Cherry blossoms in Tokyo: 2016

The cherry blossoms are blooming in Tokyo! And oh, how lovely they are to see.

I had a long ‘to do’ list to tackle on Wednesday but I ditched it in favor of playing hooky for the day. I dropped Liam off for school and caught a train into the city. Unfortunately for me, my camera sputtered to death while looking at early blooms at Yoyogi Park last week – terrible timing – so these pictures are all from my iPhone.

My first stop was the Tokyo neighborhood of Nakano. Lanterns and Sakura line the Nakano Dori, which leads north from the station. It’s a stretch of road that goes on and on — I followed it for roughly three kilometres — all of it lined by frothy trees.

The road has a few pedestrian bridges. I liked the pastel blue with the pastel pink of the sakura.

The blooms transform even an ordinary cross walk into a thing of beauty:

My happiness quotient was crazy high by that point. Ditching responsibilities to stroll in the sunshine, reveling in a beautiful morning and the sight of so many gorgeous flowers, was the right choice.

I arrived at Tetsugakudo Park and found it brimming with yet more cherry blossoms.

I explored, climbing higher in the park, which is draped over a hillside.

Next, I took a couple of trains to arrive at Kudanshita Station in Chiyoda. First, I walked to nearby Yasakuni Shrine, which honors those who have died in war.

The shrine grounds were in full bloom.


I especially loved the sacred pond area:

Next, I crossed over to the gardens and moats surrounding the Imperial Palace.

As I walked deeper into the park I began to feel very underdressed. I was packed into a crowd of young Japanese men and women, all dressed in black suits. Uniformed men were using bull horns to direct the crowds.

  A young lady wearing an arm band asked, in English, if I was ok? She explained I’d stumbled into the end of the matriculation ceremony for new students at a university.  I stuck out like a sore thumb but no one minded.

The crowds thinned and I enjoyed the gardens until it was time to scurry home to base to collect Liam.


 This is my second Sakura season since arriving in Japan almost two years ago. It rained terribly today so I’m not sure how the blooms fared but hopefully, Liam and I can go on the hunt for a few more this weekend. The trees display their flowers for a very brief period of time. So sweet. So succinct.

11 thoughts

  1. Thanks for sharing your trip through the cherry blossoms! They are often washed away by the rain, so it was a good choice to go before the rain came.


  2. Very nice and making me miss Japan but I was happy to find some sakura trees here in Italy so I kinda smiled at that. Your pictures are great but they are so much more stunning in person.


    1. Glad you found some sakura in Italy! And, yes, I agree that there’s no substitute for seeing the trees in real life. I certainly didn’t realise how pretty they are until we arrived in Japan.


  3. and then rained..! lol
    i think of it as an excuse to get wasted in public! ..and not be ashamed!
    or maybe it really is all about the ‘fleeting beauty’ and the drinking just happens to go along with it…
    in either case, it sure is fun!



    1. It is fun, isn’t it? Winters here aren’t as bad as what I experienced growing up in Ohio, but I was so ready for spring to arrive. Hanami does provide a great excuse to get out and soak up the sun.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Susie, you certainly did make the right decision to “play hooky” with the Cherry Blossoms! Thanks so much for again sharing your extraordinary photos and narrative! I liken your park experience to “forest bathing”. As you know, it is a way the Japanese reconnect with nature. What a great way to get the endorphins moving! It was for me also, to read and experience the photos vicariously. Kudos to you, as you are quite a talent! Thanks so much!!
    Cindy Greco


    1. Thanks, Cindy! This is my favorite time of year in Japan. We’re so lucky to get to live here. I’ll be doing more “forest bathing” this weekend, I think!


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