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.

Sakura Season Has Begun!

Yesterday, the cherry blossom season was officially declared here in Tokyo. Wohoo!! I’m so excited. It’s been a long, cold winter, with more snow than usual. The cherry blossoms are blooming later than normal this year because of that. The peak of the season is predicted to be around April 5. I will return from my snowboarding trip just in time for the peak it seems >_< Bad planning on my part!! But I already have a few hanami parties lined up so I will definitely be making the most of it.

At Yoyogi Park yesterday, the petals had just started to come through.

Yoyogi Sakura Yoyogi Sakura

At Yasukuni Shrine, they have set up a live camera to show the progress of the blooming!!

Check it out here >> http://www.yasukuni.or.jp/annai/sakuralive.php