When I go to Tokyo, I love living at Chiyoda. I like this ward, it’s the center of the city, close to everything, and above all it’s full of beautiful gardens all around the Imperial palace! As there are many paths bordered with cherry trees, the district becomes lovely and very lively.
This year, cherry blossoms bloomed early. Almost exactly at the moment I arrived in Japan. It was moving for me to start my stay by o-hanami, this celebration to spring and to nature that is so important and unique to Japanese people.
So I followed the blooming from the beginning, with a great attention to flowers that I never had in France. Here are some photos of my favorite spots during one week, at Chiyoda of course, and also some other spots.
Chidorigafuchi and gardens of Imperial palace
Monday 18th March: sakura started to bloom. Just before, the temperature reached 26°C! But this day, there was a very strong wind, so the flowers were hiding itself. I never followed the weather information with so much anxiety for trees ^^
Thursday 21th: the day before full bloom. The city was already testing the night lighting. Chidorigafuchi at sunset, seen from Kitanomaru kôen, was so gorgeous.
Friday 22th: Full bloom at total night. The cherry trees were marvelous, each sakura looked like shiny pink stars! And also it smelled so good, the perfume of sakura was delicate and sweet♡
Saturday 23th: the first weekend following the full bloom. Every places were very crowded, we could feel everybody enjoying what they saw.
I’m definitely a Chiyoda-ku sakura supporter ^_^
Thursday 28th: The sakura petals started to fall at the Higashi gyôen of Imperial palace. Intense and ephemeral beauty…
Friday 29th: Each year, a cherry tree has to be cut down. With this wood, chopsticks, bowls, straps, and more goods are made and sold this day only. “Made from a tree that takes 100 years to grow, goods that can be used 100 years”. These unique and limited goods are called “Symbol of Chiyoda” and the money collected helps to preserve the park of cherry tree in the city. Do I have to say that I bought a lot of these goods? ^^
Monday: only one tree started to bloom. The shrine was so quiet.
Friday: the night of full bloom. A great matsuri took place around the shrine, with lots of booths of tasty food!
Less crowded. It was nice to walk along this flowery path.
I was amazed that Ueno park could be so different from this summer. Cherry blossoms can profoundly change landscapes!
O-hanami is really a warm moment to share with everybody, at any age, and any culture. It makes me love in a new way the transition from winter to spring. I hope I could celebrate o-hanami again in the future!
To go further
How to get there (by Tôkyô metro)
- Chidorigafuchi, gardens of Imperial palace and Yasukuni jinja
- → Kudanshita station
- → Ichigaya or Iidabashi station
- Ueno kôen
- → Yushima or Ueno station
Also on my blog
- Tôkyô in December/January – new year traditions and party
- Tôkyô in August – natsu matsuri, concerts and live show for a very hot summer!
- Tôkyô in July – memories
- Tôkyô in February/March – memories