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Sam's Japan Travel Journal
by Sam, staff writer of

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2017/02/21 - Tokyo Early Spring Update

Winter is finally coming to an end with spring just around the corner, and this usually means that it is a great time to see some of the early-blooming cherry blossoms. Accordingly, I took a trip today to Tokyo to check on the state of the cherry blossoms at some of the city's most popular spots.

My first stop was Ueno Park. The progress of the season is currently around two weeks ahead of the average because this winter has been rather mild so far, and some of the earliest-blooming cherry trees were surprisingly already past full bloom. Many of the later bloomers were still looking wintry, meaning that a sgnificant portion of the park was still barren. Despite this there were a few hints of beautiful color around.

Most trees are bare
The earliest-blooming Kanzakura variety past peak earlier than average this year
The trees still held some pretty colors

Hama Rikyu is known for its beauty in any season and was next on my list. Again, a lot of bare trees here at the moment, but the nanohana (rapeseed flowers) in the park were looking quite spectacular.

Hama Rikyu's nanohana with the Shiodome district behind
Nice, wintry scenes in the garden
Many plum trees are currently in bloom
Photographers taking in plum blossoms
Just a short walk from Hama Rikyu: the bustling outer market at Tsukiji
Time for a delicious sushi lunch

Finally I headed to one of the most famous cherry blossom spots in Tokyo, Shinjuku Gyoen. This beautiful, spacious garden had small numbers of early-blooming cherry tree varieties in bloom (or close to it), but most trees in the park are currently not expected to open for another month.

Out and about in Shinjuku Gyoen
This Okanzakura tree near the center of the park is approaching full bloom
Birds attracted to its flowers
A Kawazuzakura tree in full bloom in the midst of bare trees
Close up

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List of Posts:

2017/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2017
2017/10/16 - Getting lost in rural Japan
2017/07/27 - On the road in Tohoku: Driving through Miyagi and Yamagata
2017/06/22 - Mount Shirane reopens for exploration
2017/05/30 - Exploring Nikko
2017/04/27 - Wisteria Watching at Ashikaga Flower Park
2017/04/24 - Nemophila flowers at Hitachi Seaside Park
2017/02/21 - Tokyo Early Spring Update
2017/02/16 - Renovations start at Kiyomizudera's main hall
2017/02/09 - Crane Watching in Kushiro
2017/02/07 - 2017 Asahikawa Winter Festival
2017/02/06 - 2017 Otaru Snow Light Path Festival
2017/02/06 - 2017 Sapporo Snow Festival
2017/01/16 - Early Blooming in Atami

2016/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2016
2016/09/13 - Walking the Roots of Japan
2016/07/28 - Hakone Update
2016/04/26 - Tonami Tulip Fair 2016
2016/04/19 - Kyoto Railway Museum