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If you arrived in Tokyo a couple of days or weeks too late for the cherry blossoms, don't give up yet. There are ways to enjoy the seasonal spectacle, after all:

Option 1: See late-flowering cherry tree varieties

There are more than a hundred cherry tree varieties in Japan. The large majority of trees bloom usually around late March and early April, but there are a few varieties that bloom several days or weeks earlier and later. While not as popular nor spectacular as the mainstream cherry trees, the later blooming varieties can still provide nice hanami conditions for several weeks beyond the end of the main season:

Shinjuku Gyoen

Two to three week beyond the end of the main season
10 minute walk from Shinjuku Station, 200 yen, 9:00 to 16:30, closed on Mondays
In addition to being one of the best spots to see the mainstream Somei Yoshino cherry blossoms, Shinjuku Gyoen also features a large number of late blooming cherry tree varieties that extend the viewing period around the park by about three weeks beyond the end of the regular season.

Option 2: Make a side trip

Due to its moderate maritime climate and wealth of heat emitting concrete, central Tokyo is one of the first places in Japan to see the cherry blossoms open every year. But you do not have to travel far to places where the blossoms open several days or weeks after the trees in the center of Tokyo, such as the suburbs further inland or the higher elevations surrounding the capital. Below are a few places where you can see the blossoms in an easy side trip from Tokyo:

Showa Memorial Park

A few days behind central Tokyo
Nishi-Tachikawa Station, 410 yen, 9:30 to 17:00 (until 18:00 on weekends)
Located half an hour west of central Tokyo by the JR Chuo Line, Showa Memorial Park (Showa Kinen Koen) is one of Tokyo's largest public parks. It has about 1500 cherry trees planted around its central lawns, which usually bloom a few days later than those around central Tokyo. The huge park is divided in several, spread out areas which are connected by paved walking paths and cycling trails which are fun to explore by rental bicycle.

Koganei Park

A few days behind central Tokyo
5 minute bus ride or 20-30 minute walk from Musashi-Koganei Stations, free admission
Koganei Park is another large public park in the western suburbs of Tokyo. More than a thousand cherry trees are planted around its grounds and are typically in bloom a few days later than those around central Tokyo. The cherry trees are mainly found in the western part of the park around the Cherry Garden (Sakura no En) and in front of the interesting Edo-Tokyo Open Air Museum, which is also part of the park.

Gunma Prefecture

A few days behind central Tokyo
About one hour north of Tokyo by shinkansen or two hours by local trains
The cherry blossoms in Gunma Prefecture typically open a few days after those around Tokyo, giving visitors who just missed the season in the capital another opportunity to see the flowers at their best. Several cherry blossom spots are located around the city's largest and most easily accessible cities of Takasaki and Maebashi. Further into the mountains, the blossoms can be enjoyed another one or two weeks later.

Mount Takao (Takaosan)

About 1-2 weeks behind central Tokyo
About one hour west of central Tokyo, free admission
Mount Takao west of central Tokyo has only a modest number of cherry trees along the main trail up the mountain. A larger concentration of cherry trees can be found in the Itchodaira area an additional 30 minutes hike beyond the summit. Also known as the Takaosan Senbonzakura ("Mount Takao Thousand Cherry Trees"), Itchodaira is home to several different cherry trees varieties which typically bloom a few weeks later than the ones in central Tokyo due to their higher elevation.

Fukushima

About two weeks behind central Tokyo
1.5 hours by JR Tohoku Shinkansen (more details)
Fukushima Prefecture is home to some outstanding cherry trees and hanami spots, which due to their more northerly location, tend to bloom a few weeks later than the cherry trees in Tokyo. Two of the best Fukushima cherry blossom spots are Hanamiyama Park in Fukushima City and the Miharu Takizakura, an over 1000 year old weeping cherry tree east of Koriyama City. Thanks to the Tohoku Shinkansen, Fukushima is easily accessible especially to holders of the Japan Rail Pass, JR East Tohoku Area Pass and JR East South Hokkaido Pass.

Hotels around Tokyo

Recommended Hotels
Backpackers Hostel K's House Tokyo
One of the most popular hostels in Tokyo.
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Hostelworld
Hotel Century Southern Tower
The most conveniently located hotel in Shinjuku, just a few steps from the station entrance.
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Japanican
Hotel Metropolitan Marunouchi
Adjacent to Tokyo Station, this is one of the city's most convenient and comfortable hotels.
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Agoda Booking
Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku
Just a few steps from Shinjuku Station, this hotel ranks among Tokyo's best values.
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Keio Plaza Hotel
One of Tokyo's most popular hotels and best values, a 5-10 minute walk from the station.
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Ritz Carlton Tokyo Hotel
Leading 5-star hotel on the top floors of Tokyo Midtown.
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Shangri-La Hotel
Adjacent to Tokyo Station, this is the city's most conveniently located 5-star hotel.
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Agoda Booking

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Page last updated: October 20, 2016