Best Late Blooming Cherry Blossom Spots in Tokyo

Beyond Peak Bloom: Tokyo's Late-Blooming Cherry Blossom Gems

During the sakura season, the most popular Somei Yoshino variety often steals the spotlight with its fleeting beauty. However, there are many more cherry blossom varieties out there, among them the late-blooming Yaezakura (八重桜). Their charm extends the sakura season, allowing us to enjoy a second wave (or third, if we count the early winter blossoms) of pink goodness. These varieties, characterized by their dense petals and robust colors, bloom from mid to late April, creating more opportunities for those who missed the earlier blooms.

Among the late bloomers, the Ichiyo variety is notable for its pale pink, double-layered petals, offering a softer contrast to the vibrant hues of its counterparts. The Fugenzo is another late bloomer, admired for its large, pale pink blossoms with a hint of white, boasting 30-40 petals per flower. The Kwanzan cherry, with its pompom-like clusters of pink flowers, is perhaps one of the most recognized yaezakura, celebrated for its ornate beauty and late arrival.

So although the cherry blossom season is generally characterized by delicate and brief flowers that symbolize the fleeting nature of existence, these late-blooming varieties provide a contrasting perspective and perhaps a more optimistic outlook of spring beauty, given their longer lifespan. So, whether you’ve missed peak blooming season or just can’t get enough of the beauty of sakura, here we go with the best spots in Tokyo to enjoy (a bit more) of these late blooming cherry blossoms!

1. Shinjuku Gyoen

Shinjuku Gyoen SakuraShinjuku Gyoen (新宿御苑) is one of the most popular sakura locations in central Tokyo, a stone’s throw from the bustling Shinjuku Station. This expansive park is a haven for those seeking a peaceful escape, with its sprawling lawns, meandering paths, and tranquil ambiance.

There, you can enjoy an extended sakura season thanks to its staggering collection of around 1,100 cherry trees, including in good part lots of yaezakura trees, which burst into a spectacular display of pink blossoms in late April and well into May, making it a prime destination for hanami enthusiasts and a very forgiving option for those who missed the early bloomers.

2. Ueno Park

Ueno Park sakuraUeno Park (上野恩賜公園), another classic hanami spot in Tokyo, is renowned for its diverse cherry blossom varieties, including the late-blooming yaezakura like Ichiyō and Kanzan. This park is a magnet for hanami revelers, drawn by the promise of an extended cherry blossom season in the middle of some of Tokyo’s most important cultural landmarks.

The yaezakura trees, with their dense, fluffy pink blossoms, provide a breathtaking backdrop well into late April, ensuring that the cherry blossom experience continues even after the first blossoms have long faded. 

3. Imperial Palace East Gardens

Chidorigafuchi Park sakuraThe Imperial Palace East Gardens (皇居東御苑) are a peaceful retreat in Tokyo, showcasing the beauty of traditional Japanese garden design. Open to the public throughout the year, these gardens are particularly captivating in Spring.

During late April, we can see the late-blooming sakura varieties coming into full bloom. The nearby Chidorigafuchi Park (千代田区立 千鳥ヶ淵公園), is also a picturesque spot for enjoying the yaezakura trees along the Imperial Palace moat or from their popular rental boats. 

4. Hamarikyu Gardens

Hamarikyu Gardens sakuraHamarikyu Gardens (浜離宮恩賜庭園), once a feudal lord’s estate and a duck hunting ground, is now one of the most distinguished gardens in Tokyo. The garden is enveloped by the city’s towering skyscrapers, creating a striking contrast with its traditional design and its charming teahouse in the middle of the pond.

The presence of yaezakura trees adds a unique charm to the garden’s aesthetic, making it a coveted spot for visitors seeking to continue the enjoyment of cherry blossoms. There are about 26 varieties of cherry blossom in this garden, so you may want to visit more than once during the season!

5. Showa Memorial Park

Showa Memorial Park sakuraShowa Memorial Park (昭和記念公園), on the western suburbs of Tokyo, is a vast expanse of natural beauty that blooms a tad later than the city’s central spots. This park sprawls across several areas, each connected by paved paths and cycling trails, so it’s a perfect place to spend a leisurely day.

