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Late Bloomer? Last Spots for Seeing Cherry Blossoms around Tokyo for Latecomers

Late Bloomer? Last Spots for Seeing Cherry Blossoms around Tokyo for Latecomers

Date published: 24 March 2019
Last updated: 22 March 2019

It's no secret that one of the most popular attractions in Tokyo and the whole of Japan is the opening of the beautiful sakura cherry blossoms. Many people try to time their visit to Japan during sakura season - but the exact dates can vary in a big way from year to year, so you get a very small window in Spring to see them...or so you might think!

Fortunately Tokyo (and its surrounding areas) offer dozens of options to see cherry flowers of different qualities. This also means that even when it's "past peak" bloom, it's still possible to follow the sakura wave and enjoy one of the most iconic aspects of a vacation to Japan. Here we've collected several such spots around Tokyo so you can still snap the shots you want!

Quick word: Know your sakura!

Quick word: Know your sakura!
Left: Somei Yoshino cherry blossoms; right: Yaezakura 'double' cherry blossoms

There's a wide variety of cherry blossoms in Japan, and knowing a little about them can help you not only in enjoying the flowers more, but also in knowing which ones are going to bloom later than others.

When the annual 'sakura forecast' comes around, it's important to note that it references Somei Yoshino (Yoshino Cherry) trees and not other varieties.

For this reason, it's easy for newcomers to Japan to look at the blossom forecast, see that their vacation lands after 'peak bloom' and think they have missed the show - but in fact they have instead missed only one variety of cherry blossom. Many others even begin opening after the Yoshino ones have begun to fade.

One such variety, yaezakura, are usually the ones that bloom later and stay longer. So keep an eye on the location that have this variety if you don't want to have to schedule your floral fantasy in a short few-day window.

Here, we've listed up 3 of the more popular cherry blossom locations near Tokyo along with their estimated full bloom dates for 2019, as according to the Japan Meteorological Corporation. Blossoms should still be visible within a week or so of the 'full bloom' date at most locations - but keep these more as a guide than anything else!

Tokyo and Greater Tokyo (Average flowering date: March 26)

Tokyo and Greater Tokyo (Average flowering date: March 26)

Meguro River – Estimated full bloom day March 29 (17 minutes from Tokyo station)
Types of trees and flowers: somei yoshino, sato zakura, shidare zakura
Hanami by the Meguro River is perfect for both those who like to sit under the trees with food and drinks, and for those who like to take long walks under beautiful trees in bloom.
The best time to visit this area is early in the morning, if you want to avoid crowds. If that is not something that concerns you, then you'll be able to also enjoy the many shops and eateries, as well as a wonderfully romantic night between flowers and lanterns.

Chidorigafuchi Park – Estimated full bloom day March 30 (19 minutes from Tokyo Station)
Types of trees and flowers: yaezakura, somei yoshino, benishidare zakura
Chidorofuchi Park's lush, towering cherry trees make it one of the most beautiful and popular spots in Japan for hanami lovers.
If you want to have a picnic with a few friends, it's recommended to get there early. The park follows the Chidorigafuchi Moat, one of the 12 that surround the Imperial Palace. You can also rent a boat and paddle your way among the beautiful trees.

Ueno Park - Estimated full bloom day March 29 (11 minutes from Tokyo Station)
Types of trees and flowers: somei yoshino, yamazakura, kanzan, ooshima zakura, kanhi zakura
Ueno Park is a wildly popular place in Tokyo for shopping, sightseeing, and, of course, sakura blossoms viewing.
This place is recommended to those who want to make a day out of their hanami, especially if you enjoy shopping (in Ueno's traditional market), and visiting parks rich of history. Hopefully you don't mind large crowds.

Showa Memorial Park – Estimated full bloom day April 3 (50 minutes from Tokyo station)
Types of trees and flowers: yoshino, ooshima zakura, sato zakura, tsudare zakura
This park was opened in 1983 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Emperor Showa's reign. While Showa Memorial Park charges an admission fee of ¥410, it's well worth it. Its spacious grounds are filled with fantastic flowers, ponds, gardens, and a large area with amazing cherry trees.

