Friday, March 20, 2015

Sakura

As per the forecast, sakura (cherry blossom) will be in full bloom by end of March until mid-April in Kanto area. As early as today, everyone is anticipating the arrival of pink showers. But where to go exactly? Basing from my personal experience, take note that I’ve been to few places only, here are my recommendations.

sakura

Spring

slow-motion showers
kiss of pollens and petals
antihistamines

/totomai
for Poetry Pantry 244

1) Chiba Park, Chiba 

This is my favorite spring spot. It is far from the chaos of Tokyo, not so crowded and it is free of charge. A mere 10-15 minute walk from Chiba Station, or you can take the Chiba monorail  if you are feeling lazy. It is not as big as other famous parks so the sakura trees are not that many. But if you want to take photos freely, this place is for you. Nearest Station : Chibakoen.

 sing 12sing 11

2) Hamigawa, Chiba 

I could not find any reference on the net regarding this place. I have been living around the area for six years but it was only last year that I discovered it while having an early morning jog. The sakura trees and their reflection made me promise to visit it again this year. It’s a 15-20 minute walk from Shin-kemigawa Station. Or I can bring you there. Nearest Station : Shin-Kemigawa.

surprise


One of the more popular destinations during sakura season is the Shinjuku Gyoen. There’s an entrance fee of 200 yen and a long queue may welcome you but don’t be discouraged, the park is huge and can accommodate thousands. Please be advised that alcohol is not allowed. For photographers, there are lots of cherry blossoms inside. Tripods are discouraged. Nearest Station : Shinjuku Gyoen Mae or Sendagaya.


sakurabloom
softsakura
sakura

4) Sumida River, Tokyo

If you want to enjoy hanami in the heart of the city, then Sumida River is the perfect place for you. It is very crowded though. But at least you can have the view of Tokyo Sky Tree. There’s an available cruise trip too.  Nearest Station : Asakusa.

sing 10sing 09


How about some a-blast-in-the-past mood during hanami? Then better head to the Imperial Palace. Around the area, there are lots of cherry blossoms. During this season, you can see lots of salarymen carrying bento gathered together for lunch under the trees.  Nearest Station : Takebashi.

springtime


Highly recommended to visit at night. Have a beer or two here after work. Nearest Station : Naka-meguro.

sakura



Now I know why Chidorigafuchi is very popular in Tokyo during spring. It has a cinematic feel that could transport one to another dimension in a very limited time. In just one scene, you can see the flowers talking to each other, lovers promising forever, and a river humming a lullaby. You can’t help but record that scene - with or without selfie sticks. Haha! Nearest Station : Kudanshita Station

chidorigafuchi
chidorigafuchi 05



Not really about cherry blossoms, but if you are seeking for alternative such as peach blossoms, this place is for you.  Momentarily, I have forgotten about the cherry blossoms. Lots of activities are going on, spectators take photos, families have picnics, and others just take a rest under the pink canopies and go to dreamland. Nearest Station : Koga Station

koga

There are other places you can enjoy. If you want to get drunk while embracing the season, Yoyogi Park is for you. There’s Showa Kinen Park if you want to escape Tokyo momentarily. I haven’t been to Ueno Park during sakura season so I cannot recommend it, but is one of the popular destinations. Regardless of the place, don’t forget to take photos. Mobile camera will do.

ketai

But why is spring very popular here in Japan? It's because of hanami, or flower viewing. Everyone, from friends, families, tourists, is out of their houses, troops to the park and enjoys being showered by these petals falling at a speed of 5 cm/s. You can't even prohibit a person who is allergic to pollen to miss this event. Parks around Tokyo are turning into a big playground. 

For those you are not into cherry blossoms but still into flowers, click here.  

See you around. 

/totomai 
2015/03/20


Photos taken with Nikon D7000, Nikon D80 and iphone5s
lenses used : 
     Nikkor 18-200mm 3.5f 
     Nikkor 105mm 2.8f

62 comments:

  1. How beautifully you show us the enticing treasures found close to Tokyo. You are doing wonders for tourism there!

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    1. haha. Thanks Robin. I know everyone's anticipating spring so I better do my part and give some tips to tourists :-)

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  2. So marvellous - as ever Totomai - and the line about the anti-histamines made me smile.. :)

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    1. Thanks Jae. I had to take one always but that won't stop me from taking photos lol

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  3. I am envious now, Totomai, but really good recommendations of places to visit in this time of the year in Japan. Indeed, the cherry blossoms bring many, many things in mind. Lovely! Thank you for sharing these photos & your Haiku. Smiles.

    - ksm

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    1. Japan is just 3-5 hours away from the Philippines. Visit it now, Kevin, don't wait for Olympics 2020. :-)

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  4. Just beautiful photos, Totomai. People always say visit Washington D. C. at cherry blossom time....but I can see that another must is to visit Tokyo at cherry blossom time. Your photos and presentation are stunning! I especially love the photos where you take a photo of someone else taking a photo. Smiles! I like 'kiss of pollens and petals.'

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    1. Hi Mary, one of my friends are going to USA so I told her to visit Washington DC for the spring :-) Thanks again.