With about 1500 cherry trees dotting its central lawns, many of them of the late-blossom variety, the park’s cherry blossoms offer a spectacular display slightly delayed, ensuring that the sakura season extends for those visiting in the days following the peak bloom in central Tokyo.

6. Asukayama Park

Asukayama Park sakuraAsukayama Park (飛鳥山公園), a historic gem in northern Tokyo, has been a beloved hanami site since the Edo period when Tokugawa Yoshimune planted sakura trees here. This park is not only known for its stunning Somei Yoshino cherry blossoms but also for its collection of yaezakura trees, which bloom later, drawing crowds well into late April or early May.

The park’s legacy as a public leisure spot, established by one of Japan’s most renowned Shoguns, continues to make it a must-visit for those wishing to immerse themselves in the beauty of cherry blossoms amidst a setting rich in history and natural splendor.

7. Koganei Park

Koganei Park sakuraKoganei Park (小金井公園), with its impressive array of 2,000 cherry trees, is a verdant haven for outdoor enthusiasts and sakura admirers alike. This expansive park offers a plethora of activities, from cycling on rental bikes to enjoying leisurely picnics under the blooming trees.

The park’s yaezakura trees ensure that the cherry blossom spectacle continues even as April wanes, making it an ideal spot for those seeking the beauty of sakura beyond the typical viewing season.

8. Jindai Botanical Garden

Jindai Botanical Garden SakuraJindai Botanical Garden (神代植物公園), located in Chofu City, Tokyo, spans an impressive 490,000 square meters, housing around 4,800 plant species and 100,000 trees. This botanical haven is a treasure trove for flora enthusiasts, boasting an extensive collection of cherry trees that grace the garden with their blooms from mid to late April.

Unlike other bustling hanami spots, Jindai offers a tranquil setting for those who prefer to admire the blossoms in peace. The garden’s narrow paths and focus on plant observation make it a unique destination for those seeking the quieter side of cherry blossom season.

9. Okutama

Okutama sakuraOkutama (奥多摩), is a beautiful nature retreat in western Tokyo. Its peaceful lakeside setting creates a picturesque backdrop for cherry blossom viewing. Here we can enjoy the breathtaking sight of the reflection of sakura on the waters of Okutama Lake as well as the pink hues adorning the surrounding mountains.

Varieties such as Somei Yoshino, wild cherry, Oyama cherry, and Oshima cherry trees paint the area in varying stages from early to late April. Walking across the Mugiyama Floating Bridge (also nicknamed Drum Can Bridge) is one of the best ways to become immersed in the stunning landscape.

10. Mt Takao

Mt Takao sakuraMt Takao (高尾山), located about an hour west of central Tokyo, presents a unique cherry blossom experience with its slightly delayed blooming season. While the main trail up the mountain hosts a modest number of cherry trees, the Itchodaira area, a further 30-minute hike from the summit, offers a denser cherry blossom haven known as Takaosan Senbonzakura or “Mount Takao Thousand Cherry Trees.”

The higher elevation of Itchodaira means that the cherry blossoms here bloom a few weeks later than those in central Tokyo, providing a prolonged viewing period for late-season visitors and hikers eager to witness the mountain’s floral display.

As the early cherry blossoms fade, Tokyo’s late bloomers offer a splendid encore, extending the sakura season. These late varieties help the city remain awash in pink, celebrating the beauty of spring.

Besides cherry blossoms, you can enjoy a wide variety of flowers in Japan throughout the year. Check out our ultimate guide to flowers in Japan and find the best seasonal blooms!

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Written by

Photographer, journalist, and avid urban cyclist, making sense of Japan since 2017. I was born in Caracas and lived for 14 years in Barcelona before moving to Tokyo. Currently working towards my goal of visiting every prefecture in Japan, I hope to share with readers the everlasting joy of discovery and the neverending urge to keep exploring.