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Tokyo: End of Season

Sakura, nanohana and grandpa taking pictures

Today I visited a few of the best cherry blossoms spots in Tokyo to check out the state of the blossoms since Scott visited on April 8. The relatively strong winds over the weekend combined with warm weather may have caused some of the petals to fall earlier than normal. The season for the commonly seen mainstream Somei Yoshino cherry trees is definitely over, and the season in Tokyo has now moved towards the late-flowering varieties.

If you missed the sakura season in Tokyo, your options are to catch the late-flowering cherry tree varieties or to make side trips north of Tokyo. The season is just starting in the Tohoku Region, and Morioka in Iwate Prefecture reported the start of the season yesterday, April 11.

Showa Kinen Koen

End of Season

My first stop of the day was Showa Kinen Koen, a huge park not far from Tachikawa Station in west Tokyo. The cherry trees here were at full bloom when Scott visited on April 8, and in just four days, the season here has come to an end. Majority of the cherry trees were very bare, and only a handful of trees still had blossoms on them. However, I don't expect the blossoms to stay attached for long with winds and rain predicted for the next two days. There are many other flower varieties planted in the park in addition to the cherry trees(if you have missed the season), and I saw tulips, nanohana and poppies when I was there. The park is open daily from 9:30 to 17:00 and rental bicycles (410 yen for three hours) are a popular way of getting around.

Komorebi, sunlight filtering through the trees, and in this case through the bare cherry tree grove
This branch has had better sakura days
Visitors posing with one of the few trees with blossoms remaining
Enjoying the sun, and the remaining blossoms
Caught in the branches
Picnicking under branches
Tulips were the main draw when I was at the park
Many old people photographers everywhere
Another couple of trees with blossoms that may not survive the next two days of bad weather
Vivid tulips

Koganei Park

End of Season

Moving eastwards towards Tokyo, my next stop was Koganei Park, about a 15 minute walk from Musashi-Koganei Station. The park is home to the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Museum, and many of the cherry trees in the park can be found near the western end and around the museum. I found that the mainstream Somei Yoshino cherry trees here were at the end of their season, but there are late-flowering cherry trees in the park which made up for it. The late-flowering trees were at different stages of bloom, some at full bloom, while others midway towards their peak. These late flowering cherry trees should not be affected by the forecast rain over the next two days and I expect them to be nice to see over the coming weekend.

Late-flowering cherry tree grove at Koganei Park
Kanzan cherry tree
A late-flowering cherry tree at full bloom
Yokihi cherry tree just opening
Just starting to lose their petals
Bare Somei Yoshino cherry trees
Path that leads to the museum, with bare cherry trees on the side
Another late flowering cherry blossom

Shinjuku Gyoen

Approaching Full Bloom

My final stop for the day Shinjuku Gyoen, a popular garden in central Tokyo. There are many flowers and trees in Shinjuku Gyoen, including a large number of late blooming cherry trees, making it one of the best spots to see cherry blossoms in Tokyo even after the end of the regular season. Today, I found that it was the end of season for the mainstream Somei Yoshino cherry trees, but the late flowering cherry trees were blooming and there were plenty of blossoms to be seen at the garden. The cherry trees I saw were at different stages of bloom, with some at full bloom and others just opening. The forecast wind and rain over the next two days may affect some of the late flowering cherry trees at full bloom but most should survive the weather and be great to see over the coming weekend.

Ichiyo cherry trees at full bloom
Monet-esque late flowering cherry trees
These cherry trees had their time
Chilling under Kanzan cherry trees, which were still opening
A mix of cherry trees in bloom near the Sendagaya Gate
Ukon cherry trees at full bloom
Gyoiko cherry tree that has green petals!
Ichiyo tree drawing the crowds
Crazy blossom puffs
Season over for the mainstream Somei Yoshino cherry trees