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Tokyo: Just Opened

Ueno Park

Spring has come and it's that time of the year when the japan-guide.com team brings you the latest cherry blossoms reports from all across the country. The sakura season was officially opened in Tokyo on March 17, 2018, alongside cities in Kyushu like Nagasaki, Kumamoto and Kagoshima. I am also pleased to report that the season has kicked off in Fukuoka, Nagoya and Yokohama today as well.

After the opening of the first cherry blossoms, it typically take about 5-10 days for the season in Tokyo to reach its peak, depending on temperature. Colder temperatures are forecast over the next few days across most of the country, and this will slow down the race for the flowers to reach full bloom. I expect best viewing in Tokyo to start early next week.

Today, I made my way to a number of popular cherry blossoms spots in Tokyo to check out how the flowers were doing two days after the season was officially declared open.

Ueno Park:
Just Opened

I started my day in Ueno Park where I found the cherry trees to have just opened. Almost all the flowers were still in buds but it should not be long before they get coaxed into opening and showing off their petals.

Not long before these open
Ueno Park all ready for cherry blossom parties
Soon this will be open blossoms
A couple of early flowering cherry trees
Early flowering cherry blossoms
Slightly bare down by Shinobazu Pond
Almost open but not quite yet
Cherry trees at the entrance of Ueno Park
Weeping cherry blossoms

Chidorigafuchi:
Just Opened

From there, I headed to the popular Chidorigafuchi, part of the moat around the Imperial Palace. There are about 260 cherry trees that line the banks of the moat and they are also illuminated in the evenings from March 24 through to April 8, 2018 from sunset to 22:00. Today, I found more buds than flowers on the trees and cannot wait till they all open.

Cherry trees around the moat
Those in the middle probably opened later in the afternoon
Almost there
Empty moat
Finally, an open blossom and more on the way
Chidorigafuchi will be illuminated in the evenings from March 24 to April 8

Yasukuni Shrine:
Just Opened

Not far from Chidorigafuchi is Yasukuni Shrine where the representative cherry tree for Tokyo can be found. I made my way there and found that while there were more buds than flowers, the trees at Yasukuni Shrine were a touch more developed compared to the other two places.

Representative tree
Open blossoms against the theatre stage
A lot more flowers here compared to the previous two places
But it is still early days
Looking towards Yasukuni Shrine

Koishikawa Korakuen:
Approaching Full Bloom

Finally, I made my way to Koishikawa Korakuen, a Japanese garden not far from Tokyo Dome. The garden has a variety of flowering plants and today, I found the weeping cherry trees near the entrance to be almost at full bloom. However, the most common cherry trees, the Somei Yoshino, had only just opened and paled in comparison. The garden has extended opening hours (9:00 to 18:00, entry until 17:30) during the sakura season, from March 17 to April 5, 2018.

Koishikawa Korakuen
Weeping cherry trees are the main attraction here
Almost at full bloom here
Make for pretty pictures
Cherry trees at the inner pond. Construction work there is also completed
These buds need a few more days