Many a cherry blossom party has been thwarted by wacky weather or unavoidable business trips, but even if the gods throw a wrench into your best-laid plans, don’t despair! Late-blooming
yaezakura come into their full glory after the regular sakura fade to black. The late-bloomers don’t deliver the big pink cloud thing in quite the same way, but I secretly think they’re much more beautiful than the early kind.
This is the order they bloom in: little frilly weeping kind first, then the pom-pom varieties explode from light to dark.
And just so you won’t waste time looking for
yaezakura in less-than-amazing parks, here are my favorite places to see them in Tokyo…
SHINJUKU GYOU-EN GARDEN
This is by far the best place to see yaezakura in Tokyo. Lots of late-blooming trees, in every color of pink you can imagine.
The best grove starts beyond this bridge that goes over the big pond.
See what I mean?
There are a few exceptions, like this cluster of perfect pink princesses along the main swath of lawns.
I think that yaezakura are more beautiful up close than the more famous kind.
Worth the wait, right?
In case you couldn’t tell in the other pictures, the trees at Shinjuku Gyou-en aren’t petite little specimens like we have in San Francisco – they’re HUGE!
Even if it’s raining, I highly suggest that you pull on your wellies and get thee to this garden, pronto!
IMPERIAL PALACE EAST GARDEN
Some choice pink yaezakura cascade over the tea bushes at the Imperial Palace East Garden
Double yaezakura start blooming just as the regular sakura start to fade.
The flowers on this rare kind start out white , then turn green!
IMPERIAL PALACE MOAT
Outside Takebashi Station, a lovely cluster of late-blooming trees turns the walkway into a fairytale wonderland.
Here’s the view, looking toward the Takebashi Bridge.
Old stones, new blossoms
On the right day, the moat is an improbable shade of blue.
KYU SHIBA-RIKYU GARDEN
This small garden has the latest-blooming yaezakura I’ve found – they’re still gorgeous well into the third week of April!
You can stand under the trees at Kyu-Shiba-Rikyu and feel like you are in a pink and white room.
You seldom see tourists at this wonderful northwest Tokyo park.
And they have an amazing variety of late-blooming trees.
OUTSIDE THE NEW OTANI HOTEL
Somehow, these trees are so spectacular, you barely even notice the boring old skyscrapers in the background.
The Last Tea Bowl Thief was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense on Amazon
For three hundred years, a missing tea bowl passes from one fortune-seeker to the next, changing the lives of all who possess it… read more
“A fascinating mix of history and mystery.”
Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Japan, produces the monthly e-magazine Japanagram, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had