This is now my third post on the topic, and though I have reported on the coming blossoms, and then the snow, and then, well, maybe some flowers, followed by snow again, I am pleased to say that the apricot blossoms are now looking great and the tourists are coming to the area to enjoy their beauty.
My wife, Tomomi, took the kids up to her mother’s house in Mori today and came back telling me that the apricot blossoms are mankai, or full bloom, in the lower elevations of the valley. At her mother’s house, which is further up the hill, the blossoms are about half in bloom (go-bu-zaki), while the upper areas are about one-third in bloom (san-bu-zaki).
While there are plenty of nice blossoms to see in the lower valley, the best spots are uphill, around the area of the Uwadaira tembo-dai, or the Uwadaira Viewpoint. This area has hundreds if not thousands of apricot trees all bunched together, with lots of farm truck roads — both paved and unpaved — that you can walk on. And on a clear day, you can see the Alps in Hakuba to the west.
Because of the higher elevation here, this coming weekend, April 11-12 will likely be the point at which the upper apricot trees are in full bloom. If the weather is nice, come on up and see it for yourself. As cliché as this may sound, the valley in full bloom looks as if someone stroked the treetops with a giant brush of pink.