Last February, my friend Shiela and I booked our tickets to Fukuoka in Japan not knowing that our arrival date would also signal the flowering of the cherry blossoms in the area. Talk about being in the right place at the right time!
Being first-timers in Fukuoka, we loved the cool weather, the food, the laid-back vibe of the place and most of all, relishing the sakura experience. Hello spring!
Our first stop was the beautiful Ohori Park which was fortunately near our hotel. It had this serene lake which reminded us of Baguio’s Burnham Park. It was March 25 and except for a few spots, the cherry blossoms haven’t fully blossomed yet. We walked a bit and found this perfect tree. I gasped in glee.
So lovely. Everything was just so lovely.
The next day, we rode the shinkansen to visit the Kumamoto Prefecture. It was another breathtaking place highlighted by the beauty of the Suizenji Jojuen Garden dating back to the Momoyama period or the 1600s.
The park was another spot for relishing the sakura experience.
We saw groups of people with their mats laid out for a whole night of eating, drinking sake and telling stories 🙂
In Fukuoka and Kumamoto, vendors neatly set up food booths in the parks for the hanami crowd.
After an hour or so of admiring the scenery of Suizenji Garden, we headed off to Kumamoto Castle. We could see the large complex from afar.
It was almost 6pm and the road leading to the castle was decorated with lanterns. White cherry blossoms were all over the place and it was magical to see the leaves glowing in the night. We didn’t enter the castle grounds anymore, savoring the sakura blooms was enough. Certainly happy to see one item crossed off the bucket list.