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Cherry Blossom Report 2013
Official cherry blossom reports by japan-guide.com

2013 Cherry Blossom Forecast - Schedule of upcoming reports - Popular cherry blossom spots
How to do hanami? - Cherry tree varieties - Post your own report

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2013/04/08 - Tokyo Report
by scott and schauwecker

Mount Fuji seen from Mount Takao

About one week ago we observed that the cherry blossom season around central Tokyo has pretty much come to a close, but today we went back down to revisit two of the later season hanami spots around the city: Mount Takao in the outskirts of western Tokyo where cherry trees were still in bloom due to the mountain's higher elevation and the much more central Shinjuku Gyoen where many late-blooming tree varieties can be seen.

Mount Takao (Takaosan)
April 8, 2013 - end of season (base of mountain)
April 8, 2013 - full bloom (summit and Itchodaira)

Mount Takao (Takaosan) is a popular hiking destination less than an hour west of Shinjuku. When Schauwecker visited the area last week, the trees around the base of the mountain were at full bloom, but today they were pretty much void of petals, no doubt sped along by the extreme wind and rain over the last few days.

The trees around the top of the mountain were mostly Yamazakura cherry trees, in contrast to the more common Somei Yoshino variety. They have reached full bloom and should remain enjoyable through the week.

The trees around the base of the mountains have lost all their petals

Visibility was outstanding today: you could see the Tokyo Skytree and as far as the Boso Peninsula beyond Tokyo Bay

On the grounds of Takaosan's Yakuoin Temple

The Yamazakura trees around the summit were at full bloom (note Mount Fuji in the background)

Full bloom

We were also able to check out the Itchodaira area, a spot about 30 minutes past the summit of Mount Takao. Also known as the Takaosan Senbonzakura ("Mount Takao Thousand Cherry Trees"), it is filled with a variety of different cherry trees planted along the trail through the area. Many of the trees around Itchodaira were at full bloom today and worth a visit if you missed the main season around Tokyo.

Momijidai along the trail from the summit in direction to Itchodaira

Today's views of Mount Fuji were outstanding

Cherry trees and rhododendron bushes along the trail to Itchodaira

Pleasant atmosphere at Itchodaira

More nice views of Mount Fuji from Itchodaira

Shinjuku Gyoen
April 8, 2013 - end of season (Somei Yoshino)
April 8, 2013 - full bloom (later blooming varieties)

The main cherry blossom season around Shinjuku Gyoen has come to a close as the prominent Somei Yoshino trees have lost virtually all of their petals.

The most numerous Somei Yoshino cherry trees have dropped virtually all of their petals

End of season

But Shinjuku Gyoen is also Tokyo's best place to see later blooming cherry tree varieties, as several hundred late blooming trees are found around the park grounds and usually continue to bloom through April. Most of these trees were at or approaching full bloom today, and if you didn't know better, you could have mistaken it for the peak of the season. The blossoms will probably end a little earlier than normal due to this year's accelerated schedule, but will likely remain enjoyable for two more weeks barring any drastic weather.

The many late flowering cherry trees at Shinjuku Gyoen were at full bloom or approaching it

In combination with the good weather, they provided excellent hanami conditions

The Ichiyo cherry trees were generally at full bloom

The Kanzan cherry trees were just about to reach full bloom

The Fugenzo cherry trees were at around the 50% mark

A rare Shogetsu cherry tree approaching full bloom

The rare Gyoiko cherry tree is unique for featuring greenish blossoms

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List of Posts:
2013/05/09 - Hakodate Report
2013/05/08 - Matsumae Report
2013/05/02 - Hirosaki Report
2013/05/01 - Kakunodate Report
2013/04/30 - Kitakami Report
2013/04/18 - Sendai Report
2013/04/17 - Takayama Report
2013/04/15 - Fukushima Report
2013/04/12 - Matsumoto Report
2013/04/11 - Kyoto Report
2013/04/10 - Mount Fuji Report
2013/04/10 - Hakone Report
2013/04/10 - Kanazawa Report
2013/04/09 - Yoshino Report
2013/04/08 - Kyoto Report
2013/04/08 - Tokyo Report
2013/04/05 - Mount Fuji Report
2013/04/04 - Kyoto Report
2013/04/04 - Gunma Report
2013/04/03 - Takamatsu Report
2013/04/02 - Osaka Report
2013/04/02 - Hiroshima Report
2013/04/01 - Tokyo Report
2013/04/01 - Kyoto Report
2013/03/29 - Tokyo Report
2013/03/28 - Gunma Report
2013/03/28 - Kyoto Report
2013/03/27 - Osaka Report
2013/03/27 - Fukuoka Report
2013/03/26 - Nagoya Report
2013/03/26 - Kamakura Report
2013/03/26 - Okayama Report
2013/03/25 - Tokyo Report
2013/03/24 - Kyoto Report
2013/03/23 - Kagoshima Report
2013/03/22 - Kumamoto Report
2013/03/21 - Tokyo Report
2013/03/21 - Fukuoka Report
2013/03/20 - Kyoto Report
2013/03/17 - Tokyo Report
2013/03/12 - Tokyo Report
2013/02/28 - Kawazu Report