It has been almost a month since we began our cherry blossom reporting, starting with the first couple of reports in Tokyo on March 18 and Kyoto on March 20, when the blossoms were still closed. The cherry blossoms in many cities across western, central and eastern Japan were at their best viewing for a week from the middle of the second week of April, and the peak for the mainstream Somei Yoshino blossoms in those places has passed by now.

Full bloom has been reported in almost all the major cities in Japan except in Aomori and Hokkaido. Consequently, those who missed the main cherry blossom season should look for late flowering cherry tree varieties to see some blossoms, head to places in higher elevations or go to northern Japan like the Tohoku Region.

Today, I visited Myogi Sakura no Sato, at the base of Mount Myogi in Gunma Prefecture. The spacious mountainside park is home to about 45 varieties of cherry trees, and there are about 4000 cherry trees in total. Due to the large variety of cherry trees, visitors to Myogi Sakura no Sato can enjoy an extended cherry blossom viewing period, which is typically from April to May. I observed that the mainstream Somei Yoshino petals were falling, and I expect the best viewing to end by Friday. However, there were many more cherry tree varieties at Myogi Sakura no Sato, and I found the rest of the cherry trees to be at various states of bloom - from blossoms still in their buds to trees already at full bloom.

Mount Myogi is one of the three famous mountains of Gunma alongside Mount Haruna and Mount Akagi. Hiking is a popular activity at Mount Myogi, and the jagged peaks cater to a range of experience levels from beginner to advanced. At the base of Mount Myogi are two shrines, Myogi Shrine, which is said to be established almost 1500 years ago and whose main hall is an important cultural property, and Nakanotake Shrine, where Japan's largest statue of Daikoku is located. These two shrines are also popular starting points for hikes up the precarious mountain.

Access to Myogi Sakura no Sato or either shrine is best by rental car or by an approximately 30-minute taxi ride from either Matsuida Station on the JR Shinetsu Line or Shimonita Station on the Joshin Railway.