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

previous post
list all posts
next post

2011/04/08 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo

Cherry blossoms at Ueno Park, with the Tokyo National Museum visible in the distance

Today I made the 5th cherry blossom reporting trip to Tokyo this season. When we first visited on March 27 the buds of the somei yoshino trees hadn't opened yet, and just a few days ago on April 5 some spots were approaching full bloom. Today, most of Tokyo's cherry blossom spots that I visited were at full bloom. Unfortunately the weather was not great, but the flowers were still fantastic. Now and into the next few days should be the best time to see the flowers for many spots in the city this year.

Ueno Park
April 8, 2011 - full bloom

Ueno Park was my first spot of the day and has reached full bloom since our last visit three days ago. There were large numbers of people when I visited this morning, but the crowds will become intense in the evening and over the weekends. Admiring the trees this morning once again confirmed my personal estimation of Ueno as the best cherry blossom spot in the city, which is an opinion that is not rare.

Ueno's tunnel of cherry trees
Ueno's tunnel of cherry trees
Ueno branches of flowers are so full they seem like floating clouds of petals

In addition to the approximate 500 meter tunnel of cherry trees that leads from the park's entrance to the park's zoo, fountain and museums, there are still quite a few attractive spots to see flowers. Today I also saw the trees around the Shinobazu Pond and Bentendo Hall. Many of the early blooming cherry tree varieties that I enjoyed on may last visit to the city on March 30 have since lost most of their flowers.

Cherry trees and food stalls along the approach to the Bentendo Hall
A weeping cherry tree at the entrance to the park has lost its flowers

Sumida Park
April 8, 2011 - full bloom

Located in the attractive Asakusa district of Northern Tokyo, Sumida Park runs alongside the Sumida river and has a number of cherry trees. Travelers may recognize the park as one of the stations of the Tokyo Water Bus. Here, too, the trees were at full bloom, and are worth a visit for people who have come to the area to see Sensoji Temple.

Cherry trees along the water and a water bus
Branches hang above the park's paths
A close up of some blossoms
Tokyo's highest building, the Tokyo Sky Tree, can be seen still under construction

Megurogawa (Meguro River)
April 8, 2011 - full bloom

Another riverside spot for cherry blossom spots, Megurogawa (Meguro River) has hundreds of trees alongside its narrow waters. The trees can best be reached from Nakameguro Station on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line and Tokyu Toyoko Line. There is a tunnel of overhanging branches on the paths that run alongside the river, as well as a number of trendy restaurants.

Cherry blossoms hang above the narrow Meguro River
A close up of some blossoms, with some petals beginning to fall and some leaves appearing
A tunnel of cherry blossoms beside the river
People stop for photographs on the bridges that cross the water

Shinjuku Gyoen
April 8, 2011 - approaching full bloom (50-80%)

The somei yoshino trees at Shinjuku Gyoen were slightly behind those that I saw at the other spots I visited today. Although quite a few trees were at full bloom, there were also many that had numerous unopened flowers. The park should reach full bloom within a day or two. Today there were many people at the park but because of its large grounds it did not feel too crowded. Many blue tarps were laid out for hanami parties, with parties ranging in size from couples sitting in pairs to large groups of over 20 people.

Hanami parties on Shinjuku Gyoen's spacious grounds
More hanami parties
From many spots in the park the NTT Docomo Yoyogi building can be seen
Many flowers are open, but many unopened flowers can also be seen

While I do not think that Shinjuku Gyoen has a single spot that is as impressive as Ueno's tunnel of cherry trees, it is the massive grounds and wide variety of trees that makes Shinjuku Gyoen a fantastic cherry blossom spot. Today I wandered around the park for quite a while and enjoyed many different types of trees.

Many cherry trees are located alongside the walking paths
Visitors enjoy a yoko variety of cherry tree
A couple eat under an oshima cherry tree

previous post
list all posts
next post

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