Sunday, 6 April 2014

Sakura Overload

Pooch says that once you've seen one cherry tree in blossom you've seen them all. I disagree, which is why I have three further gardens to show you, while Pooch spent his time with me at one of them keeping firmly to the footpaths and determinedly not enjoying himself.
Pooch at Shinjuku Gyoen Park
It all began last week at the Tokyo National Museum which only opens its gardens for the few weeks of cherry blossom season. Determined not to miss this opportunity to visit both the Museum and the Garden I went over there.
Hanami at the Museum
The Museum is very impressive, being a kind of V&A equivalent for Japanese artifacts. It also allowed me to take part in my first ever Stamp Rally - something that is apparently quite big here where you collect stamps at different points around a venue or area, and when you have sufficient you get a prize. In this case the little badge top left.
Tokyo National Museum Sakura Stamp Rally 
The gardens were quite small but very well kept. They also contained my first 'zen' garden I've seen since arriving here. By that I mean with the raked gravel.
Hanami at the Museum
One of the oddities of Cherry Blossom is that as well as the main branches, you get little puffs of it on the trunk itself.
Hanami at the Museum
These give you the opportunity for close up shots, since the branches are often a bit high up for that.

Just opposite the Museum is Ueno Park - a big park famed for its blossom and thus PACKED with people. I should explain the schools are on holiday at the moment with the new school year starting tomorrow, so everyone was up for a party.
Sakura Cherry Blossom at Ueno Park
As you can see at the far end of the pond, this park is famed for its walkways where there is blossom on both sides and it often meets overhead.
Sakura Cherry Blossom at Ueno Park
Wherever you find blossom you will also find Hanami Parties sitting on their large tarpaulin sheets under the tress.
Sakura Cherry Blossom at Ueno Park
You get office workers, families and also groups of teenagers getting politely drunk on the national equivalent of Diamond White (cheap cider english people my age will remember with slight revulsion from their youth).

These parties were also in full swing at Shinkuju Gyoen National Garden which Pooch and I lastvisited in December (and which I blogged about here). The difference the spring has made was very evident. I'm just going to let the photos speak for themselves.
Sakura at Shinjuku Gyoen Park
Sakura Petal Path at Shinjuku Gyoen Park
Sakura at Shinjuku Gyoen Park
Sakura at Shinjuku Gyoen Park
Sakura at Shinjuku Gyoen Park
Sakura at Shinjuku Gyoen Park
Sakura at Shinjuku Gyoen Park
Plus of course the Byrne in full bloom.
Lixie at Shinjuku Gyoen Park
Hopefully this post gives an idea of why I do not get tired of looking at cherry blossom - the variety and the context are both very special factors.

I am off to England on Thursday to help my sister out. I hope to fit in one more cherry experience before then and to continue blogging while I'm away. I have been squirreling away various props for use with Jasmine when she and I are left alone together so be ready for some unconventional baby photos in the near future!


Mairead Hardy said...

Beautiful photos - thank you for sharing them.

Carla said...

2492Your photos are beautiful and I really enjoy seeing your experiences.

Jo said...

Totally brilliant pictures. I made my bloke come upstairs and look at the computer screen! JO x

Becky said...

Really stunning, you are making me want to live in Japan next - looks like a blast !

jan said...

Just beautiful! Thank you for sharing! I will never tire of seeing Cherry blossoms!
xo jan

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