Of all my trips to Japan, this was the one that was most finely balanced in terms of timing. I had to book the flights 195 days in advance, aiming to be here for an event which is famously difficult to predict and which can begin anytime over a 4-6 week period and can last for as little as 7 days. Short of block booking a 6 week holiday over March and April, which unfortunately wasn’t an option, there was always going to be an element of luck around this trip.
Even tour operators who specialise in tours to see the famous Hanami, cherry blossom festival, warn that trips solely to see the blossoms will rarely catch them in full bloom, so fleeting and unpredictable is the event.
So, right up to the point of boarding the plane it was still far from certain that we would even catch a glimpse of the blossoms, let alone see them in full bloom.
The latest forecast is that the best time to view the blossoms in Osaka this year will be a four day window around March 31st to April 3rd, so fingers are crossed, but nothing guaranteed.
I was encouraged slightly when leaving the airport to find cherry blossom decorations everywhere. While on the train into Osaka, we passed roads lined with cherry blossom trees beginning to bloom, so its just possible that the timing will work out… or still fail miserably!
Apologies in advance for the blogs over the next 10 days or so…
If the timing has worked and luck is with us, you’re about to be subjected to day after day of pink cherry blossom photos! If my timing has failed and my luck ran out, you’re about to experience day after day of self pity, moaning and whinging from yours truly!
Read on at your peril! 🙂
Day 2 will see a brief trip to Osaka castle to see if the blossoms are in full bloom there, followed by some shopping around Umeda and the purchase of tickets etc for the rest of the break. We may even fit in some okonomiyaki in Dotonburi later in the day. 😉
Im writing this at 4am on day 2, don’t you just love jetlag?!