Yomiuriland – Estimated full bloom day, April 1 (1 hour from Tokyo Station)
Types of trees and flowers: yoshino, yamazakura, shibazakura, tsudare zakura
Yomiuriland is one of the most unexpected locations in which to find amazing cherry trees. It's in fact an amusement park. There's obviously a lot of entertainment available, but also over 1000 gorgeous sakura trees you can enjoy, if you so choose, from a gondola giving you a great aerial view.

Sayama Park – Estimated full bloom day, April 1 (1 hour and 15 minutes from Tokyo Station)
Types of trees and flowers: yoshino, yamazakura, satozakura, uwamizaki zakura
Sayama Park sits right by the Tama Lake. It's a large natural oasis (also very close to the famous Totoro forest), ideal for a full-day rural excursion, offering some of the best cherry trees you'll see, without having to deal with massive crowds.

Kiyosumi Garden– Last blooms in Tokyo. Estimated full bloom day April 12 (16 minutes from Tokyo Station)
Types of trees and flowers: yoshino, sato zakura, kanhi zakura, ooshima zakura
A beautiful Japanese-style garden built during the Meiji Period. Alongside sakura trees, Kiyosumi Garden offers beautiful ponds with fish and turtles as well as a numerous varieties of trees and flowers.

Chiba Prefecture (Average flowering date: March 31)

Chiba Prefecture (Average flowering date: March 31)

Naritasan Park – Estimated full bloom day, April 2nd (1 hour and 36 minutes from Tokyo station)
Types of trees and flowers: yoshino, kawaji zakura, tsudare zakura
Naritasan Park, in the city of Narita, is a large garden surrounded by temples and pagodas. It sports waterfalls, ponds, Western and Japanese-style gardens, and the Calligraphy Museum. It's particularly famous for its plum and cherry blossoms.

Shimizu Park – Estimated full bloom day, April 1 (1 hour and 20 minutes from Tokyo station)
Types of trees and flowers: yoshino
Shimizu Park is amazing all year round, but it becomes truly magical in Spring, during sakura season. In the vast garden, you can BBQ, or try your hand at trout fishing.
The park sits around a temple and other sightseeing spots.

Sakura Castle Ruins Park – Last blooms in Chiba. Estimated full bloom day, April 5 (1 hour and 30 minutes from Tokyo Station)
Types of trees and flowers: yoshino, ooshima zakura, kawazu zakura
Beautifully and brilliantly green, Sakura Castle Ruins Park was developed around the remains of a 17th century castle, still surrounded by its now dry moat. Its name hints at what this place is famous for, but you'll also see magnificent ponds, beautiful gardens, and even a ceremonial tea house.

Yamanashi Prefecture (Average flowering date: March 27)

Yamanashi Prefecture (Average flowering date: March 27)
Along the shores of Lake Kawaguchi

Kawaguchiko Shore (North bank) - Estimated full bloom date, April 13 (2 hours from Tokyo Station)
Types of trees and flowers: yoshino, fujisakura
Kawaguchiko (Lake Kawaguchi) is particularly famous for being the location from which visitors can marvel at the most iconic image of Mount Fuji. There's a lot to do from boat tours, to restaurants and entertainment, and from national natural parks to nightlife. An amazing 1-day trip for all sakura lovers. This is also the location with the last blooms in Yamanashi.

Fuji Omuro Sengen Shrine – Estimated full bloom date, April 12 (2 hours and 40 minutes from Tokyo Station )
Types of trees and flowers: yoshino
Fuji Omuro Sengen, is Mount Fuji oldest shrine, build in 699. It enshrines the Shinto goddess Konohana Sakuya Himei (Princess Blossoms of the Trees). The shrine hosts several festivals throughout the year, and in Spring it becomes pink with cherry blossoms, offering one of the most tranquil and mystic experiences among the locations in this list.

