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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Shinjuku Gyoen blossom

新宿御苑の花見

Cherry blossom viewing, Shinjuku Gyoen Park, Tokyo. This Saturday I spent the morning and part of the afternoon in Shinjuku Gyoen, one of Tokyo’s most (rightly) famous parks.

By 11.30 the grounds were flooded with mainly couples and groups lounged on (usually) lurid tarpaulins on the lawns of the park amongst the blossom that since last week has been out in full bloom.


Blossom in Shinjuku Gyoen Park, Tokyo. Next to the blossom, the most conspicuous things that come out are the cameras.

For every person kicking back with a beer (and, in spite of the ‘No alcohol in the park’ sign at the gate, its everywhere!) there’s one tending to a great black lensed and tripoded piece of paraphernalia, often in such a way that the supposed focus of the activity, the appreciation of the short-lived spectacle of the blossom, seems almost sidelined.

Spring foliage, Shinjuku Gyoen Park, Tokyo. Changeable as the spring weather is, the occasional cloudiness was more than made up for by long spells of brilliant sunshine – that I happened to fall asleep under and burn my face.

This is the last weekend of the all-too-brief glory of the blossom trees for this year.

Enjoy these brief samples of the gardens’ massive spring panoply.

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