all for your prompt replies and your wealth of information

It is my bad, I meant yoshino (name of early blooming cherry) not Mt Yoshino. Back in spring 2014, I was in Kyoto during peak, when I arrived Tokyo around 4/6, it was past peak at Chidorigafuchi, and it was still pretty and there was still plenty yoshino at Gyoen park as well as pink weeping cherry on 4/7. If my memory serves me, it was a normal year with 3/28 opened day in Tokyo. It was too early for Mt Yoshino and Mt Fuji, even thought we enjoyed a beautiful view of Mt Fuji from Chureito pagoda. If there is no rain, wind or rising temperature, yoshino will last for 1 week after first opened day. That being said, if yoshino at Hirosaki starts to open around 4/23 ish and mother nature is behaved, still pretty good chance around 4/30. But if it starts to open around mid April, then there is no chance. Well I should have plan B.

Will this warm weather impact other blooming such as wisteria at Ashikaga, flower at Hitachi or azalea around Tokyo?

I am looking at a possibility of April 29 arriving NRT. Currently, there is no vacancy near Hirosaki, just have to stay around Shin Aomori station

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7. Re: is 4/30 too late for Hirosaki/Kakunodate cherry blossom?

Forgot to mention that I already have a reserved flight to arrive NRT on 5/3 with my family and all hotels have been reserved. Just a thought if I change the flight to arrive 3-4 days earlier than my family so I can have extra day to do thing that I really enjoy and that is landscape photography, I have no trouble to get up early and stay until wee hour, but it is different story with my family members. So an idea to arrive before them is appealing to me.

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8. Re: is 4/30 too late for Hirosaki/Kakunodate cherry blossom?

There are several forecasts around, and they are just that - forecasts. The following link is to Japan Meteorological Corporation. The Japan-guide link above is Japan Weather Association.

https:/…

For Aomori (Hirosaki), 30 April may be too late or at least past best, or, because it is still seven weeks away, might be just right. I'll be there too early, but should be about right for Sendai, plus (as others have commented) there are lots of good (little) spots in between.

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9. Re: is 4/30 too late for Hirosaki/Kakunodate cherry blossom?

As per the current local weather forecast, 30th April looks fine when it'd be in full bloom in both places as mentioned in #2, though subject to unexpected weather in the next 6 weeks prior to your arrival.

As your travel happens to clash with Golden week, better reserve your train tickets to Tohoku area online 1 month in advance.

https:/…Menu.aspx

The most common sakura variety in Japan is Somei Yoshino.

https:/…e2011_species.html

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