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Favourite cherry blossom viewing locations?

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I'm off to Tokyo and Kyoto for a week next week, to coincide with Easter and Hanami. I wondered what the regulars' favourite cherry blossom viewing locations are- not just in Tokyo or Kyoto, but anywhere where they have a favourite memory from being in Japan at this time of the year.

A couple of years ago I was in the Hiroshima area, again for Easter, and I had wonderful memories of Miyajima and Iwakuni bridge (well, apart from the traffic jams near the bridge), so for anyone being in Hiroshima at Hanami, I can wholeheartedly recommend both locations.

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    I can't get Arashiyama in peak bloom out of my mind. If you go there while in Kyoto be sure to go early. Go against the flow. Get there by 8:30 am. Of course the Philosophers Path is awesome at this time of year......again start early if you can.

    In Tokyo we of course love Shinjuku-gyoen and Chidorigafuchi but just in Tokyo's suberbs are Omiya Koen in Saitama which is easily reached via Ōmiya Station (Keihin-Tōhoku Line or Takasaki Line from Ueno Station) as well as Kita-Ōmiya Station and Ōmiya Kōen Station (on the Tōbu Noda Line from Ōmiya Station)and Shiwa Kinen park in Tachikawa out of the JR Chou line out of Shinjuku.

    My favorite memory though is of Hirosaki-jo in peak bloom. Over 4,000 trees in and around this smaller castle and it's adjacent park but what a site. I will never forget it. We hit it perfect and we were in a dreamworld. Karma neh?

    We are going to try again for Kakunodate in 2013, crossing our fingers.

    If you haven't already done it Yoshinoyama outside of Osaka is supposed to be the ichiban spot of all but have not made it there yet.....

    I envy your trip during my favorite time to be in Japan while I work here at home.....Gambatte kudasai

    Aloha!

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