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

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2010/04/05 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo

This is my third cherry blossom report from Tokyo within a week, during which time I have seen the cherry blossoms progress from being around 20 or 30 % open on March 30 to being generally at full bloom today. Unfortunately, today it was raining on and off throughout the day, which somewhat hampered my enjoyment. Better weather is expected in the city tomorrow and on Thursday, and the flowers should remain at full bloom at least until then.

Shinjuku Gyoen
April 5, 2010 - full bloom

I began my day at Shinjuku Gyoen right when the park opened at 9:00. As opposed to the last time I visited for the March 30 cherry blossom report, there were very few people passing through the gates alongside me.

Few flower watchers braved the bad weather this morning at Shinjuku Gyoen

The reason there were so few people was surely not because of the state of the cherry blossoms, as the somei yoshino variety of trees are now at full bloom. When the skies clear up tomorrow the park should be a great place for flower viewing.

Cherry blossoms at full bloom at Shinjuku Gyoen

Today there were a number of places with much more impressive flowers than on my last trip. For instance, the cherry trees around the Japanese garden and in the cherry tree grove near the park's Sendagaya entrance were particularly striking. There are also many late blooming cherry tree species that are only just opening.

Cherry trees surround a Japanese garden

Unfortunately, the early blooming cherry trees were more sensitive to the rainfall and many of their petals have fallen into the puddles that surround the trees.

An early blooming cherry tree fallen victim to the rain

Yoyogi Koen
April 5, 2010 - full bloom

My next stop of the day was near Harajuku Station, a couple stops away on the Yamanote Line. Yoyogi Koen is a public park, and as opposed to Shinjuku Gyoen it does not charge any entrance fee. The cherry trees at Yoyogi are located quite a distance from the main entrance. Once I reached the cherry trees I had quite a shock. The remains of hundreds of last weekend's cherry blossom viewing parties were strewn beneath the trees and along the park's walking paths. There didn't seem to be anybody cleaning it up either, and a shopkeeper at a kiosk I spoke to said that it would likely not be cleaned up for a couple days.

Despite the garbage the trees were really great, and the flowers were certainly at full bloom. Nonetheless, I wouldn't recommend Yoyogi Koen as a cherry blossom spot in its present condition. Hopefully they will have the park cleaned up by Wednesday. There was truly a massive amount of stuff left behind, so the park must have been very popular over the weekend.

Cherry blossoms at full bloom in Yoyogi Park

Perhaps the main benefactors of the park at the moment are the wild crows, which are feasting on the food that was left behind. After reaching the cherry trees, I heard their cawing almost non-stop, and took a few minutes to watch them on the tarps beneath the trees tearing away at the leftovers.

A crow scavenges the remains of last weekend's flower viewing parties at Yoyogi Park

Meguro River
April 5, 2010 - full bloom

My last stop of the day was the Meguro River, which is lined for hundreds of meters with cherry trees. The trees here were also at full bloom, and it was the busiest cherry blossom spot of the day.

Branches of cherry trees hang over the Meguro River

Though the cherry trees of Meguro River are also at full bloom, on the whole they have been more affected by the recent rain than the trees at Shinjuku Gyoen and Yoyogi Park. Many of the trees near Nakameguro station, which were more advanced when I visited last week, have lost many of their petals and have a lot of stems and leaves showing on their branches. Though the trees seem to be on a descent, the view for the next couple days should continue to be fantastic.

Petals beginning to fall from the cherry trees of Meguro River

Since they were not as advanced as the trees near the station, the trees to the south have not been too much affected by the rain and their branches remain very full with flowers.

Cherry trees along the Merguro River south of Nakameguro Station

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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