Miharu cherry blossoms tour, April 7, 2020. (三春の桜巡り 2020年4月7日。)

(#Fukujuji, cherry blossoms, Miharu, April 7, 2020. #福聚寺 枝垂れ桜 三春 4/7/2020) 
Cherry blossoms season started in Miharu Town. Photo above was a fantastic view of a weeping cherry standing on the ground of Fukujuji Temple. I pedaled through Miharu Town today, viewing some of the famous cherry trees. They are shown below.
三春町では、桜のシーズンが始まりました。写真は、福聚寺の境内にあるすばらしい垂れ桜の姿です。鮮やかに 桜垂れる 福聚寺

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(#Takizakura, cherry blossoms, Miharu, April 7, 2020. #滝桜 三春 4/7/2020)
This was of course a view of the greatest cherry tree in Japan: Miharu Takizakura, a national natural monument which is more than 1000 years old.
滝桜 皆が認める 日本一

(#Takizakura, cherry blossoms, Miharu, April 7, 2020. #滝桜 三春 4/7/2020)
Here is another view of the tree taken from back side.

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In the center of Miharu Town there was a steep slope called Oshirozaka that led to a hill where old Miharu Castle once existed. Photo above shows a large weeping cherry tree that sits on the middle of the slope. There were many other cherry trees on the hill waiting for the best season.

(#Sessonzakura, cherry blossoms, Koriyama, April 7, 2020. #雪村桜 郡山 4/7/2020)
Close to JR Miharu Station, there was an old cherry tree called Sessonzakura as shown above. Actually, the location was in Koriyama. An old painter and monk called Sesson lived in the small hut under the cherry tree more than 400 years ago.

Lastly on the way back home, I stopped at Kowadaki Bridge over the Abukuma River. Cherry blossoms have just started and I could see Mt. Adatara in the far back with the river in front and cherry blossoms on the right as shown in the picture. By the way, at any of the above sites it was very easy to keep safe distance with other people, which was a must against coronavirus.

The exact route and locations are shown in the map below. The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.

The last Takizakura view of Heisei era, April 22, 2019. (三春滝桜 平成最後の見納め 2019年4月22日。)

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(Takizakura cherry tree, Miharu, April 22, 2019. 三春滝桜 4/22/2019)
Today I visited Miharu Takizakura, a gigantic cherry tree in Miharu Town. It has been in full bloom since April 17th and was in the last moment of its bloom. Sakura petals already flew in the air as the wind blew. Photo above was a view of the tree as of today. This tree, being designated as a national natural monument, is unquestionably the greatest cherry tree in Japan, even on this planet. I would appreciate all the local people who had protected, preserved, and taken care of over the past 1000 years. I’m looking forward to seeing Takizakura blossoms for Reiwa era next year.

The nearest JR station is Miharu of Ban-etsu East Line. The seasonal shuttle bus ended yesterday for this season. Please come and see the tree next year.

The exact route and locations are shown in the map below. The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.
20190422三春滝桜 (560x420)

The last cherry blossoms in Fukushima, April 29, 2018 (会津五桜の最終:猪苗代の大鹿桜 2018年4月29日)

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(Oshika-zakura, Inawashiro, April 29, 2018. 大鹿桜 猪苗代 4/29/2018)
This morning I visited the last one of five traditional cherry trees in Aizu or Aizugozakura. It was called Oshika-zakura located in front of old Iwahashi Shrine established in the year 270 in Inawashiro. The location was about 1-hour walk from JR Inawashiro Station on the foot of Mt. Bandai and the tree looked as shown above. This cherry tree is said to bloom last in cherry blossoms season in Fukushima.

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A brief description board stood at the site as shown above. It said that the root of the tree dated back to the year between 947 and 957, which meant more than 1000 years ago. It was first brought from Kyoto.

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(Oshika-zakura, Inawashiro, April 29, 2018. 大鹿桜 猪苗代 4/29/2018)
The blossoms were double-petaled as shown in the close-up view shown above. It seems to be a rare variety.

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On the way back to Inawashiro Station, I first stopped at Hanitsu Shrine, a historic site where the first lord of Aizu Hoshina Masayuki was enshrined. It was about 10-minute walk from Oshika-zakura. There stood a memorial of the lord with his career and achievements inscribed and a large turtle placed in the bottom as shown above.

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A board at the site shown above described the history and dimension of the stone memorial. It said the largest of its kind in Japan.

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There was a bilingual description board about the shrine as shown above which said the shrine was built in 1675. The shrine was designated as a national important cultural asset.

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Photo above shows the main building of the shrine. The original one was burnt down at the time of Boshin Civil War and the current one was rebuilt in 1880.

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My next stop on the way back was at Kamegajo Castle Site. A description panel at the site shown above said the castle was built in 1191 and was destroyed at Boshin Civil War in 1868.

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No castle building remained today on Honmaru ground which was the center of the site, but it was a nice viewing spot of Mt. Bandai as shown in the picture above.

The exact route and locations are shown in the map below. The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.
20180429大鹿桜 (560x420)
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