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

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2011/04/11 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo

Cherry blossoms are currently at their peak at Shinjuku Gyoen

Three days ago I found many spots in Tokyo at or near full bloom during the April 8 Cherry Blossom Report. Since then the blossoms have advanced quite a bit so that the spots that were approaching full bloom have now reached it and those that were at full bloom are now in decline. Many of Tokyo's cherry blossom spots are likely around their peak at the moment, and will gradually begin their decline in the next few days. For travelers currently in Tokyo, the next few days are a great time to see cherry blossoms of the most popular somei yoshino variety before the petals begin to fall at an accelerated rate. Scott will continue the reporting from Tokyo during the rest of the week.

Ueno Park
April 11, 2011 - petals starting to fall

Once again Ueno Park, was my first stop of the day but many of the flowers had fallen since when I saw them at full bloom three days ago. The park is still nice, but the petals were falling with every gust of wind, so I think the cherry blossom season only has a couple more days for the somei yoshino trees. Thereafter there will still be the late blooming varieties that can be seen, over the weekend and into next week.

Many flowers have fallen from Ueno's tunnel of cherry trees since three days ago
The park is still very busy, enjoyable for both young and old
Many flowers are losing their petals
One of the branches that still retains many flowers
Strong gusts of winds caused quite a few hanafubuki (cherry blossom blizzard) while I was at the park

Chidorigafuchi
April 11, 2011 - full bloom

After Ueno I went to Chidorigafuchi, the moat that surrounds the former site of Edo Castle. Here the trees still had most of their flowers, and made for some fantastic views. Many row boats had been rented out and were being used by travelers hoping to get an even closer look of the cherry blossoms. I visited the moat from the north via Kudanshita Station (on the Hanzomon, Tozai and Shinjuku Subway Lines) and walked south along the waterside until I got to the Hanzomon Gate, and then left the area via Hanzomon Station (on the Hanzomon Subway Line).

Chidorigafuchi and row boats
Some fallen petals accumulated in the corners of the moat
Chidorigafuchi's cherry trees are still filled with flowers
A statue surrounded by a sea of cherry blossoms between the moat and Kudanshita Station

Shinjuku Gyoen
April 11, 2011 - full bloom

Shinjuku Gyoen was approaching full bloom three days ago and has since reached the season's peak. The park's numerous somei yoshino trees were spectacular and attracted many hanami parties. In my opinion, for the next few days Shinjuku Gyoen is the best place to see cherry blossoms in the city.

Many people were visiting the park today to see the blossoms
Branches full of petals hang over top hanami parties
The park was today's most popular spot
More hanami parties
Cherry blossoms, hanami parties and the NTT Docomo Yoyogi building

In some spots, the petals were already beginning to fall. Still, for the most part there were many more petals on the trees than on the ground.

Petals cover the ground in a southern area of the park
Some flowers are losing their petals

Another attraction of Shinjuku Gyoen is its great variety of cherry trees, so visitors can see a wide range of colors when they visit the park.

Colorful flowers at Shinjuku Gyoen
Colorful flowers at Shinjuku Gyoen

I was enjoying myself so much that I wanted to lay out a tarp and claim my own bit of hanami territory for the rest of the day. With its wide open spaces and numerous trees, Shinjuku Gyoen makes for a great spot to see the flowers. There is, however, one difficulty that visitors to the park may encounter if planning a party.

The dilemma of having a hanami party without also enjoying cold beer with friends

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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