PHOTOS | Cherry blossom (sakura) in Kyoto and Tokyo, Japan


Spring has (almost) sprung and in Japan that means cherry blossom. The Land of the Rising Sun is known for it. It’s obviously high season there.

I always wanted to go to Japan. I grew up with Japanese anime on French television such ‘Saint Seiya‘ (‘Les Chevaliers du Zodiaque‘), ‘Dragon Ball‘, ‘Nicky Larson‘ and ‘Maison Ikkoku‘ (‘Juliette, je t’aime‘). I watched that last one because my sister loved it. In the early 90s it was okay to be into boyish things as a boy and not like girly activities or shows. We didn’t think much (wrong) of it.


Cherry blossom or sakura is always a feature in anime. It’s so Japanese, it’s so romantic.

I almost went in 2011. But my mother pleaded not to go, as in March of that year something happened at Fukushima. A good boy as I am, I complied.

But in 2013 I did go. If memory serves me well it was my sister who proposed to me to accompany her and her family to go to Japan. I couldn’t say no.

We didn’t stay long. I flew to Tokyo International Airport (Haneda, HND) on 21 March 2013 and flew back on 1 April.

Tokyo and Kyoto

We did Tokyo, Hakone and Kyoto. Next to enjoying onsen, we got very lucky to arrive just in the highpoint of sakura. Usually the cherry blossom time is a bit later, but nature was kind to us.

It’s no surprise then I made many photos of the Prunus serrulata in bloom.

This is just a selection. The photos of Kyoto are made in the streets connecting the famous temples such Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavillion), Kiyomizu-dera, Ryoan-ji (Temple of the Peaceful Dragon), Nanzen-ji, Tō-ji, Myōshin-ji and Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavillion).

The photos of Tokyo are mostly made in parks, such as Ueno Park, the Imperial Palace East Garden and Hama Rikyu.

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