I just love Tokyo West. In Suginami-ku, along the canals, cherry trees are secretly blossoming. Follow the pink river!
Eternal Sushine of the Spotless Sakura
It's not very difficult to capture the poetry of sakura when you shoot it in gardens and parks; but it doesn't express how magical the city can turn at the blossoming season. Sakura in the nature is glorious, but sakura in the city is more than that. It's enchanting, it's miraculous. Just like snow, it makes the city look, sound and smell different. It belongs to the city as its lights in the night.
By day, the yearly Japanese cherry blossom phenomenon makes Tokyo look pure as snow. The white flowers are the city's wedding dress. But at dawn, you can enjoy the pink, orange, blue and gold shades of the mighty sakura. Ready for the most voluptuous moment of the year ?
Every year, before the sakura decadence, elegant plum tree flowers blossom at every street corner in various shades of pink. You even don't need to go to the park, for the plum trees are everywhere in private gardens and small local yards. Let me introduce my sweet neighbours in Takaido Higashi area.
Spring early birds
Do you want some more? Fine.
Ohanami must go on! The most convenient sakura spot for me is defitely Megurogawa, the thin canal running from Gotanda to Ebisu. It's only five minutes from my office, so I can escape during the lunch break and cry with hapiness in front of these sweet cherry blossoms.
Megurogawa riverside sakura show
And here I go again after work, to enjoy the pink light of the paper lanterns.
Megurogawa by night
Honestly... what else?
Every time, the same emotion, the same amazement. Sakura are just like Christmas: you perfectly know how it looks and how it feels, but you get mad about it every single year. You can't help falling in love with it. You can't help worshiping it. Any park becomes a church to you. And Shinjuku-gyoen is a cathedral.
Shinjuku-gyoen, place of faith
So much beauty on Earth, friends. These sakura make me believe in something greater above us.
I'm a believer
I couldn't be more thanksful to be alive and to get drunk of cherry blossoms. Life is so good.
Shinjuku-gyoen, 10 min. walk from Shinjuku station (Southern Terrace exit) - entry fee 200 yen
I eventually fulfilled one of my most secret desires : visiting Happo-en, the beautiful garden and event-space near Shirokane (Tokyo) by night, when the sakura start to blossom. Check! And it was gorgeous!
Happo-en by night is a fantastic, unreal-looking place with fluo green moss. The young cherry blossoms are shining pearl-white on the dark sky.
Sakura Safari 2014 starts here...
In two weeks, the sakura will start to blossom, luring admirers from the five continents. But don't forget that this is the blossoming ume plum-trees that really open the hanami season in Japan. Shy, discrete, perfumed ume flowers that the Japanese were worshiping far before the new cult of the cherry trees.
Today I visited Yushima Tenjin Shrine, in Bunkyo-ku (Tokyo), one of the the most famous ume spot in the capital.
Iconic ume flower
The shrine itself is not far from the prestigious Tokyo University, and many students of the area come and pray there to pass the next exams.
"Please God, help me to graduate this year again"
Just like the sakura, there are many kind of ume trees. Some flowers are white, pink, dark pink or almost yellow. All of them smell very nice.
As soon as I will be properly settled in my own place, I will bring home one of these adorable ume bonsai! How sweet and cute!
I'm in love.
After visiting Yushima Tenjin, you can have a longer walk in Ueno Park. And look for the very first sakura !
More blossoms to be continued...
Something really amazing is happening this week: it's cold outside. Which means: the sakura are still on the branches, yeah. What is supposed to go back to the dust so quickly doesn't seem to want to leave the place. I am happy that the cherry clossoms decided to take their time this year. Have a look at these familiar visions not far from my place.
By night: Nakameguro
At the top of my "little mountain" (koyama), there is Meguro river. If you follow the stream, it will lead you to Nakameguro and its beautiful lights.
By day : Senzokuike Park
Tow stops away from my station, there is a lake and swan-boats and bamboos and shrines and tuxeducks and everything you need to enjoy the sakura trees even more.
Sakura season is not dead yet!! Enjoy!
Yeaaaah, I know, every year at the end of March this blog is invaded by white and pink cherry blossoms. And I tell you again and again how beautiful it looks, how poetic it is, how painful too - because of this Japanese syndrome of contemplation that breaks your heart when you think of it. And I describe again the sea of blue sheets under the trees, where more or less drunk people are getting drunker, while the falling blossoms mixes in their dark hair. And I complain because the best sakura spots are so packed, you can't even approach them during the week-end. And the weather, strangely, is always warm and kind in the week-days, and turns cold then - and THAT's pretty unfair. Always the same comments, I know. Not very original, I know.
But guess what, I just do what I want, he he he. And if I want to show you AGAIN the shape of cherry blossoms in Tokyo, well, nothing is going to stop me, right. So let's go sakura again!
Wise Sakura in Gaien-mae
Lazy Sakura in Meguro
Show-off Sakura at Roppongi
Drunk Sakura at Yoyogi
Romantic Sakura at Yokohama
Peaceful Sakura at Aoyama
Yummy Sakura in my plate
How can I resist?... Spring has come.