(New) The prediction of the comming 2020 cherry blossom season has just been announced. It will be around 24th of March ( 100% blooming) in Tokyo and 29th March in Kyoto, so be prepared ! (Rivised on February 8th, 2020)
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The best places to see cherry blossoms in Japan.
I recommend visiting Chidorigafuchi area near the Imperial Palace.
There are other places but many people enjoy drinking in this season. You can enjoy the beauty of the blossoms without the noise and crowd there. The other place I like is Meguro riverside which was chosen the most popular place in 2017.
If you want to see variety of cherry blossoms, Shinjuku-Gyoen Garden has many kinds of cherries. You can enjoy some of them even if you have planed several weeks earlier or later than the peak season.
Most of the cherry blossoms in Japan are Somei-yoshino which is a hybrid of two species;
the one named “Edohigan” which blooms before its leaves coming out as shown in the following picture.
and the other named “Ohshima” with larger flower petals as shown in the picture below.
Therefore, Somei-yoshino is first covered by blossoms and their leaves appear afterward.
But they can not bleed by their seeds.
They are artificially made by grafting where the particular tree is implanted into a mother tree as shown in this picture.
In other words, they are all clones of one tree.
So that all the trees bloom at once if the weather condition is the same.They last only two weeks at the longest.