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Japan's wonderful cherry blossom

Japan's wonderful cherry blossom

Nothing is quite as beautiful as Japan when the cherry blossom is in season.

Between late April and early May, the blossom is at full bloom in Hokkaido, where the pale pink flowers cover the trees in the most wondrous natural event.

Hirosaki Castle Park is a great place to see these beautiful trees in full bloom. Here, there is also a castle that has turrets and gates, which stands up well against the flowers. The castle was built by the Tsugaru family, who were once the rulers of this area.

To see the best of this park, walk down the western moat, where you will come across the Shunyo Bridge - a bright red colour, standing out alongside the blossom - and Mount Iwaki and its snow-covered peak also makes an appearance too.

The park is home to about 2,600 trees of nearly 50 different varieties. Planted at the start of the Meiji Era, there is a beautiful 120 year-old Somei-yoshino cherry blossom which is a hit amongst visitors.

Kakunodate is also a wonderful place to see the famous cherry blossoms. The weeping cherry trees, of the shidare-zakura variety, hang over the centre of Akita Prefecture and are provided with a backdrop by the classic samurai residences there.

What is most beautiful here though is the two kilometre stroll that takes you through a tunnel of trees next to the Hinokinai River, perfect for snapping photographs.

However, if you're looking for the best view of cherry blossoms, Mount Yoshino is a must visit. Head here in early April for the best view.

This garden of cherry blossoms came about when people used to dedicate certain cherry tree seedlings to Zao-do Hall of Kinpusen-ji Temple. These were then replanted on the mountainside and flower at slightly different times of the month depending on what altitude they are at on the side of mountain, giving a whole month's worth of cherry blossom.

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