Sakura – cherry blossoms – are one of the common images of Japanese culture. The fleeting existence of the blossoms and their incredible beauty and delicacy have inspired artists of all genres and give good reason for the citizens of Tokyo to come out to the parks and celebrate the emergence of another spring.
Had we arrived a week earlier, we would have seen them in their fullest stage, but per Masakazu’s recommendation we headed directly to the park on our first day here to catch them while we still could. Thankfully, we did, because the breezy weather had pretty much stripped the trees by our second day here.
Ueno Park is nearby our hotel, home to the zoo and several museums, and adjacent to Tokyo University. This is one of the popular places to come see the sakura.
Everyone was out, even in the midst of a weekday morning. Business men, pre-schoolers, retirees. And lots of people had cameras. So much appreciation for nature.
Who wouldn’t be inspired to write a poem? The brown stalks are lotus. In the summer, this whole lake it filled with chest-high lotus blossoms.
Some of the sturdier types of blossoms were still out in full force, giving us an amazing display of colors.
The park was full of vendors, visitors, and recycling bins to sort out the rubbish left by the sakura-viewers. Not the sheets laid out in the shade. Different groups staked their claim to viewing spots for after-work parties. We were amazed by how many groups of office workers came out in the evening to sit under the trees, drink, and socialize.
Above, a Thai monk poses for a picture with the sakura. Below, sakura in the setting sunlight.
Ueno Park also has a long line of tori gates, which mark the entrance to a shrine. Their orange-red hue is amazing and the repetition of the gates makes for a meditative walk through them.
In the evening, the crowds came to the park, taking their reserved spots and enjoying the pleasant weather and the remaining blossoms. Dozens of vendors served favorite snacks and everyone was drinking. So far, I’m of the opinion that the Japanese are a pretty heavily drinking population, at least those who live and work in Tokyo.
Above, a view of the vendors lining the path to one of the shrines.
The photo of the lake with the branch reflected in the water is gorgeous. nice night time shot too.
wow… cool…it was 4yrs ago since i was in ueno park… i have hundres of pictures with the torii there with my friends =p lucky you still manage to enjoy hanami (sakura viewing) there… it’s going to finish by this week i guess as i see the green leaves
I bet it must be so scenic to watch those petals fall. Looking forward to read more posts from your trip!
Nice pics… Japan (Tokyo in particular) is one of the places I really want to visit someday. I have always been fascinated by the people and their culture.
Are you REALLY REALLY tall or are those gates small?
Oh… so nice. I want to take my bf there.
@murisopsis – Glad you like it; I thought it was a really pretty scene and wasn’t sure if I captured it well.
@Wangium – Well, at 8′ 3″ I’m taller than average… j/k
@ElusiveWords – You should. We’ll gladly share recommendations with you.
@Dezinerdreams – I think you and Tawn share that same fascination.
@curry69curry – The falling petals is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.
@lcfu – Yeah, the blossoms are pretty much all gone now. A windy day or two and they just don’t last…
You and Mr. T are so lucky to be in time to see the Cherry in full blossom.It is a ten day window at the most even a calm weather. Many people timed their vacation to see the Cherry Blossom and still miss it. Two years ago, I was one week too early, and missed the full bloom. I hope I have better lucky next time. I remembered there is a specail drink and mushy candy during the festival. Did you tried them?
Wow, here in DC, we have either light pink or white cherry blossoms. I’ve never seen any of the bright pink blossoms. They’re so gorgeous!
I LOVE cherry blossoms. Always so picturesque and beautiful. Great pics.
that is so gorgeous, so bightly pink. i always wanted to go to a cherry blossom festival. hehe to eat takoyaki under a cherry tree as petals lightly fall.
@stevew918 – Steve, we didn’t quite hit it – just about a week too late to see the peak of the season. Didn’t see any special drinks or candy, either.
@TheCheshireGrins – Yeah, they are very intense in color.
@swcheng15 – Thanks, they are so beautiful, aren’t they?
@Sc12EeN17aM3 – Would strongly recommend you take a trip to Japan one of these springs. Such a beautiful sight.
hey just asking can people in canada grow cherry blossoms trees as well. i think they are nice.
@sora178 – Vancouver is well-known for its cherry trees. They can also grow in many other parts of the country. Here’s a link that answers the question in a little more detail.