Staff Reports
Sean's Japan Travel Journal
by Sean, staff writer of japan-guide.com

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2013/03/25 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo

Sleepy Monday morning at Shinobazu Pond

Four days after my last visit, I returned to Tokyo to check out its cherry blossoms. Peak season had arrived at the capital just slightly before this past weekend, earlier than the average year by a whopping 12 days. Views were great today, but could have been even more pleasant had it not been slightly wet and gloomy.

Strong rain and wind adversely affect the lifespan of the fragile sakura (cherry blossoms). Fortunately, it was not pouring today. Although the wind could get slightly stronger tonight, I am optimistic that most petals will remain intact for a few more days at least. However, weather forecasts have also predicted the likelihood for a wet Thursday, thus I'm afraid that it might be past peak at many locations in Tokyo by the time next weekend arrives.

Elsewhere in Osaka and Kyoto, the first cherry blossoms opened on March 21 and March 22 respectively, earlier than what most weather agencies had predicted. The season started for Nagoya on March 19. I will be visiting these places in the course of the coming week and I expect to catch some fantastic sakura views there.

Asukayama Park
March 25, 2013 - full bloom

Located next to Oji Station in Tokyo's northern Kita District, Asukayama Park is a popular hanami (cherry blossom watching) spot for families, with ample lawns for picnics and a fun playground for children.

Today I found the approximately 650 cherry trees at the park to be at full bloom. The damp weather must have kept away some visitors, but nevertheless it was a nice sight to see the park saturated with pinkish-white.

Asukayama Park
Train on the Keihin Tohoku Line passes by the park
Cherry blossom viewing on a Monday morning

Ueno Park
March 25, 2013 - full bloom

After hosting a hearty weekend hanami crowd, the park returned to a relatively quiet state this slightly moist Monday morning. Relatively quiet, by Ueno Park's standards, does not mean empty. This is after all arguably Tokyo's most famous cherry blossom spot, and a healthy crowd was in attendance to enjoy its many cherry trees in full bloom.

As mentioned earlier, the season at Ueno Park might be slightly shortened by nature's elements, but I think views here will still be gorgeous until Thursday at least, before the flowers start to lose petals in numbers.

Ueno Park
Beautiful cherry blossoms
Festival food stalls near Bentendo to remain open till April 7
Yaebeni weeping cherry trees about 50% in bloom

Chidorigafuchi
March 25, 2013 - full bloom

Chidorigafuchi is a moat surrounding the northwestern side of the Tokyo Imperial Palace. The location offers great views with about a thousand cherry trees lining the banks of the moat. Visitors can enjoy the blossoms either from the strolling path along the outer bank or from the water by rental boat (until April 7, 9:30 to 19:30, 800 yen/30 minutes).

Today, Chidorigafuchi was likewise in full bloom and peak period is similarly expected to continue for a few days. To those that arrive slightly past peak season here, fret not, because the moat is well-known for hanafubuki (falling petals fluttering in the wind) - many feel that the moat is even more beautiful with fallen petals filling its waters and falling petals twirling in the air.

Chidorigafuchi Moat
Strolling path along the outer bank of Chidorigafuchi
Blossoms of umbrellas
Statue along the moat

Shinjuku Gyoen
March 25, 2013 - full bloom

Shinjuku Gyoen is one of our most visited cherry blossom spots because it offers stunning views, and a cherry blossom season lengthened by many early blooming and late blooming cherry tree varieties.

The cherry trees at the park today were in full bloom, many with nice sturdy-looking blossoms, suggesting that they have just freshly opened. Cherry blossoms here are likely to last a day or two more than those at Ueno Park. Depending on how the weather turns out to be over the next few days, should it be too late to catch cherry blossom views at other locations in Tokyo next weekend, you might wish to visit Shinjuku Gyoen to check out some late blooming cherry blossom varieties.

