Well, everybody, it is time to head out to Anzu no Sato to see the Apricot blossoms! I was there yesterday, and I think it is safe to say that the prime time to go and visit the area will be this coming weekend, April 10-11. While driving into Mori, the biggest of the Anzu no Sato valleys, I noticed that the lower areas getting close to full bloom, while the groves further uphill were not yet 20 percent there.
(Tyler blogged on this yesterday and it prompted me to get my act together. Last year I went nuts blogging day by day on the progress of the apricot blossoms in Anzu no Sato. This year, I have been a bit behind in repeating that practice, but now I am getting back into the swing of things.)
I didn’t ask any of the residents about the current state of blooming in the area. It seems you get a different answer from just about everyone you ask, but they do love to give their own estimates on how far along the blossoms are! The close-up photo I took of the apicot flowers on a tree in my mother-in-law’s yard suggests that even the trees at higher elevations in Mori are quite well-along in their blossoming. This weekend, the weather looks like it might be partly cloudy, so if the sun is out, Saturday and Sunday may be a great time to see the blossoms at their peak.
Getting to Anzu no Sato is pretty easy. If you are going by train, take the Shinano Railway to Yashiro station. From there, you can take either a bus or a taxi to Mori, the largest area that offers impressive views of the apricot blossoms. The best view is from the Uwadaira (or is it Kamidaira?) tembodai viewpoint here. If you are going by car, take the Nagano Expressway to the Koshoku Exit. Take the Chikuma ramp onto Route 18 south. Go to the Awasa signal and turn left. Proceed down this road, locally known as “Anzu Kaido” and just follow the signs to areas where you can park.
And don’t forget your camera!