Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Sakura in Spring

When I first started planning my trip to Japan, I just knew I had to go during Cherry Blossom (sakura) season.

WARNING: Things are going to get pic heavy around here

It was highly inconvenient. Taking a two and a half week trip right in the middle of the semester at uni was going to be problematic- I would have to take my uni stuff with me and submit two assignments whilst on my holiday.

But to go all the way to Japan and not see the Cherry Blossoms, not even once? Wasnt going to happen.

After the Tokyo leg of my tour (the first round anyway) Kyoto was an absolute breath of fresh air. It's still busy, but not as congested as Tokyo, and there are gorgeous green parks everywhere. Whilst I am very fond of the craziness that is Tokyo, Kyoto was the perfect place to see the natural beauty in Japan.

My destination for hanami (cherry blossom viewing) was the Kyoto Imperial Palace Gardens. The gardens are HUGE and there was no way I was going to be able to see it in all its glory. I did not do a tour of the palace, as I did not realise you had to put your name down on a list prior to the tour day. No big deal- it was still a sight to behold just looking at the big old gates!

Kyoto Imperial Palace Gates
Source: Wikipedia
The palace tour will have to be better organised on my next trip to Japan! From what I heard it is very interesting. It has nightingale floors, which means that the Emporer could hear anyone sneaking about to potentially murder him in his sleep!

Wouldnt that be handy in your own home? Admittedly, I dont have to thwart too many assassination attempts, but you never do know! Plus,  I would only hear my Pug traipsing around the house at all hours, lol.

The whole North section of the gardens is where all the cherry blossoms are, and it is by far the busiest section of the park. I love that even the Kyoto locals get really excited when the cherry blossom are out- strangers that could speak very little English would approach me and ask if I was going to see the sakura.

The outside of the North section of the Imperial Palace Gardens...cherry blossoms await inside!

Cherry Blossoms range from the brightest of reds, a million variations on pink, all the way to white

This diorama shows exactly how big the gardens are! Each button gave information about a certain section...of course it was in Japanese so I didnt take a whole lot in. Lol

I saw this bike parked next to the cherry blossoms, whilst the owner was snapping photos. I've never seen a bike with a cat carrier before! If you look inside the basket there is even a little pooper scooper :)

Do you know how hard it is to take a self portrait with a big heavy DSLR, that gets both yourself AND the cherry blossoms in the frame? Not easy.
There were families having picnics under the cherry blossoms everywhere. I felt a little twinge of homesickness!

Woman posing for photo under blossoms
What a beautiful place for wedding photos!
The bride was lovely enough to let me take a quick snap on my way past
There were so many families out and about enjoying the park
I fell in love with this little champ. He was SO STRONG...he was the one who let his walker know exactly where he wanted to go

Who can resist a sausage dog?

This is my favourite photo. I love how the blossom cascade over the branches like little pink tufts of fairy floss

I think I have assaulted you with enough photos. I'm compiling them all now into albums and I must say, I went overboard snapping the cherry blossoms!

Strolling around Kyoto Imperial Palace was a definite pinch yourself moment, I couldve explored around there for hours. I'm so lucky to have the image of a giant wall of cherry blossoms as one of my travel memories.

To those that have lasted to the end of this post- Congratulations x


  1. So so pretty, i would love to see the cherry blossoms in Japan! I love the 'carpet' that their petal make on the ground.
    Totally need to get my hands on a bike with a cat carrier..

    1. The carpet is gorgeous. And the smell in the air was beautiful too! I think I need that bike too, and I dont even have a cat. Lol

  2. Wow! Absolutely stunning. Totally worth going at an inconvenient time to see such an amazing sight!

  3. Love the photos!! I think I love the pale pinky/white ones the most! Gorgeous :)

  4. So jealous... we missed out on our first trip as they were late blooming then were way out of season for our second trip. Definitely planning a trip back for the cherry blossoms though - gorgeous! x

    1. Looking forward to stalking your Japan posts a second time around when its time for your next trip!

  5. How could you possibly go overboard taking photographs of cherry blossoms? You can't. I hope one of these pictures ends up on a wall or something. Or as the cover of the photobook you should really make of your trip...

  6. Every time you post I am like OooOOooooo.. it seems so peaceful and surreal. I need that bike with the cat carrier. haha

  7. Lovely photos, it certainly is the best time of year to go!

    Next trip will be for the maples in Autumn!


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