Last Tuesday a storm with winds gusting to near hurricane speeds tore through Tokyo, and I figured that that would be it for the cherry blossoms. Fortunately I was in error, and over the course of the week the trees seem to have reached their peak throughout the Tokyo area.
Although the mass effect of the trees in Ueno park and other noted cherry blossom locations is impressive, it is easy to lose sight of how pervasive cherry trees are in the rest of Tokyo – until they suddenly erupt into flower. Today I opted to leave Ueno to the crowds and headed to what I figured would be a more sedate walk in Yoyogi park.
On my way to Shinagawa station I came across my first set of trees in their peak. A quick stop at the Shinagawa Commons flea market brought even more to view, as well as several people enjoying the hidden handful of trees in the courtyard. Once at Yoyogi the walkways were crowded with people in cherry blossom festive spirit but the trees are a bit more mixed in type and more widely spaced there than at many other places, resulting in small islands of people under each cherry tree and the only mass grouping was around the pond.
Although this seems to have been the peak weekend in Tokyo, there are still enough trees in the cooler pockets of the city that are just starting to bloom that there may well be a few trees hitting their peak by next weekend…. But the rain of petals can not be far off.