Staff Reports
Raina's Japan Travel Journal
by Raina, staff writer of japan-guide.com

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2014/03/31 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report

View of Tokyo Skytree and Asahi Beer Tower from Sumida Park

It has been four days since my last visit to Tokyo when the cherry trees just opened. With strong winds and rain all day yesterday, I was a little worried for today's visit. However, all my worry was for naught as today's weather was perfect for cherry blossom viewing (hanami) and I also had Scott joining me to view the blossoms in Tokyo as well.

Tokyo officially reached full bloom (mankai) yesterday and having seen the cherry trees at the different sites with my own eyes today, I concur with their decision. You can expect the cherry blossoms to stay at their peak over the next few days. Elsewhere in Japan, Kyoto's cherry blossom season officially started on the 27th, check out Scott's Kyoto report when he visited two days after it opened.

Yasukuni Shrine
March 31, 2014 - full bloom

Our first stop for today was once again Yasukuni Shrine. Tokyo city's representative tree located on the shrine's grounds, as well as the other cherry trees in the vicinity had just reached full bloom. There were many food and drink stalls set up as well and I am sure that it was bustling with activity over the weekend past. Even though it was still early when we arrived at Yasukuni Shrine, there were a lot of people out and about taking pictures of the beautiful blossoms.

View from the entrance of Yasukuni Shrine
Full bloom is expected to continue for the next few days
View of the cherry trees in Yasukuni Shrine
Seasonal fortune slips available at Yasukuni Shrine
Cherry tree at Yasukuni Shrine

Chidorigafuchi Shrine
March 31, 2014 - full bloom

Since Chidorigafuchi is just across from Yasukuni Shrine, we headed there after visiting the shrine. Chidorigafuchi is a moat located northwest of the Tokyo Imperial Palace and there are about 260 cherry trees planted along the 700 meter pedestrian path. Like at Yasukuni Shrine, Chidorigafuchi was crowded with tourists and photographers taking advantage of the beautiful weather and blossoms in full bloom. Chidorigafuchi will be illuminated at night from 18:00 till 22:00 until April 6th.

View of the moat
Close up of the state of flowers
Sparrows chilling at Chidorigafuchi
Crowds at Chidorigafuchi
Row boats also available for rent at Chidorigafuchi

Ueno Park
March 31, 2014 - full bloom

Our third stop for today was Ueno Park, one of Tokyo's more popular cherry blossom viewing spot. The cherry trees in Ueno Park tend to blossom faster than most places in Tokyo, and I am sure the park played host to many cherry blossom viewing parties (hanami) over the weekend. As expected the blossoms were out in full force and there were many people taking pictures in today's awesome weather. Further down near Shinobazu Pond, there were food stalls set up and rental paddle boats, that were very popular amongst tourists.

Full bloom at Ueno Park
Blossoms near Shinobazu Pond
People, people everywhere
Food seller at Shinobazu Pond
Food stalls giving a festive vibe to the area
Hello Kitty and Doraemon castella

Sumida Park
March 31, 2014 - full bloom

Our last stop of the day was at Asakusa, where its main attractions are Sensoji and Nakamise shopping street. Sumida Park, my focus for today, is just a stone's throw away from Tobu Asakusa Station. There is a water bus pier where water buses travel along the Sumida River towards Tokyo Bay. The water buses that we saw were very crowded and definitely a popular choice to view the blossom from a different angle.

Pink for sakura season
Tokyo Skytree and cherry blossoms

A stroll along the cherry tree lined park also offers great views of Tokyo Skytree and Asahi Beer Tower. Being in close proximity to Asakusa also meant that you could also take a rickshaw ride. We saw many people on rickshaws, listening to the driver's commentary and taking lots of pictures. It was my first time in Sumida Park during the cherry blossom season and it was just beautiful to be there when the flowers are at full bloom.

