Nature

Tokyo – Yoyogi Park during Cherry Blossom season / 東京ー代々木公園,お花見の季節

Yoyogi Park gets an annual month-long makeover from mid-March as its Sakura trees blossom to mini clouds of snow white petals with a dash of baby pink. As the trees enter full bloom, people gather with friends and family for a fun-filled weekend of Hanami  (Japanese for Sakura viewing) under the blossoming branches.

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Somei Yoshino Prunus x yedoensis (“Somei“): Despite being a relatively new species of cherry tree in Japan, Somei has become the most common ornamental Sakura to grace the sidewalks of parks, streets, and gardens. It is revered for its simplistic beauty of snow white and baby pink petals that are uninterrupted by shades of green. It is a sterile hybrid of unknown origin – little wonder it doesn’t bear fruits. Still, birds and bees pay its flowers a frequent visit; the Japanese honeybee and sparrow are big fans of its juicy nectar. 

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Hanami: Although each individual flower is delicately pretty in and of itself, the true beauty of Sakura is unmatched when viewed en masse. The Japanese understand that great food, beer, and company are better enjoyed under a canopy of pink petals, hence, Hanami is an event everyone, young and old, makes time for.

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Bubbles: A group of kindhearted retirees regularly hold bubble events in various parks around Tokyo and it so happened to be Yoyogi Park when this photo was taken. Both kids and adults could not get enough bubble fun – their beaming smiles said it all.

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Yoyogi Park Dogrun: It’s not only humans having all the fun, doggies get to participate in Hanami too. This is a photo of a pair of French Bulldogs that have come to Yoyogi Park to enjoy the view and perhaps make some new friends at the Dogrun. They’ve been buddies since birth, occasionally get into massive fights, and still wear matching clothes – how adorable!

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So long, farewell: Sakura blooms only but for a few short weeks. Hanami season comes to an end as each petal slowly performs their descending dance to the ground. The photo shows a group of young Kabuki enthusiasts who are practicing a scene for their friend’s wedding. The Shamisen, a traditional Japanese string instrument, adds a sense of nostalgia to the sea of fallen Sakura.

-end-

 

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