We are still very much in the middle of winter in Japan but Shizuoka Prefecture is celebrated in all Japan for the first Prefecture to have its cherry trees blossoming!

The first flowers open as early as in February on the eastern shores of Izu Peninsula, especially in Kawazu! From then on cherry blossom fans chase their favorite flower all around and up the Prefecture until end of May!


The picture of the day!
Which is blooming, the pine tree or the cherry tree!


Sumpu Castle Park in the middle of Shizuoka City offers many possibilities for photographers whether they want to take only cherry blossoms or take them among the many trees and flower beds!


Flowers beds are tendered and renewed all year round!


This might make for a great picture at night!


Mind you, simple photographs are still the best most of the time!


Sumpu castle Park cherry blossoms also make for splendid photographs when walking around the outer moats!


As far I can figure out at least two varieties are blooming, although it could be the same one!


These can be found in the vicinity of Sumpu Castle in Shizuoka City, although the variety grown over the ramparts is different and not out at the same time!


You may well plan your cherry blossom viewing in and around Sumpu Castle Park from the third week, if not the second week of March, as the weather can dramatically change here.
The Shizuoka City Festival is supposed to be held at the best time for cherry blossoms viewing but I wouldn’t trust such wishful thinking!


Walking on a cherry blossom petal path!


Walking around the moats you will discover some real old trees on the « city side » of the street!


It does make for some interesting photography!


That tree must have seen quite a few eras pass by!


Not only photographing them but drawing them is quite a popular pastime for the locals!


Depending on the sun exposure some will open earlier over the ramparts!

Incidentally, did you know that all the cherry trees offered by Japan to the United States during the Meiji Era originated from one single tree in Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City?


« Of all places! », you might say and I tend to agree as the occupants of MIzuochi Police Box in Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City, are famously hopeless in a city where’s crime is almost unknown and where the police is reduced to lurk on bicycles behind large signs to catch traffic offenders!


I didn’t include the police box in my pictures lest its denizens use it as a proof of my malfeasance!


The Mizuochi Police Box is located at the corner of Kitakaido Street and the Eastern Wall of Sumpu Castle Park.
There you can admire the wall and part of its moat.


It is a great spot for cherry blossoms viewing, although it will last only a few days especially if rain is forecast!


The trees are perched on top of the wall and cascade down to the moat!


Good (not like me!) photographers should be able to avoid modern distractions and achieve great results!


Little gems!


Inside the Sumpu Castle Park!


If you still have cherry trees in full blossoms on a week-end, expect big crowds inside the Park!


Cherry blossoms viewing parties are called « Hanami » in Japanese! It is a great time to make new friends among the locals!



Many people just come to admire the blossoms overhead…


But many will gather in day time to share lunch, but if you want to join one the many reveling parties in the evening, make sure you remember the spot or join a group long beforehand!


So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

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