Every time I visit Ouchi-juku, I notice new, amazing things about it. I thought I’d document a few of them in this post. I love taking photographs at Ouchi-juku, so I’d like to let my photos do the talking for the most part!
2023 Cherry Blossom Full Bloom Forecast & Spots in Fukushima
Update (2023/03/14): This article was originally published in February 2023. Cherry blossoms are blooming earlier than expected this year, so most of the dates that were originally included in this article are inaccurate as per current predictions. Please find the updated dates (as of March 14, 2023) in red. Fukushima prefecture is the ultimate cherry blossom destination—home to Miharu Takizakura, said to be one of the oldest waterfall sakura trees in Japan, and the idyllic Hanamiyama Park in Fukushima City, a park on a hill with countless varieties of flower trees and shrubs, to name only two of its most famous spots. Miharu Takizakura in Miharu Town. Photo: （株）三春まちづくり公社 When to See Cherry Blossoms in Fukushima Hanamiyama Park in Fukushima City You may have heard (or experienced) that the cherry blossom season is painstakingly short. The blooming period typically lasts for about two weeks—flowers usually reach full bloom about a week after blossoming and keep blooming only for an additional week. Ozawa Sakura in Tamura City Fukushima prefecture boasts a long sakura season, however, with flowers sprouting along the prefecture from late March to early May. How Cherry Blossoms Bloom in Fukushima Cherry blossom tunnel at Sakura Hill in Dake Onsen Although the exact dates vary by year, cherry blossoms are known to bloom in an ‘m’ shape across Fukushima prefecture. The coastal area, on the east side, sees the first blossoms between late March and early April, going from South to North. Next, flowers start sprouting in the central and western areas from North to South. The last blossoms can be seen sometime up until mid-May in South-West Aizu. Sakuratoge Pass in Kitashiobara Village For more information about how sakura blooms in Fukushima, please refer to this guide. Because it is best to see sakura in full bloom (or near full bloom), we recommend picking destinations according to the dates you have available. 2023 Forecast Dates Per Area Yonomori Sakura in Tomioka Town It is difficult to predict the exact date when cherry blossoms will bloom, as weather conditions in the prior weeks and months directly affect when the blooming starts and for how long it lasts. But there are ways to know a rough estimate. The following information is based on the website of the Japan Meteorological Corporation “Sakura Navi” (please note, however, that this is simply a forecast and actual blooming dates may vary). As of February 2023, here are the projected dates for cherry blossoms in different areas of Fukushima in 2023 (Dates in red are as of March 2023): Coastal Area Iwaki City: Early April (Late March) Soma City: Early to Mid-April (Early April) Central Area Fukushima City: Early to Mid-April (Early April) Koriyama City: Mid-April (Early to Mid-April) Shirakawa City: Mid-April (Early to Mid-April) Aizu Area Aizu-Wakamatsu City: Mid to Late April (Mid-April) Yanaizu Town: Mid to Late April Full Bloom Forecasts Per Area The flowers are most beautiful when in full bloom, and for a few days to a week later. Cherry blossoms in Inawashiro Town Here are the Japan Meteorological Corporation's 'Sakura Navi' estimated dates for full bloom in Fukushima in 2023 (forecast as of mid-February; actual blooming dates may vary depending on future temperatures and the weather). Coastal Area’s Sakura Spots Full Bloom Forecast for 2023 (Dates in red are updated as of March 2023) Iwaki Flower Center (Iwaki City): April 5 (March 30) Miyukiyama Park (Iwaki City): April 5 (March 29) Matsugaoka Park (Iwaki City): April 7 (April 1) Soma Odaka Shrine (Minamisoma City): April 8 (March 31) Tenjin Misaki Sports Park (Naraha Town): April 11 (April 5) Baryo Park (Soma City): April 11 (April 3) Cherry blossoms at Soma Odaka Shrine in Minamisoma City Central Area’s Sakura Spots Full Bloom Forecast for 2023 (Dates in red are updated as of March 2023) Hanamiyama Park (Fukushima City): April 9* (April 3)* Kasumigajo Castle Park (Nihonmatsu City): April 12 (April 6) Komine Castle (Shirakawa City): April 12 (April 6) Kaiseizan Park (Koriyama City): April 12 (April 6) Fujita River Fureai-Zakura (Koriyama City): April 14 (April 7) Natsui Senbon-Zakura (Ono Town): April 20 (April 16) Although it is difficult to predict the exact date as of yet, Miharu Takizakura is expected to be in full bloom in early to mid-April. *Hanamiyama Park has different varieties of cherry blossom trees, each blooming at different times. More information here. Heidodan Cherry Tree in Miharu Town Aizu Area’s Sakura Spots Full Bloom Forecast for 2023 (Dates in red are updated as of March 2023) Tsurugajo Castle (Aizu-Wakamatsu City): April 16 (April 11) Miyagawa Senbon-Zakura (Aizu-Misato Town): April 17 (April 13) Yunokami Onsen Station (Shimogo Town): April 19 (April 15) Enzoji Temple (Yanaizu Town): April 20 (April 17) Kannonji-gawa River (Inawashiro Town): April 27 (April 24) Tenkyodai Showa-No-Mori Park (Inawashiro Town): May 7 (May 5) Although it is difficult to predict the exact date as of yet, the Nicchu Line Weeping Cherry Blossom is expected to be in full bloom around mid-April. Nicchu Line Weeping Cherry Blossoms in Kitakata City For information about hanami spots, itineraries, and more visit our section Spring in Fukushima. Cherry blossoms at Yunokami Onsen Station in Shimogo Town (close to Ouchi-juku) The information contained in this post is a rough forecast based on the information provided on the Japan Meteorological Corporation’s website ‘Sakura Navi’ as of February 2023 (dates in red are updated as of March 2023). Actual blooming dates may vary depending on future temperatures and the weather. To access the latest information about the status of cherry blossoms in Fukushima in 2023, visit Japan Meteorological Corporation’s website Sakura Navi (the website is in Japanese but you can change the language to English from the drop-down menu). Arakawa Sakura Tsuzumi River Park in Fukushima City