Mar 22, 2013

Cherry Blossom in the Vicinity of the Hamura Diversion Weir

This year, it quickly gets warmer and warmer after the arrival of March. It even seems to me that Japan is skipping spring and just directly jumping from winter into summer. All the cherry trees across the country are hasting to bloom. The cherry tree in the garden of my house also started blooming. So, the day before yesterday (March 20), I went out to the Hamura Diversion Weir to check how the cherry trees there are blooming.

(Filmed on March 20,2013)

The trees had just started blooming, but I know they will quickly reach their culmination and then turn into foliage. Probably, we will be able to see the trees in full bloom at the next weekend and we could enjoy blossoms quite much even this weekend.

Hamura City, where the Hamura Diversion Weir is located, holds "はむら花と水のまつり (Hamura Flower and Water Festival)" in this time of the year (from March 27 to April 15 for this year). The festival is originally seemed to have been planned so that you could enjoy cherry blossom around the weir in the first half of the festival period, and tulip flowers planted in the rice paddy fields located upstream from the weir in the last half.

For cherry blossom viewing, for this year, I guess you should come to Hamura in March. It may be too late to come on the first weekend of April.

The city will hold some festival events on the second weekend of April, including Dashi no Hikiawase (they compete with one another in how well they play their bamboo flutes and drums on their festival floats) on 13th and Mikoshi no Kawaire (they carry the portable shrine and go into the Tama river) on 14th although I think it will be too late for also enjoying cherry blossom viewing at this time.

(Dashi no Hikikawase last year: Filmed on April 7, 2012 at JR Hamura Station)

If unfortunately you cannot make it by the right time of cherry blossom viewing, you will still be able to go upstream to see tulip flowers (tulip flowers can be see until the middle of April).

Cherry blossoms filmed on April 10 last year (on the bank upstream the Hamura Diversion Weir). The cherry blossoms come into bloom far earlier than usual.

(Cherry blossoms upstream of the weir: Filmed on April 10, 2012)

If you prefer bustling atmosphere of the festival, I recommend you to walk around the Hamura Bridge; there are food and drink stands here and there, monkey show, and even footbath service using hot spring water brought from distant onsen places. If you are a person who loves a quieter environment, you can walk upstream to the bank along the river, where cherry trees are planted and you can admire blossoms sitting under a tree in a relaxing mood.