Kyoto City Guide: Must-Sees and New Discoveries, 2024 Sakura Forecast, Sakura Forecast App, Where to stay in Hiroshima



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Kyoto City Guide - Must-Sees & New Discoveries

Nijo Castle Kyoto city guide The Real Japan

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Whether you're planning your first visit or looking to return, this extensive Kyoto city guide has everything to get you started on experiencing Japan's alluring former capital on your own terms.

This isn't just a list of typical tourist traps; it's an expert-curated guide to immerse yourself in Kyoto's rich cultural tapestry.

Experience Kyoto’s captivating history, culture, cuisine and natural landscapes, guided by local resident and author Phillip Jackson as he unveils the secrets of Kyoto, opening up the city for exploration beyond the well-known paths.

This is your guide to Kyoto's gems - both known and yet to be discovered. Your journey unlocking the secrets of this enchanting city begins here.

Sakura Cherry Blossom Forecast & Guide - Latest

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I've just updated my annual Sakura - Cherry Blossom Guide with the latest bloom forecasts for this year.

In Tokyo the cherry blossoms are predicted to start flowering on 23 March, reaching full bloom by 30 March – both a day earlier than in the average year.

In Kyoto the first blossoms are expected on 23 March, three days sooner than usual, with peak bloom around 1 April. Osaka's first flowering looks to be around 25 March, with full bloom expected to match Kyoto on 1 April.

As usual, the northernmost island of Hokkaido will be the last to see cherry blossoms, with the start of the sakura in Sapporo currently expected on 2 May, with the full blooms appearing on 6 May.

The second forecast was released a few days ago. The revised forecast added more detail for Kyushu, predicting that the southern tip of the island, around the city of Kagoshima, would see the blooms on the 25 March.

Sakura Forecast App - Get Cherry Blossom Notifications

sakura navi cherry blossom forecast app The Real Japan

There is an app available from the Japan Weather Company that provides up-to-date information on the forecast of the flowering and full bloom dates of the cherry blossoms and their progress towards flowering (Flowering Meter above) all over Japan.

It includes a handy function, it calls the "Proximity Notification for Cherry Blossom SPOT", where you'll get a notification when you are close to a Cherry Blossom SPOT.

It also features a digital "Stamp Card" for recording the sakura viewing sites you've visited.

More info and links to download the app from the Apple and Google Play stores can be found in my updated 2024 Sakura Guide - just click the button below.

Where To Stay in Hiroshima - A Local Recommends

Kiro Hiroshima by The Share Hotels

Hiroshima resident JJ Walsh is co-founder of Get Hiroshima, and arranges bespoke tours in Hiroshima that promote sustainability.

I asked her for her recommendations for where to sat in Hiroshima.

Here's her response:

"I’d recommend any of the hotels downtown along Peace Boulevard for great views and a convenient location for walking to shops and sightseeing.

The KNOT is a popular hotel in a good location, also the Mitsui Garden and Dormy Inn as well as the new Hilton hotel gets good reviews.

Smaller hotels like the KIRO (photo above) are also in a good area. Near the castle, a popular hotel is the Rihga Royal which overlooks Hiroshima Castle grounds.

If you want to stay near the station, the Sheraton Grand Hiroshima or Granvia Hiroshima are popular hotels with good views of the mountains."

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