After a week of drizzling rain and low-hanging gray skies, the sun managed to break through just when I had some time to sneak over to Osaka Castle. The cherry blossoms were at their peak and just starting to rain petals upon the picnickers who gathered to enjoy them. When it was clear peak bloom was upon us, half the country ran for the trains — and headed to Kyoto. There were no hotels available and I had appointments in Osaka, so this seemed like a pretty good Plan B. I’ve been here before when the plum blossoms (ume) are in bloom. Also nice. This year I am told both were blooming at the same time because the plums were late due to the weather in March. If you get a chance, either of the blossom seasons is worth seeing.
The cherry trees are known as sakura and it is a tradition to picnic under them while viewing the blossoms (hanami). (Although originally the picnics were for the plum blossoms. Maybe everyone just preferred the warmer weather a month later.)