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Tokyo's Cherry Blossom 2010 / Mar 30 / Cool Japan

This is Mar 30, 2010 Cherry Blossom News from Tokyo this season.
The cherry blossoms have advanced quite a bit since our first report last week on March 23, and with the nice weather today there were a lot of people enjoying hanami. It seems that many places will be at or approaching full bloom by the weekend.


Opening cherry blossoms at Asukayama Park
Asukayama Park
March 30, 2010 - opening (10-50%)


Asukayama Park is a small park on a hill located in the northern Kita district of Tokyo. The park is popular for children, and there were many kids there today. Paths lead through the park and many of them are lined by cherry blossom trees.


(A path lined by cherry trees at Asukayama Park)

Around 30% of the cherry blossoms have opened in general, though there were a few spots that were more advanced and had attracted cherry blossom viewing parties. In the southern area of the park I found the most advanced trees, and there were already people sitting on tarps that were spread out under the trees.

Shinjuku Gyoen
March 30, 2010 - opening (10-50%)

Shinjuku Gyoen is one of my favourite spots for cherry blossom viewing in Tokyo. The large park grounds have hundreds of cherry trees of dozens of different cherry tree varieties. Throughout the cherry blossom season, it is likely to find at least one type of cherry tree that is near full bloom at Shinjuku Gyoen. There are also a variety of contexts in which to see the cherry trees, such as an English garden or a typical Japanese garden.


(People viewing the typical Somei Yoshino cherry trees in Shinjuku Gyoen's English Garden area)

The main type of cherry tree, the Somei Yoshino variety, is not yet very advanced at Shinjuku Gyoen. However, there are a number of other cherry tree varieties that are at full bloom, such as a few weeping cherry trees in the southern area of the park. In total, the cherry blossoms at Shinjuku Gyoen are between 20 and 30% open.


(Cherry Blossoms in front of the NTT Docomo Yoyogi Tower)

As I approached the gates of Shinjuku Gyoen, I saw a large crowd of people in front of the park's entrance. Because Shinjuku Gyoen is so spacious the crowds of people were able to spread out once they passed the gates. The park is a good place to go if you want to find a spot to sit and not feel too crowded. It will be open everyday during the cherry blossom season from March 25 to April 24.


(Cherry Blossoms opening at Shinjuku Gyoen)

Meguro River
March 30, 2010 - opening (10-50%)

The Meguro River is lined with cherry trees, and it is just a few steps away from Nakameguro Station on the Toyoko Line and the Hibiya Line. The trees line the river for hundreds of meters, making the spot good for people who like combining their flower viewing with a stroll.


(View of the Meguro River's cherry trees from a small bridge near Nakameguro Station)

The trees in the area of the river near Nakameguro Station and to the north is much more developed than those in the south. In fact, many of the trees near the station were almost 50% open and provided spectacular views and large crowds. There were also a number of food stalls set up catering to the crowds.


(Cherry blossoms along the Meguro River near Nakameguro Station)

In the area south of the station the trees were much less developed, and it also seemed that trees of the western riverside have developed faster than those on the other side. The trees to the east were only around 10% open, while the trees to the west were around 30% open. This area was also nice for walking, but both the crowds and the overhanging cherry tree branches were less dense. Evening illuminations of the cherry blossoms will take place at Meguro River from 18:00 to 22:00 starting on April 1 and continuing until April 10.


(A portion of the Meguro River south of Nakameguro Station)

Ueno Park
March 30, 2010 - approaching full bloom (50-80%)

My last stop of the day was Ueno Park, and despite seeing a number of other popular cherry blossom spots earlier in the day the crowds of Ueno Park were on a completely different level. Ueno Park is one of the country's most popular cherry blossom spots, and because the area's flowers are more developed than many other places is Tokyo it is now even more crowded. Ueno Park has a number of attractions, including a zoo and great museums, but in the next few days everyone will be coming to see the flowers.


(A dense crowd of people walks below Ueno Park's cherry blossoms)

A fantastic canopy of blossoms hangs over the main path the leads through the park. The flowers are between 50 and 60% open and there is a dense crowd of people walking below and admiring the flowers. Though the flowers and crowds both feel like they could not get any more intense, I think that they both will coming into the next few days.


(Cherry blossoms and a few unopened buds at Ueno Park)


(A line of people walk under the flowers and beside the cherry blossom parties)

By T.S. on Apr 3, 2010
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