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  5. Love the anti-climax of the verse! (And also the beauty of the blossoms.)

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    1. A caution to those who have sensitive nose. Thanks Rosemary.

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  6. Gorgeous photos, Totomai. Pink is one of my favorite colors. Smiles :)

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    1. Everything will turn pink in 2 weeks. Thanks Loredana.

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  7. Love your haiku and cherry blossoms viewing pictures ~ We can't wait for spring here ourselves ~ The park with cherry blossoms though is not as big and spectacular as the ones in Japan ~ But still the Japanese gifted trees are a sight to see and everyone braves the slight chill to see the blooming pink and whites ~

    Thanks for sharing your pictures, smiles ~

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    1. Not all spots are blooming here Grace. I will try to visit the number 1 and 2 spots I mentioned this weekend and will try to visit other popular spots. Happy Spring!

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  8. I love the humor in your haiku.. For everyone allergic spring has mixed blessings indeed. I love what you share about the Cherry blossom.. Indeed we have a place downtown where there are lots of Cherry blossom, but there is much less frenzy around it.. Personally I favor the spring wildflowers.

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    1. I guess some of the flowers are jealous with the cherry blossoms because of the attraction they received. Thanks Bjorn.

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  9. this is pure entertainment totomai with words, smile and photos :)

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    1. Thanks Sumana :) Spring is a show.

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  10. Such beautiful photos. Thanks for taking me there. All of our cherry blossoms are out too and it is so wonderful, after the grey winter, when they arrive in their splendor.

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    1. They arrive in full force, Sherry. Ah, spring, please stay forever.

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  11. Oh my gosh! Totomai.. :D I love cherry blossom trees soo much!! Thank you for writing about it! Its beautiful!! :D

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    1. You're welcome Saana. They're selfish though, blooms only stay for a week or two

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  12. Oh totomai you have captured heaven here....a gardener's heaven....stunning blossoms and I have never seen anything like this....and I had to chuckle at your haiku....I will enjoy the blossoms and use the antihistamines!

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    1. Haha! Thanks Donna. I'm getting used to taking antihistamines during spring season.

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  13. We were just talking about when we were going to trek into Washington D.C. to see the cherry blossoms they are so whimsical as they dance in the air. A must to see their beauty. Thanks Totomai for sharing - I missed them when I was in Japan.
    Spring in DC

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    1. Maybe it's time to go back to Japan Moonie ? Thanks

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  14. What lovely scenes and I enjoyed the short poem--especially with its antihistamines. I would love to see one of these special spring places.

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    1. Thanks Peggy, just be sure you will bring enough antihistamines when you go flower viewing.

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  15. How lovely, totmai!! I would definitely be in need of antihistamines!! The photos are so beautiful. Thank you for sharing so much info for this lovely season :)

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    1. Welcome Torie, glad you liked the virtual tour.

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  16. Replies
    1. but that's the best thing for spring haha. thanks Zongrik!

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  17. Beautiful as always Totomai. You have reminded me that we have a cherry blossom season here as well, out on the Peninsula. May have to go there soon,

    Elizabeth

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  18. The flowers are amazingly beautiful. Thank you for you lovely pictures. I wish I could take your recommendations but I'm no where near the area. Your pictures will have to suffice for me. Your haiku made me smile as I have to take an antihistamine pill every night.

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    1. Maybe in the near future you will have the chance Myrna. Thanks! Oh - is it working as sleeping pills then?

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  19. Antihistamines!! :) Beautiful pictures..I did a little bit of hanami in Kyoto and Osaka a couple of years back and it was a magical experience.

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    1. Glad this post made you remember that moment in Japan.

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  20. Gorgeous photos of your petal paradise!!

    Poppy

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  21. I love these sakura blossoms. Thank you for sharing them so exquisitely through your photography. I had never once thought of the antihistamine aspect of this time of year, but I suppose some people would suffer the beauty terribly! Yikes. Still, so gorgeous to look at. Please do keep sharing.

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    1. Thanks CC. yes, i didnt expect that ill be allergic to pollens too.

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  22. I heard the allergy - just fear of beauty..., one has to allow him/her/self to enjoy....the life! It's so simple....~ Loved the words and photos just makes me appreciate the color and aroma of flowers! Thank you, Totomai !x

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  23. Totomai,

    Thank you for such beautiful words and images. Tokyo and its surroundings are magnificent in this spring showing..I also understand the annoyances of pollen allergies!!

    Eileen

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    1. Thanks Eileen - mask is now my best friend while taking photos haha

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  24. Ah! Lovely and I too am sniffling.

    Next week's Midweek Motif at Poets United will be "Cherry Blossoms." May I use some of your pictures? (This week's motif will be "captivity."

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    1. Hi Susan, sure feel free to use some of the blossom pics. I think I have more in my flickr account :)

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  25. oh, my gosh ~ gorgeous!!! i had to smile about the antihistamines!

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  26. If I ever get to Japan I do plan on going during spring. Excellent poem.

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  27. Lovely poem and photo - it is allergy time as everything starts to bloom

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    1. Yes - the only reason why I can't fully enjoy spring.

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  28. Sweet pic! Also a most clever poem!

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any thoughts to distill?

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