Finally, the season of beautiful sakura and hanami parties is back! The sakura front, that is the line of blooming trees across the islands of Japan, begins in the most southern islands of Okinawa around February, it then moves up through the Japan, finally ending in Hokkaido in May. This gives us a plenty of time to fit in a lot of hanami parties in our to do lists.
I went to Fukuoka Castle when the blossoms were in full bloom. It is one of the best sakura spots I have ever visited! The park and castle are particularly popular during cherry blossom season when a big festival is held there. About a thousand cherry trees of 18 varieties are planted in Maizuru Park among the ruins of Fukuoka Castle. The spacious park provides lots of green space for hanami parties and spectacular views from the observation platform. The castle grounds are beautiful, quiet and serene. The castle has not had any restoration yet so it feels authentic and old. There are only remains, but still so impressive and has an old world charm to it. Among the few surviving or reconstructed castle buildings are some gates and guard towers, scattered across the castle grounds. The beautiful combination yet contrast of the castle ruins and the cherry blossoms are breathtaking.
A number of walking paths are lined with cherry trees so that visitors can walk through a tunnel of flowers, and there are also plenty of lawned areas for holding hanami parties under the blossoms. We were there on a Sunday afternoon and the Maizaru Park gardens surrounding the castle walls were full of picnickers, sitting on plastic sheets, drinking beer and having a lovely time under the beautiful sakura trees.
The cherry blossoms and the castle walls are lit up at night from 18:00 to 22:00 during the sakura season and you can enjoy the blossoms in a little different atmosphere than daytime. Also, there are a variety of food stalls so that you don’t remain hungry.
Fukuoka Castle was the biggest castle in Kyushu. Now it is a ruined castle in the center of Fukuoka city that dates from the early Edo Period. Fukuoka Castle was built in the beginning of the 17th century by Kuroda Nagamasa, who was appointed lord of the surrounding Chikuzen feudal domain (part of today’s Fukuoka Prefecture). The Kuroda clan ruled from the castle for more than two centuries until the abolition of the feudal system in 1870.
The best time to visit the castle ruins is usually between late March and early April, when Maizuru Park turns into the city’s most pleasant spot for cherry blossom viewing.
Access: The Fukuoka Castle Ruins can be reached in a 10-15 minute walk from Ohori Koen Subway Station
Hours : Always open
Days : No closing day
Entry : Free
Fukuoka is also renowned for tonkotsu ramen so do not miss out on it while you are there.

outfit of the day



Japan street style blogger




Sweater – Opaque Clip, $50, 2014;
Pants – H&M, $20, 2014,
Boots – H&M, $50, 2014, also worn here;
Trench Coat – Zara, $ 52 on Sale, 2011, also worn here;
Sunglasses – Mango, $13, 2011, also worn here;
Bag – Charles & Keith, $60 on sale, 2015;

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