Yamataka-no-Jindai Sakura at Jissoji Temple– Estimated full bloom date, April 1 (3 hours from Tokyo Station)
Types of trees and flowers: yoshino, edohigan
In the town of Hokuto, this area offers one of the most beautiful experiences when it comes to sakura viewing. Home of one of the oldest living cherry trees (800 years), the whole area exudes peace and natural beauty.

Kanagawa Prefecture (Average flowering date: March 26)

Kanagawa Prefecture (Average flowering date: March 26)
Cherry blossoms along the Ooka River

Ooka River Promenade – Estimated full bloom date, April 1 (45 minutes from Tokyo Station)
Types of trees and flowers: yoshino, jindai akemono, benishidare zakura
The Ooka River Promenade, in Yokohama is a relaxing walk among hundreds of cherry trees, alternating with characteristic bridges and a beautiful skyline, especially in the later hours of the afternoon. Perfect for those who want to enjoy a nice hanami, but also sightsee and do some shopping.

Odawara Castle Ruins Park – Estimated full bloom date, March 31 (45 minutes from Tokyo Station)
Types of trees and flowers: yoshino
Odawara Castle Ruins Park is a suggestive location build around an ancient castle, and offering a relaxing hanami. In addition to the sakura trees, you'll also be able to see a giant pine tree, designated as a natural monument. And while you're at it visit the magnificent Japanese manor.

Sagami Lake Pleasure Forest – Estimated full bloom date, April 4 (1 hour and 37 minutes from Tokyo Station)
Sagami Lake Pleasure Forest is a resort and amusement park located on the artificial lake Sagami. A well-known spot for hanami, the park also holds a cherry blossom festival from March 20 to April 12. Ideal especially for families, the Pleasure Forest offers a magical and fun experience during the day, as well as at night.

Onshi Hakone Park – Estimated full bloom day April 15 (1 hour and 41 minutes from Tokyo Station)
Types of trees and flowers: yoshino, mamezakura, ooshima zakura, shidare zakura, gotenba zakura
A historical park with unparalleled view. Lose yourself among the paths, marvel at the grand view from the park's observatory. Enjoy the museum and the display room, but more importantly, bask in the sea of beautiful cherry trees.

Tochigi Prefecture (Average flowering date: April 1)

Tochigi Prefecture (Average flowering date: April 1)

Hachimanyama Park – Estimated full bloom date, April 6 (46 minutes from Tokyo Station)
Types of trees and flowers: yoshino
Hachimanyama Park is in the middle of Tochigi's Utsunomiya. A large green (and pink, in Spring) area, it's mostly enjoyable for those of you who like a quiet place that makes you feel like you're the only one there. From the Park Utsunomiya tower, you can enjoy a 360° aerial view of the park and its trees as well as, on a clear day, Tokyo Tower.

Oyama Omoigawa Green Space – Estimated full bloom date, April 13 (1 hour and 46 minutes from Tokyo Station)
Types of trees and flowers: omoigawa zakura
A very large park that runs along part of the Omoi River, this is one of the best spots in Tochigi to enjoy a hanami with food and drinks in the shade of dozens of large cherry trees unique to this area, in a relaxing setting.

Shiroyama Park – Estimated full bloom date, April 4 (1 hour and 50 minutes from Tokyo Station; nearest station: Oyama)
Types of trees and flowers: yoshino
Located on a highland overlooking the Omoi River, Shiroyama park offers a charming view from above onto the cherry trees by the Omoi river, as well as the opportunity for a nice walk (or picnic) under its own rich trees.

Kuroiso Park – The last blooms in Tochigi. Estimated full bloom day April 12 (1 hour and 50 minutes from Tokyo Station; nearest station: Kuroiso)
Types of trees and flowers: yoshino
Kuroiso Park is a true anime-like experience for those who love sakura. Hundreds of trees organized in long rows, offer beautiful "tunnels" of flowers. In the same period as the sakura, the park's dogtooth violets blossom as well, adding to the experience. The park also offers beautiful views of the Nakagawa river and the Nasu mountain range.

