The cherry blossom/sakura season is almost over, with the highly popular somei yoshino cherry trees all filled with green leaves, though some later flowering variety are still in bloom. I didn’t know there are so many types of sakura, indeed, I had always thought of sakura as a single variety of flower. While there are over 600 species of cherry blossoms (!) in Japan, so far I have only encountered three types. I’m hoping to chance upon more in future!
Somei Yoshino “yoshino cherry” is the most common cultivated variety which can be found throughout Japan, with each pale pink, almost white blossom consisting of five petals.
Shidarezakura “the weeping blossom” with baby pink petals on low, drooping branches bloom in early April and have a long lifespan, much longer than the somei yoshino that everyone is more familiar with. While most shidazakura has 5 petals, these have more than 5, hence the more accurate term would be yaeshidarezakura.
Kikuzakura “chrysanthemum cherry blossom” has 80 – 130 soft pink petals, hence the name “kiku”, meaning chrysanthemum in Japanese, as they highly resemble chrysanthemums in their round fluffy pom-pom shapes. This is the later blooming variety which can be seen in Tokyo until early May, I just caught sight of it recently.
Besides the cherry blossoms all around you, you are made very aware of this flowering period with the number of sakura-themed products flooding the stores everywhere. Basically this is just a ploy for shops to make more money, but it does indeed aid in making the season even cheerier. I wish I had tried at least one sakura dessert, but I didn’t manage to, unfortunately. Well, there’s always next year.
And if you head to Nakameguro, there will be sakura-themed treats for you to try. Including an over-priced coke.
Finally, don’t forget check out my vlog post on Nakameguro cherry blossoms below!