The association of Springtime and Japan always brings the thought of cherry blossom to mind and what better way is there to capture this special event than with a camera in hand.
Join me in this first part of a series of articles covering my visit to the cities of Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka as we explore the wonders of these ancient cities, their people and modern-day lifestyle.
Each year, the cherry blossom, or sakura as referred to by the locals, only lasts at its peak for around one week, so timing for photography purposes is critical if you are to capture the full beauty of the pink and white blooms at their best.
The cherry blossom means more than just beautiful trees to the people of Japan as the sakura has ties to Japan’s history, culture and identity, and brings the feelings of hope and renewal of life.
The gatherings of groups of family and friends under the trees for flower watching parties, called hanami, are a very important part of Japanese life and tradition.
On the particular Saturday that we were there, we were told that 3 million people passed through the gates of the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden in Tokyo between 9 am and 4 pm. The gardens occupy an area of 58.3ha or around 145 acres, but that’s still a lot of people for just one day.
While the trees look spectacular from a distance with all their majesty, there are always photos of the small detail to be had within the bigger scheme of things.
What better place for a photo when dressed in full costume than in front of the cherry blossom
Watch for Part 2 to follow shortly