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

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2015/04/06 - Tokyo Cherry Blossom Report

After spending about a week in the Kansai Region, I'm back in Tokyo today to bring you the latest cherry blossom update. Scott was in Kyoto today and reported that the petals are starting to fall. You can read his report here. While the cherry blossom season may be starting to come to a close in western and central Japan, those who are arriving later and want to see cherry blossoms should turn towards northern Japan where the season has barely started.

In Scott's last Tokyo report just four days ago, most of the cherry trees at the places he visited were at their peak except in Ueno Park, which is usually slightly ahead of the city average and had petals falling. Today, the petals were falling at all three places I visited, no thanks to the bad weather over the weekend past. Today's warm summery weather was probably the best day this whole week for a day out visiting parks and gardens, and having hanami parties, and I'm afraid that for those who arriving to Tokyo next week may not be able to see many cherry blossoms as the weather for the rest of this week is forecast to be cold and rainy. Many of the blossoms hanging on precariously may be lost in the next downpour or blown away.

Ueno Park
April 6, 2015 - beyond peak

My first stop for today was Ueno Park. Four days after Scott reported that petals were falling there, they have now dropped most of their petals and are beyond peak. There are a few trees with some blossoms hanging on, but most trees have lost most of their blossoms and are looking more pink than white and fluffy. I also went for a quick walk around Shinobazu Pond and found that while the trees there had slightly more blossoms, the petals were falling freely even without the slightest breeze. Tomorrow's rain forecast will not help the situation and I expect most of the petals to have fallen by the end of this week.

Main cherry blossom path doesn't have many blossoms left
Many branches looking like this
Sitting ducks
Looks like a good place to read in the morning
Saw the culprit responsible for some of the fallen petals
Trees along Shinobazu Pond

Shinjuku Gyoen
April 6, 2015 - petals starting to fall
April 6, 2015 - opening (10-50%) (late blooming varieties)

My next stop for the day was the popular Shinjuku Gyoen, one of Tokyo's most popular cherry blossom viewing spots. It was absolutely beautiful to be at the garden today and visitors were pouring in by the hundreds. Blue skies, sakura petal covered grounds, and the late blooming varieties at their different stages of flowering. There was plenty to see and enough for everyone at Shinjuku Gyoen. The most numerous and common cherry tree, Somei Yoshino, had petals falling and some trees were beyond peak, while the late blooming varieties like the ukon, kanzan and ichiyo, were just starting to open and I expect them to develop further over the next few days.

Cherry trees in Shinjuku Gyoen
Ichiyo blossoms
Kanzan flower buds about to blossom
Beautiful weather in Tokyo today
Yaebeni blossoms
Staring competition, maybe a Japanese standoff in the cherry tree grove
Ukon blossoms
More cherry trees and sakura droppings everywhere
Choshuhi-zakura blossoms
The line to get into Shinjuku Gyoen

Showa Kinen Koen
April 6, 2015 - petals starting to fall

My final stop for today was Showa Kinen Koen, a popular hanami spot outside of central Tokyo. Located in the western suburbs of Tokyo, the park can be reached by a ten minute walk from Tachikawa Station or a short walk from Nishi Tachikawa Station. There are bicycle rentals (410 yen for three hours) at the park which make getting around very convenient. Note that cycling is only allowed on the cycling paths and bicycles have to be returned where you rented them. Walking around the park or taking the internal train are other ways of getting around the large park.

Showa Kinen Koen has about 1500 cherry trees planted around the park with a large number of them at the sakura garden. The blossoms at the park are typically a couple days slower than the city, and while the petals had started to fall, the trees still looked full and attractive unlike at Ueno Park and Shinjuku Gyoen. There was a flower festival when I was there that will carry on till May 24, featuring nanohana (rape blossoms), tulips, poppies and other flowers. There were lots of people at the park, zipping around on rental bicycles, lounging on mats under the cherry trees, playing games in the huge and spacious lawn, and of course, taking lots of pictures of and with the flowers.

Cherry trees along the dry canal
Close up of the blossoms still looking full and attractive
Nanohana flowers and cherry trees
Grandma in Le Tour de Showa Kinen Koen
Child and cherry blossoms
This chorus group gave a live performance under the flowers
Tulips and a small stream

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List of Posts:
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