After three years of attempting to capture the cherry blossoms aka sakura at Nakameguro, Tokyo, Japan, I finally did it last weekend. My previous experiences had been too early or too late. This year, it was the perfect timing and the elusive bloom missed its chance to escape from my camera.
a weeklong affair
of pink promises turned green
During the Easter weekend, I and my friends went to check the place but it left us disappointed since the bloom was around 20-30% only. Mankai (full bloom) was expected to be on a weekday. As soon as I heard about the forecast, I was a bit disheartened because I had to attend a conference in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, ROC that particular week. I can’t believe that I will be missing the sakura season again. One of my friends joked that I should do a sakura dance (sort of a rain dance) so as to delay its flowering.
I returned back to Japan on a Friday and saw the updated forecast that mankai will be on a weekend. The heavens listened to me. How about that? The next day, I, together with my friends, went to Nakameguro to celebrate the spring season. From the moment I went out of the station, I kept on clicking my camera. I was pretty pumped until I saw the massive crowd.
Despite our excitement, we were all moving in a very slow motion mode. It seemed that everyone took their time to enjoy the bloom but in a very disciplined manner. No pushing, no rushing. After all, this was just a one-week love affair. Ah, sometimes, mother nature can be such a tease.
I brought my camera and lenses. But most of the people used their smartphones to capture everything. And I had to be very careful in moving around while taking photos. Or else I may hit someone causing his phone to spiral down the river. It took time before one can get the a spot and position yourself but it was still fun.
It was cold but who cares. As long as our cameras had batteries, we were more than fine. Besides kiosks were in every corner. Food and drinks were readily available. Springtime, or the sakura season always call for a celebration even to individuals with pollen allergy.
I can’t wait for the next spring to come, but hoping without the pollen allergy.
Photos taken with Nikon D7000
lenses used :
Nikkor 18-300 mm
Nikkor 10.5 mm
Nikkor 50 mm
Tamron 11-16 mm
As usual, awesome pictures 22mai-san!ReplyDelete
Any tips for those hoping to see sakura esp when its on full bloom (mankai), in terms of timing the trip to Japan and taking beautiful shots such as yours?
Thanks Mariane. Spring especially the sakura is difficult to predict. But mostly it blooms on last week of March / first week of April.Delete
Really, really I would love to be drowned in such infinite beauty...ReplyDelete
I allowed myself to drown while taking the photos. Thanks Sumana.Delete
A most unforgettable experience..your pictures are beautiful and remind me of my own viewing of the cherry blossoms. Thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
You're welcome, thot. Glad that this post made you remember your sakura viewing experience.Delete
It is always a pleasure to visit your site and see the outstanding pictures you have taken. I am very impressed Totomai.ReplyDelete
Thanks Robin. Taking photos is therapeutic for me :)Delete
Worth a little hay fever - simply gorgeous - have you had any of your photos published in print - they really are superb and so many collections with coherent themes - and your poems tooReplyDelete
Not yet Jae, may be soon.Delete
It's a cruel world; neatly captured.ReplyDelete
indeed. thanks JDelete
Oh my god.. this is absolutely amazing :DReplyDelete
What incredibly beautiful photos. You show me why this occasion is so celebrated in your country. Breath-taking! I also enjoyed your tale of your experience, and especially the haiku.ReplyDelete
I would blame my company if I missed this year's mankai. Thanks RosemaryDelete
I wouldn't mind getting some pollen allergies under such glorious, heaven like city of Sakura flowers. Lovely, lovely photographs! Hi Totomai! :)ReplyDelete
Salamat Kelvin. Yeah me too. I have eye drops and nasal spray 😜Delete
This is a magnificent sight. Your dedication to art has paid off and you have lifted our spirits by sharing.ReplyDelete
My pleasure Kerry. Thanks :)Delete
Your photos are poetry, Totomai! Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful gifts with photographs and haiku!ReplyDelete
Aww, thanks Mary. Much appreciated.Delete
So wonderful, and congratulations to finally make it to see the full bloom... Your description of the way people behaved is easy to understand... We have a small sakura place in Stockholm too, and even if it's much smaller it's so great to be there...ReplyDelete
Next year I may find another place for sakura :) Thanks Bjorb.Delete
What incredible beauty...I can understand why it is celebrated....as I celebrate each new bloom in my spring garden...of course those blossoms are on such a grand scale...amazing! People here flock to our nations's capitol, Washington DC to see the cherry blossoms bloom...maybe one day I will be lucky to see that!ReplyDelete
You will definitely, Donna. I was actually getting impatient while following the crowd hahaDelete
I love the poignancy of "pink promises turned green". Thank you for sharing Sakura with us armchair travelers. The images are gorgeous. I am in awe that you captured the beauty in such a crow without people in the frame, not easy to do.ReplyDelete
I have lots of photos blocked by the crowd haha but no problem at all, Sherry. I wish I can write often and share some places to all of you.Delete
The is a delight to see. I understand why you've been waiting for just the right time, even if the pollen makes things more than a bit difficult. Love every picture, the people watching... I would certainly face the discomfort of allergies in order to add the experience to my list of wonderful places I've visited.ReplyDelete
The pollen allergy discomfort is a bit of a challenge. But i passed it with flying colors haha. Thanks MagalyDelete
It's amazing that with so many people crowding to see the 'pink promises' you were able to capture these gorgeous images without the distraction of people marring the beauty of the idyllic nature shots. They are stunning photographs!!ReplyDelete
To be in front of the bridge I have to wait 10 mins. In every bridge. But it was an awesome experience . Thanks CCDelete
Some amazing photos here!!ReplyDelete
The pictures are breathtaking. I wish I can go to Japan to witness this beautiful blossoming. But until then, I am grateful to you, my friend, for your kindness in sharing these.ReplyDelete
Hoping that you can visit Japan soon, Myrna.Delete
Awesome and enlightening...ReplyDelete
Love sakura! Beautiful photos! Thank you for sharing, Totomai!ReplyDelete
My pleasure, humbirdDelete
I stumbled upon your page and I have to say I'm happy I did. Great shots! Prepared to have another one stalk your works.ReplyDelete
Thanks kabayan :)Delete
Im soo glad you got to catch them at their peak. Every year I catch a different aspect of the blossoms (unless snow destroys them). I realize it is good to see the Sakura in all her moods. (This year I caught her in that flirty just opening up stage)ReplyDelete
Will try to find another venue next spring. Thanks LeslieDelete