Tokyobling's Blog

Tokyo Cherry Blossom Season Declared Open

Posted in Nature, Places by tokyobling on March 17, 2013

The coming of the cherry blossom season is closely tracked across the country, and in Tokyo the center of attention is the famous Yasukuni Shrine where the official cherry tree of the Tokyo metropolitan area grows. Every day the meteorological agency inspects the tree to check for signs of blossoming and when the time has come the Tokyo Cherry Blossom Seasoning is officially declared open. This is the signal for literally millions of people to descend on the gardens, parks and even roadside plots – anywhere beneath a cherry tree – to enjoy the traditional Japanese activity of “hanami”, flower viewing while drinking and making merry with friends and colleagues. There were plenty of people taking pictures of the few brave early flowers. Still few, but enough for officials to declare the season open, the earliest ever! Still, as I look around the city there are almost nothing on the cherry trees yet, so it will be awhile before the main flowering kicks in.

You can see the “monitor tree” itself in the second to last photo, with the main trunk of the tree at the far right of the photo and the single extended branch all the way to the far left of the photo, and in a close up, the 5-6 flowers necessary for the season to be declared open. Enjoy!

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15 Responses

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  1. yoshizen said, on March 17, 2013 at 9:05 am

    Thanks to you to show ever vivid and prompt Photo report from Japan.
    Seeing your photos of the official monitoring cherry tree, I started
    wondering that, is this a Someiyoshino variety ?

    In Japan, there was a kind of word to mock a person who got protruded
    teeth —– Yamazakura.
    The leaves of Yamazakura coming out before flower. And it was used to
    caricature that the man’s teeth (Ha) is before nose (Hana).
    Ha can mean leaf, Hana also mean flower.
    So, this particular tree may not be a typical Someiyoshino but more
    likely Yamazakura.

    Like

    • yoshizen said, on March 17, 2013 at 10:19 am

      What puzzling me more is, the photo reporting the start of cherry blossoming
      in the news (Kyodo, Jiji etc) the cherry flower branch has no leaves. —– ? ? ?

      Like

    • tokyobling said, on March 18, 2013 at 5:59 pm

      Thanks for that story Yoshizen! I didn’t know that expression! (^-^)

      Yes, this is a Someiyoshino. There are so many varieties, and this is the only one I know! (^-^;) I love the old legend… “underneath every cherry tree lies…”. (^-^;)

      Like

      • yoshizen said, on March 18, 2013 at 6:13 pm

        The trouble is that the number of cherry tree is
        much more than the Japanese population.
        Therefore, my theory is, they might have just
        a hand or so other part. Ha ha ha 😀

        Like

  2. zoomingjapan said, on March 17, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Wow! They really ARE early this year, huh?
    I went plum blossom viewing today. They’re currently at their peak. It’s still too early for sakura here in Kansai and I hope they’ll wait until I actually have a few days of vacation. I fear I might miss them again this year.
    2011 I missed them as they were so late and I had to be back at work before they opened, then was sick in bed and when I finally could go outside, they were gone. Don’t need that again!! ^^;

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on March 18, 2013 at 6:00 pm

      Earliest ever. I think this tree is a bit unique. No other trees are even close yet! My friends in Kyushu said that the trees have barely started over there… (^-^;) I hope you can catch them again! I have a few trees outside my window so no matter what..! (^-^)

      Like

  3. Jil Casey said, on March 17, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Such beautiful trees, it must be so lovely when they are in full bloom!

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on March 18, 2013 at 6:01 pm

      It really is lovely! And sad… every time you see them you are one year older. (^-^;)

      Like

  4. Cathryn said, on March 18, 2013 at 4:53 am

    Next year, Tokyo, next year…we’ll be there.

    Like

  5. Timi said, on March 21, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    Always happy to see posts about flower and such, so thanks!
    Hope the upcoming cold won’t affect the flowers and trees here 😦 I’m already amazed that the 50-100 mm iceshell that “grow” on them after the storm haven’t killed them off..

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on April 16, 2013 at 12:20 pm

      Thank you for the kind comment Timi! I think for some reason the cold weather actually preserved the cherry blossoms this year… (^-^;)

      Like

  6. sandrine lafond said, on March 23, 2014 at 6:24 am

    Hello, if you are interested on seeing the blooming season with a different eye, i am coming this week to tokyo for 2 weeks to make a video with my clown Little Lady in the cherry blossoms. I use to work with Cirque du Soleil and Celine Dion as a dancer and clown.
    Have a great day!

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on March 26, 2014 at 12:59 am

      Thanks! I watched your video, very interesting performances! I hope I can see you live in Tokyo!

      Like


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