I’m going to save the last of my Travel Essential series to a later post. Instead, I’m going to share a trip I took several months ago. I was organising some pictures of my travels and came across my trip to Nagoya, Japan. I went during Cherry Blossom season. The weather has been quite unstable here in Hong Kong and looking at those really cheered me up.
The city of Nagoya (名古屋市) is the capital of Aichi Prefecture and is located in eastern part of Japan. It is Japan’s third largest metropolitan city, after Tokyo and Osaka. Now one of the major Japanese ports, Nagoya was a target city for US raids during World War II.
It was my second time to the city, but I considered it to be my first because my initial visit was a quick overnight visit for business, so I didn’t see much of the city. All I did that gave me a taste of the city was the food. I did a post about it earlier. This time, I went for holiday and spent a week there and can really explore.
I’ve always heard amazing things about Cherry Blossom season – how beautiful and romantic it is, particularly in Japan. There are many destinations that have Cherry Blossoms, but Japan is the most famous to view. It so happened my Nagoya trip matched. It wasn’t intentional because even though the annual Cherry Blossom forecast by Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) is usually pretty accurate, one never knows. This year (2015), the forecast was from March 21 to March 30 and I was there from April 3 to April 9. I didn’t set any expectations.
Nagoya Castle is one of the ‘must see’ attractions. Knowing that it’s an outdoor attraction, I checked the weather. The forecast during my visit only showed the Saturday being sunny, so Nagoya Castle it is! There was a shuttle bus from Nagoya station and my hotel was right above it – how convenient! I thought the shuttle would be full of international tourists, but in fact, it was packed with Japanese tourists!
I’m not going to bore you with the history of Nagoya Castle. For those who are interested, here’s the official website of the attraction. Every major Japanese city has its own symbolic castle. Each castle usually sits atop a walled barricade so that Shoguns or leaders of the area is protected.
I must say, I’m so glad I was able to visit the castle during Cherry Blossom season. It’s hard to describe the beauty of it – it was simply stunning. When the wind blows, the Cherry Blossom leaves fall like snow. It’s quite surreal.
I could stay under the Cherry Blossom all day, but I wanted to explore the castle especially inside. The castle has four stories, each level showcasing the castle’s history. It was really fascinating.
Once I reached to the top of the castle, the weather changed and was overcast. I was so lucky to have experienced Cherry Blossom on a clear sunny day, although overcast also has its charm.
I highly recommend visiting during Cherry Blossom season. It was indeed spectacular and romantic. That’s one checked off my bucket list!
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