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April 3, 2012

Sakura Season 2012: Atago Shrine, Momijiyama Park, Ohori Park

Ah, sakura season is here! I can't tell you how much I've been looking forward to seeing cherry blossoms for the first time in my life. Late last week, they began to bloom, which decided Kam & my plans for the weekend- a sakura tour of Fukuoka. We used the Fukuoka Now Sakura & Hanami Map, which I had helped to make, along with the rest of the FN staff earlier that week.
We set out on our bikes for the sakura spots closest to our home, starting with Atago Shrine. But first, we admired our very own sakura tree, out the front of our apartment blocks. So lovely...

Along the way to Atago, we encountered many tiny parks full of blossoms. The tree below had really vibrant pink blossoms.

We made it to Atago Shrine and climbed the stairs that lead to the shrine entrance, completely encased in sakura trees.

Ah, so pretty.

The shrine is currently holding a Sakura festival, so we bought some sakuragashi (sakura sweets) to eat whilst looking out over the city.

Next destination was Momijiyama Park, a smaller shrine and park in Sawara-ward, just off the Nishijin Shotengai. Inside the gate of the house next to the shrine's entry, we saw this handsome fella relaxing in the sun...

We took our bento boxes up to the pretty and quiet Momijiyama Park to enjoy some lunch.

On the way down, Kam's hair got some static electricity. Cute.

Next we rode across to Sohara Park- another cute, rather quiet park in Sawara Ward full of beautiful blossoms. We navigated our bikes up and down some pretty precarious hills, but it was definitely worth it!

Finally we rode down towards the city, through Ohori Park to the connecting Maizuru Park- known as one of Fukuoka's best sakura spots.

So, so pretty.

We picked a nice sunny spot amongst the trees to sit down and have another mini ohanami picnic with some drinks we bought at the convenience store on the way...

I read my book whilst Kam listened to the Hawks baseball game on his iPhone radio.

As it started to get cold, we decided to keep moving, to explore more of Maizuru before we went home for the day. The following lane was one of my favourite sights of the day.

So, magical. It's amazing how much the city is transformed into a pink wonderland- and for such a short period of the year.

More sakura adventures to come...

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