Spring Afternoon at Yasukuni Shrine

Exciting times in Tokyo… Spring has officially sprung!

At Yasukuni Shrine near the Imperial Palace, there is one tree in particular which is carefully observed by the Japanese BOM. It’s a somei-yoshino, also the most common variety of cherry blossom found across Japan. A camera is set up in front of the tree so that the meteorologists can keep an eye on it 24/7. The footage can be seen by the public on the shrine’s homepage, and I’m not going to lie – I had been checking it all weekend in anticipation!

Then, on Monday morning, it happened. The first buds broke open and delicate white petals emerged. The media was onto it straight away, and opening of the sakura season was officially announced in front of hundreds of photographers and reporters.

At the moment, there are just a few somei-yoshino flowers dotted here and there. But this time next week, they should be close to full bloom. Yay, I can feel the excitement in the air!

There are hundreds of varieties of cherry blossom, that differ in shape, colour and blooming times. There were a few deep pink coloured trees at their peak. Such a gorgeous colour. And behind the shrine is a cute little pond and tea house garden. The afternoon light was sublime! Wandering around here was the perfect way to spend a warm spring afternoon.

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15 thoughts on “Spring Afternoon at Yasukuni Shrine

    • Thanks, John! Yep it’s under way. I’ve got a trip planned to Kansai area for next week so I’ve got my fingers crossed for good weather and lots of flowers :)

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        • Both of those are on the list! Can you recommend any other must do’s in Kyoto or Nara prefectures if you’ve been in spring? I wanted to go to Yoshino-yama but I think I’m going to be too early for the sakura unfortunately.

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          • I didn’t get to Nara in the Spring, but Arashiyama is great viewing if you get the timing right and a nice place at any time. While there I can recommend Tenryu-ji and the nearby Okochisanso Gardens. I’m a fan of Ryoanji, though many seem to disagree and closer to Kyoto the Keage Incline can be a fun sakura experience. Gion is always a delight at any time for many reasons, but for sakura the best I saw was definitely at the Heian Shrine. I’m getting envious now haha, so say hello to those places for me…. Cheers …. John

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  1. 靖国(やすくに)神社といえば、戦没者(せんぼつしゃ)を祀(まつ)る神社として、
    武士道(ぶしどう)を 思い起こさせます。さくらの花が 豪華(ごうか)に     
    咲き誇って、ぱっと散っていくようすが、武士の勇ましさと いさぎよさに
    たとえられます。ここ わずか2週間の桜の命を たいせつにして、
    充分に鑑賞してください。「花は 花は 花は咲く。いつか恋する君のために。」

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    • 靖国神社について議論があると時々聞きますが、どういうことか全然分かりません。日本人にとって、問題がありますか。
      とにかく神社の境内はとても綺麗で、桜を満開で見るのが楽しみです!

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  2. Magnificent…I was inspired by photos of these blossoms to seek out my own Japanese Cherry Blossom tree…I could not stop at one, I had to make a statement so we have three. They had a handful of blossoms last spring and are now big enough for birds to sing in.

    These photos are just lovely.

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