It's very disappointing, at least in our neck of woods, or rather - Tochigi. I remember this time last year, the trees were in full bloom. We were driving along Nikko kaido (route 119) to go to the Utsunomiya zoo (there are some nice cherry trees there) and the sakura stretch of route 119 was literally canopied by pink flowers. Same day this year - zip, zilch, nada. I'll check again on Wednesday on my way to work, but I'm not holding my breath.
And I'm not the only one who's disappointed. Most people say that the cherry blossoms this year are late, the color is not very pretty and it's been too cold (or rainy, or windy) to properly hanami (have a cherry blossom viewing party).
But Dr. Trouble, in his dedication to try out his brand new lens, went out and very valiantly found some pretty pink trees for your viewing pleasure.
This is the Red Gate (Akamon) leading to Jiko temple (Jikoji). Of course, the colors are off, courtesy of the lame Typepad photo handling thingie.
And this is at the Shiroyama Nishi elementary school, along Tochigi route 70, almost on the border of Nikko and Utsunomiya. This tree is 400 (yes, four hundred) years old. And this school was scheduled to close a few years back and this kids were to be bussed to a different district. But local parents said "no", because they wanted their children to study where the 400 year old cherry tree grows.
And this is the same tree in a photo found in a book about old Utsunomiya streets (published in 1985 by the Utsunomiya City Board of Education):
There are more sakura photos on our other blog - Tochigi Daily Photo - here and here.