Francois' Japan Blog
by Francois, staff writer of japan-guide.com

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2010/03/30 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo

This is our third report from Tokyo this season. The cherry blossoms have advanced quite a bit since our first report last week on March 23, and with the nice weather today there were a lot of people enjoying hanami. It seems that many places will be at or approaching full bloom by the weekend.

Asukayama Park
March 30, 2010 - opening (10-50%)

Asukayama Park is a small park on a hill located in the northern Kita district of Tokyo. The park is popular for children, and there were many kids there today. Paths lead through the park and many of them are lined by cherry blossom trees.

Around 30% of the cherry blossoms have opened in general, though there were a few spots that were more advanced and had attracted cherry blossom viewing parties. In the southern area of the park I found the most advanced trees, and there were already people sitting on tarps that were spread out under the trees.

Shinjuku Gyoen
March 30, 2010 - opening (10-50%)

Shinjuku Gyoen is one of my favourite spots for cherry blossom viewing in Tokyo. The large park grounds have hundreds of cherry trees of dozens of different cherry tree varieties. Throughout the cherry blossom season, it is likely to find at least one type of cherry tree that is near full bloom at Shinjuku Gyoen. There are also a variety of contexts in which to see the cherry trees, such as an English garden or a typical Japanese garden.

The main type of cherry tree, the Somei Yoshino variety, is not yet very advanced at Shinjuku Gyoen. However, there are a number of other cherry tree varieties that are at full bloom, such as a few weeping cherry trees in the southern area of the park. In total, the cherry blossoms at Shinjuku Gyoen are between 20 and 30% open.

As I approached the gates of Shinjuku Gyoen, I saw a large crowd of people in front of the park's entrance. Because Shinjuku Gyoen is so spacious the crowds of people were able to spread out once they passed the gates. The park is a good place to go if you want to find a spot to sit and not feel too crowded. It will be open everyday during the cherry blossom season from March 25 to April 24.

Meguro River
March 30, 2010 - opening (10-50%)

The Meguro River is lined with cherry trees, and it is just a few steps away from Nakameguro Station on the Toyoko Line and the Hibiya Line. The trees line the river for hundreds of meters, making the spot good for people who like combining their flower viewing with a stroll.

The trees in the area of the river near Nakameguro Station and to the north is much more developed than those in the south. In fact, many of the trees near the station were almost 50% open and provided spectacular views and large crowds. There were also a number of food stalls set up catering to the crowds.

In the area south of the station the trees were much less developed, and it also seemed that trees of the western riverside have developed faster than those on the other side. The trees to the east were only around 10% open, while the trees to the west were around 30% open. This area was also nice for walking, but both the crowds and the overhanging cherry tree branches were less dense. Evening illuminations of the cherry blossoms will take place at Meguro River from 18:00 to 22:00 starting on April 1 and continuing until April 10.

Ueno Park
March 30, 2010 - approaching full bloom (50-80%)

My last stop of the day was Ueno Park, and despite seeing a number of other popular cherry blossom spots earlier in the day the crowds of Ueno Park were on a completely different level. Ueno Park is one of the country's most popular cherry blossom spots, and because the area's flowers are more developed than many other places is Tokyo it is now even more crowded. Ueno Park has a number of attractions, including a zoo and great museums, but in the next few days everyone will be coming to see the flowers

A fantastic canopy of blossoms hangs over the main path the leads through the park. The flowers are between 50 and 60% open and there is a dense crowd of people walking below and admiring the flowers. Though the flowers and crowds both feel like they could not get any more intense, I think that they both will coming into the next few days.

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List of Posts:
2011/09/01 - Final Post
2011/05/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Sapporo
2011/05/06 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hakodate
2011/04/22 - Cherry Blossom Report: Aizu
2011/04/21 - Cherry Blossom Report: Sendai
2011/04/16 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2011/04/15 - Cherry Blossom Report: Osaka
2011/04/14 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kanazawa
2011/04/13 - Cherry Blossom Report: Yoshino
2011/04/12 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2011/04/11 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2011/04/08 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2011/04/04 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2011/04/03 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fukuoka
2011/04/01 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kagoshima
2011/03/31 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kumamoto
2011/03/30 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2011/02/11 - Shiretoko Fantasia 2011
2011/02/11 - Asahikawa Winter Festival - by night
2011/02/10 - Asahikawa Winter Festival - by day
2011/02/09 - Sapporo Snow Festival 2011 - by night
2011/02/08 - Otaru Yuki Akari no Michi 2011
2011/02/07 - Sapporo Snow Festival 2011 - by day

2010/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2010
2010/11/26 - Autumn Color Report: Osaka
2010/11/26 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2010/11/25 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2010/11/24 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2010/11/23 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2010/11/16 - Autumn Color Report: Tokyo
2010/11/05 - Autumn Color Report: Yamadera
2010/10/27 - Autumn Color Report: Kuju
2010/10/26 - Autumn Color Report: Kirishima
2010/04/10 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2010/04/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kanazawa
2010/04/08 - Cherry Blossom Report: Osaka
2010/04/07 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2010/04/05 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2010/04/01 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2010/03/30 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2010/03/26 - Cherry Blossom Report: Nagoya
2010/03/25 - Cherry Blossom Report: Nagasaki
2010/03/22 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kumamoto
2010/03/21 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fukuoka
2010/01/23 - Wakakusa Yamayaki

2009/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2009
2009/11/26 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2009/11/25 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto Light Up
2009/11/23 - Autumn Color Report: Nara
2009/11/22 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto Ohara
2009/11/21 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2009/11/18 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto Higashiyama
2009/11/16 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto Kurama
2009/11/04 - Autumn Color Report: Hakone
2009/10/07 - Autumn Color Report: Hachimantai
2009/10/06 - Autumn Color Report: Mount Akita-Komagatake
2009/09/28 - Autumn Color Report: Kamikochi
2009/09/24 - Autumn Color Report: Oze National Park
2009/06/18 - Biking the Shimanami Kaido
2009/06/01 - Gunkanjima
2009/04/15 - Cherry Blossom Report: Osaka
2009/04/15 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2009/04/14 - Cherry Blossom Report: Himeji
2009/04/14 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kobe
2009/04/13 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kanazawa
2009/04/12 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2009/04/05 - Cherry Blossom Report: Yoshino
2009/04/04 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2009/04/03 - Cherry Blossom Report: Nara
2009/04/02 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kobe
2009/04/01 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2009/03/31 - Cherry Blossom Report: Himeji
2009/03/30 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2009/03/29 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2009/03/26 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2009/01/19 - Bears in Hokkaido

2008/12/03 - Autumn Color Report: Kamakura
2008/10/06 - Autumn Color Report: Lake Akan
2008/08/18 - Miyajima Trip
2008/06/09 - Post Towns
2008/05/08 - Baseball Game
2008/04/14 - ASIMO and Aoyama Cemetery
2008/04/08 - Ninja Restaurant