Shinjuku Gyoen
Blossoms at Shinjuku Gyoen
Rain brings a romantic atmosphere to Shinjuku Gyoen

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List of Posts:
2014/05/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hakodate
2014/05/08 - Cherry Blossom Report: Matsumae
2014/04/23 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fujigoko
2014/04/17 - Cherry Blossom Report: Takato
2014/04/15 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fujigoko
2014/04/11 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2014/04/10 - Cherry Blossom Report: Yoshino
2014/04/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hikone
2014/04/08 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2014/04/05 - Cherry Blossom Report: Matsuyama
2014/04/03 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fukuoka
2014/04/02 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kumamoto
2014/04/01 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2014/03/06 - Shopping around Northern Osaka
2014/01/23 - Nikko in Winter

2013/12/31 - Sean's Travel Highlights 2013
2013/12/06 - Kamakura Report
2013/11/26 - Tokyo Report
2013/11/22 - Kyoto Report
2013/11/21 - Miyajima Report
2013/11/19 - Korankei Report
2013/11/18 - Kyoto Report
2013/11/11 - Sakurayama Report
2013/11/08 - Karuizawa Report
2013/10/29 - Nikko Report
2013/10/18 - Nasu Report
2013/10/17 - Nikko Report
2013/10/14 - Mount Fuji Report
2013/10/10 - Oze Report
2013/09/27 - Alpine Route Report
2013/09/13 - Nakanojo Biennale 2013
2013/08/07 - Exploring Tokyo 2: Around the Tokyo Imperial Palace
2013/05/20 - Tottori Sand Museum 2013
2013/05/07 - Fuji Shibazakura Festival
2013/05/02 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hirosaki
2013/05/01 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kakunodate
2013/04/30 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kitakami
2013/04/23 - Northern Kanto Flower Report
2013/04/17 - Cherry Blossom Report: Takayama
2013/04/12 - Cherry Blossom Report: Matsumoto
2013/04/11 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2013/04/10 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kanazawa
2013/04/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Yoshino
2013/04/08 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2013/04/04 - Cherry Blossom Report: Gunma
2013/04/02 - Cherry Blossom Report: Osaka
2013/04/01 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2013/03/31 - Visiting Shodoshima for the Setouchi Triennale 2013
2013/03/28 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2013/03/27 - Cherry Blossom Report: Osaka
2013/03/26 - Cherry Blossom Report: Nagoya
2013/03/25 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2013/03/21 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2013/03/12 - Tokyo Early Cherry Blossom Report
2013/02/17 - Tokamachi Snow Festival
2013/02/16 - Zao Snow Monster Report
2013/02/15 - Yokote Kamakura Festival
2013/01/10 - Winter Visit to Manza Onsen
2013/01/02 - Tokyo New Year Report

2012/12/31 - Sean's Travel Highlights 2012
2012/12/11 - Autumn Color Report: Tokyo
2012/11/26 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2012/11/25 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2012/11/21 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2012/11/19 - Autumn Color Report: Takaosan
2012/11/16 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2012/11/15 - Autumn Color Report: Shosenkyo
2012/11/07 - Autumn Color Report: Yamadera
2012/11/06 - Autumn Color Report: Naruko
2012/11/05 - Autumn Color Report: Hiraizumi
2012/11/01 - Autumn Color Report: Kuju
2012/10/26 - Autumn Color Report: Minakami
2012/10/24 - Autumn Color Report: Nikko
2012/10/16 - Autumn Color Report: Norikura
2012/10/12 - Autumn Color Report: Oze
2012/10/09 - Autumn Color Report: Nikko
2012/10/05 - Autumn Color Report: Route 292
2012/09/28 - Autumn Color Report: Kurodake
2012/09/27 - Autumn Color Report: Kogen Onsen
2012/09/26 - Autumn Color Report: Asahidake
2012/09/17 - Exploring Tokyo: Gate Bridge
2012/08/20 - Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial 2012
2012/06/27 - Hiking at Mount Azuma
2012/06/18 - Legoland Discovery Center opens in Odaiba
2012/06/18 - Hydrangea Flowers in Kamakura
2012/06/04 - Tokyo Skytree
2012/05/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Sapporo
2012/05/08 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hakodate
2012/05/07 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hirosaki
2012/04/30 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hirosaki
2012/04/29 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kakunodate
2012/04/28 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kitakami
2012/04/28 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hiraizumi
2012/04/25 - Cherry Blossom Report: Sendai
2012/04/24 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fukushima
2012/04/15 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kanazawa
2012/04/14 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2012/04/11 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2012/04/10 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hiroshima
2012/04/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2012/04/07 - Cherry Blossom Report: Osaka
2012/04/06 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2012/04/04 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fukuoka
2012/04/03 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kumamoto
2012/04/02 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kagoshima
2012/03/22 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2012/03/08 - Plum Blossom Report from Kairakuen, Mito
2012/03/07 - Trip to Iwaki, Fukushima
2012/02/21 - Plum Blossom Report from Tokyo
2012/01/30 - Skiing in Inawashiro, Fukushima
2012/01/27 - Kusatsu Hot Springs