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Cherry Blossom Report 2011
Official cherry blossom reports by

This year's cherry blossom season will be overshadowed by the tremendous loss caused by the recent earthquake. However, we believe that the blossoms will serve as symbols of hope and resilience and a source of motivation along Japan's road to recovery. With this in mind, we never hesitated to go ahead with our annual reports in order to inform travelers in Japan and readers across the world about this year's cherry blossom season.

2011 Cherry Blossom Forecast - Schedule of upcoming reports - Post your own report
Popular cherry blossom spots - How to do hanami? - Cherry tree varieties

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2011/04/11 - Tokyo Report
by francois

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

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:
2011/05/09 - Sapporo Report
2011/05/06 - Hakodate Report
2011/05/02 - Kakunodate Report
2011/05/01 - Hirosaki Report
2011/04/29 - Kitakami Report
2011/04/22 - Aizu Report
2011/04/21 - Sendai Report
2011/04/20 - Fujigoko Report
2011/04/19 - Tokyo Report
2011/04/16 - Kyoto Report
2011/04/15 - Osaka Report
2011/04/14 - Tokyo Report
2011/04/14 - Kanazawa Report
2011/04/13 - Yoshino Report
2011/04/12 - Kyoto Report
2011/04/12 - Okayama Report
2011/04/11 - Tokyo Report
2011/04/11 - Takamatsu Report
2011/04/10 - Osaka Report
2011/04/10 - Matsuyama Report
2011/04/09 - Kyoto Report
2011/04/08 - Tokyo Report
2011/04/08 - Yoshino Report
2011/04/07 - Hiroshima Report
2011/04/07 - Iwakuni Report
2011/04/07 - Nagoya Report
2011/04/06 - Kyoto Report
2011/04/05 - Tokyo Report
2011/04/04 - Kyoto Report
2011/04/03 - Fukuoka Report
2011/04/02 - Tokyo Report
2011/04/01 - Kyoto Report
2011/04/01 - Kagoshima Report
2011/03/31 - Kumamoto Report
2011/03/31 - Fukuoka Report
2011/03/30 - Tokyo Report
2011/03/30 - Kochi Report
2011/03/29 - Kyoto Report
2011/03/28 - Himeji Report
2011/03/27 - Tokyo Report