Went running around Fukuoka Castle to check on the cherry blossoms—not yet—and noticed that parts of the castle have been given a fresh coat of paint recently. Seems the city is finally putting some money into park maintenance. The arched bridge just below this yagura (turret) is also being rebuilt as is the iris garden.
I don’t think the city would have bothered if inbound tourism hadn’t exploded as it has these past few years.
And just as the ume reach their peak, the camellias (椿, tsubaki) come to their end--whole blossoms falling from the branches, as the Japanese say, like the severed heads of samurai.