Saitama Prefecture (Average flowering date: March 29)

Saitama Prefecture (Average flowering date: March 29)
Sakura at Omiya Park

Gongendo Park – Estimated full bloom date, April 4 (2 hours and 20 minutes from Tokyo Station)
Types of trees and flowers: yoshino, kawaji zakura
Gongendo Park is divided in a nice athletic area (with baseball field, mini golf, workout stations and more), and a beautifully preserved natural area with many colorful kinds of flowers and large, welcoming cherry trees.

Kumagaya Cherry Blossoms River Bank – Estimated full bloom date, April 3 (1 hour and 27 minutes from Tokyo Station)
Types of trees and flowers: yoshino
Kumagaya is one of the most painting-worthy locations in this list. A string of hundreds of lush pink cherry trees runs along a riverbank, surrounded by a sea of bright yellow flowers. During sakura season, the riverbank lights up with traditional lanterns from 6pm to 9pm, and should you want to shop, there's plenty of stores around.

Omiya Park – Estimated full bloom date, April 1 (55 minutes from Tokyo Station)
Types of trees and flowers: yaezakura, yoshino, yamazakura, kanhi sakura
Famous especially for its cherry trees, Omiya Park also sports dozens of apricot trees and red pines. While enjoying your hanami here, you'll also be able to visit the Saitama Museum of History and Folklore, a free zoo, and the 2400 year old Hikawa Shrine.

Minoyama Park – The last blooms in Saitama. Estimated full bloom day April 18th (1 hour and 45 minutes from Tokyo Station – only by car)
Types of trees and flowers: yamazakura, yoshino, satozakura
Also known as "The mountain park of the Beautiful Yamazakura" this destination definitely lives up to its nickname. What Minoyama Park lacks in terms of accessibility it makes up in sights. From the park you can admire the Nikko Mountains, the Chichibu Basin and an aerial view of a cherry tree forest in bloom.

Ibaraki Prefecture (Average flowering date: April 2)

Ibaraki Prefecture (Average flowering date: April 2)
Night view of blossoms along Lake Senba

Shizuminefurusato Park – Estimated full bloom date, April 23 (1 hour and 47 minutes from Tokyo Station – only by car)
Types of trees and flowers: yaezakura, yoshino
From mid-April to the end of the month the Park hosts the so-called Double Cherry Flowers Festival. Because of the its different qualities of trees (over 2000 in total) the park is virtually constantly in bloom from the beginning of April to mid-May. This is also the location in Ibaraki with the last blooms.

Lake Senba – Estimated full bloom date, April 5 (1 hour and 27 minutes from Tokyo Station)
Types of trees and flowers: yoshino, botan zakura
Renamed The Oasis of Mito by the locals, this artificial lake offers a great and relaxing natural escape all year round. In Spring, it's surrounded by hundreds of cherry trees in bloom, which you can enjoy also at night by following the path circling the lake. Lake Senba is part of the large Kairakuen Park, and it's an ideal spot for a sit-and-eat hanami.

Hitachi Fudoki no Oka– Estimated full bloom date, April 5 (1 hour and 50 minutes from Tokyo Station)
Types of trees and flowers: yoshino, tsudarezakura, botan zakura
Aside from the beautiful trees that allowed Hitachi Fudoki no Oka to make this list, this location has a lot more to offer. Located in what once was the capital of Hitachi Province, here you can visit reproductions of several dwellings belonging to different periods of Japanese history. The park is in fact an open-air museum displaying a number of artifacts and structures.

Wrapping up

If you visit Tokyo in Spring, you'll have many options when it comes to hanami. Just pick the ones that best suit you and don't worry too much about scheduling it in detail ahead of time. You now have a bit mote time to admire cherry trees in bloom!

Written by:

Lucio Maurizi

Lucio Maurizi

Lucio Maurizi is an Italian writer, photographer, and streamer. He spent 10 years in the United States and currently lives in Japan, focusing on creating articles and channels dedicated to the Land of the Rising Sun. He loves any form of storytelling, natto, and wasabi, and is desperately trying to make time to work on his novel. On Instagram @that_italian_guy_in_japan.

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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