Full bloom at Sumida Park
Close up of the flowers
Beautiful day for a ride in a rickshaw during the cherry blossom season

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List of Posts:
2019/03/20 - Moominvalley Park opens near Tokyo
2018/12/31 - 2018 Travel Highlights
2018/10/25 - Business as usual at Tsukiji Outer Market
2018/08/19 - Hello Kitty Shinkansen
2018/05/16 - Cruising Tokyo's waterways
2018/04/17 - Wisteria blossoms in Ashikaga Flower Park
2018/01/18 - Shinanomachi, the Backcountry of Nagano

2017/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2017
2017/10/25 - The 45th Tokyo Motor Show
2017/10/11 - Dipping into the three onsen towns of Yamanaka, Yamashiro and Katayamazu
2017/07/24 - Remote Riches in Toyama
2017/07/03 - Spiritual Chichibu
2017/05/02 - Fuji Shibazakura Festival
2017/04/14 - Sneak Peek from Ginza Six
2017/03/21 - A bit of everything in Fukui
2017/03/13 - Nikko Toshogu Uncovered
2017/02/15 - Subculture in Ikebukuro
2017/02/07 - Travel to the Goto Islands
2017/02/06 - Nagasaki Lantern Festival

2016/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2016
2016/12/19 - Winter Illuminations in Tokyo
2016/10/24 - The way of old on the Kunisaki Peninsula
2016/10/11 - Following the Tadami Line in Oku Aizu
2016/08/27 - Fool's Dance at Koenji Awa Odori
2016/08/16 - The three sacred mountains of Dewa Sanzan
2016/06/20 - Train travel into the Ise-Shima region
2016/04/03 - Setouchi Triennale 2016
2016/03/08 - The hunt for Namahage on the Oga Peninsula
2016/03/02 - Sake Sangria
2016/02/20 - Tokyo Plum Blossom Report
2016/01/26 - Tour de Reinan: Obama, Oi and Takahama
2016/01/25 - Tour de Reinan: Tsuruga, Mihama and Wakasa

2015/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2015
2015/12/10 - 48 hours in Tokushima
2015/11/20 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2015/11/19 - Autumn Color Report: Kankakei
2015/11/18 - Autumn Color Report: Korankei
2015/11/17 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2015/11/13 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2015/11/10 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2015/11/09 - Autumn Color Report: Koyasan
2015/11/08 - Autumn Color Report: Miyajima
2015/11/07 - Autumn Color Report: Dazaifu
2015/10/28 - The 44th Tokyo Motor Show
2015/10/21 - Hirado, where East meets West
2015/10/20 - Kujukushima Islands and Winter Illumination at Huis Ten Bosch
2015/10/19 - Navigating the Christian sites in Nagasaki
2015/10/18 - Cosplay at Haco Stadium Tokyo
2015/10/15 - Autumn Color Report: Nikko
2015/10/05 - Autumn Color Report: Route 292
2015/09/28 - Autumn Color Report: Oze
2015/09/24 - Autumn Color Report: Alpine Route
2015/09/16 - Nakanojo Biennale 2015
2015/08/19 - Traditional culture and hot springs of the Aizu Region
2015/08/17 - Nature and Hot Springs at Naruko Onsen
2015/08/04 - Echigo Tsumari Art Triennale 2015
2015/04/30 - Sapporo Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/29 - Hakodate Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/23 - Kakunodate Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/22 - Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/21 - Kitakami Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/16 - Sendai Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/09 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/08 - Fukushima Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/06 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/03 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/02 - Nara Cherry Blossom Report
2015/04/01 - Osaka Cherry Blossom Report
2015/03/31 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2015/03/27 - Fukuoka Cherry Blossom Report
2015/03/26 - Kumamoto Cherry Blossom Report
2015/03/25 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report

2014/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2014
2014/12/15 - Seasonal Illumination: Sendai
2014/12/09 - Seasonal Illumination: Tokyo
2014/12/04 - Autumn Color Report: Kanazawa
2014/12/03 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2014/11/21 - Autumn Color Report: Osaka
2014/11/20 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2014/11/19 - Autumn Color Report: Korankei
2014/11/18 - Autumn Color Report: Miyajima
2014/11/17 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2014/11/13 - Autumn Color Report: Fuji
2014/11/04 - Autumn Color Report: Fuji
2014/10/31 - Autumn Color Report: Karuizawa
2014/10/21 - Autumn Color Report: Bandai
2014/10/20 - Autumn Color Report: Towada
2014/10/01 - Autumn Color Report: Oze National Park
2014/09/29 - Autumn Color Report: Alpine Route
2014/06/19 - Toranomon Hills opens in Tokyo
2014/04/24 - Kitakami Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/23 - Morioka Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/22 - Aizu-Wakamatsu Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/16 - Matsumoto Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/15 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/14 - Yoshino Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/13 - Osaka Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/12 - Kanazawa Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/10 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/06 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/05 - Hiroshima Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/04 - Osaka Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/03 - Kyoto Cherry Blossom Report
2014/04/02 - Nagoya Cherry Blossom Report
2014/03/31 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2014/03/26 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report
2014/03/04 - Early Tokyo Blossom Report