City - 4 flower gardens in bloom year-round
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Think you'll miss out if you're not in Japan for cherry blossom season?

Think again! Because Tokyo dishes up flower extravaganzas that rival the fluffy pink things all year long, if you know where to find them.

The only thing you'll miss is hordes of tourists.
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jindai
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1. Azaleas and plums at Jindai Botanical Gardens (Chofu)

Lose yourself in a maze of brilliantly flowering azaleas, stroll among hundreds of rare blossoming plum trees, or ogle chrysanthemums that have been bonsai-ed into shapes that defy description.

Every month this garden dishes up Insta-worthy vistas of color as you explore the winding paths, and the forested stream running through the center of this spacious park never fails to deliver a soul-restoring amble, any time of year.
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showa
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2. Hillsides full of poppies and cosmos at Showa Kinen Park (Tachikawa)

Acres of tulips that out-wow Amsterdam? Check. Entire hillsides covered with poppies (in the spring) and cosmos (in the fall)? Check. Stately corridor of flaming gold gingko trees reflecting in a long line of formal fountains? Check.

It goes without saying that this vast park also offers groves of gigantic cherry trees and autumn leaves that will wear out your shutter finger, but it also delivers a serene Japanese garden, miles of bike paths, and the most spectacular playgrounds in Tokyo (including a couple with bouncy mountains and dragon slides).
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3. Magenta azaleas and cherry tree groves in the heart of the city at Shinjuku Gyoen (Shinjuku)

All the guides rightly flag this fabulous garden in the heart of Tokyo as the best place to get your cherry blossom fix in March-April, but there are equally amazing flower spectacles on view the rest of the year, minus the crowds.

Imagine rounding a corner on a picturesque path, to find a mountain of perfect chrysanthemum blooms, perfectly sculpted from a single living plant. Or a hill of manicured magenta azaleas, with nary a leaf in sight. Or a grove of blossoming plum trees, in every shade of pink. This garden always surprises and never disappoints, no matter what time of year you visit.
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gyoen
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4. A peony garden and photogenic bridges at Hama-Rikyu Gardens (Tsukiji)

This grand garden offers up such picturesque vistas, it's a favorite spot for Japanese wedding photos. At any time of year, you might see brides in resplendent kimonos posing amid bowers of plum blossoms, clouds of late-blooming cherries, or amid fields of riotously-colored cosmos.

A venerable peony garden, long trellises of lavender wisteria, and spectacular bridges over the many water features round out the views that beg to be captured on camera, without any pesky visitors in the way.
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Curated by
Tokyo-based mystery writer Jonelle Patrick.
When not ogling flowers, Jonelle Patrick writes mysteries set in Tokyo, blogs at Only in Japan and writes about the Tokyo they leave out of the guidebooks.
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curated by
Tokyo-based mystery writer Jonelle Patrick.
When not ogling flowers, Jonelle Patrick writes mysteries set in Tokyo, blogs at Only in Japan and writes about the Tokyo they leave out of the guidebooks.
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