Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Hanami 2013 - Kitanomaru Park and Shonan-daira

This year's early sakura season in Tokyo nears its end. Pink petals have begun to fall and carpet the paths and waterways, to be replaced by sprouting greenery. The following images are from Kitanomaru Park and its surroundings, beside the Imperial Palace.

Spot the culprit.

The Yasukuni shrine. Associated controversies will be dealt with in a post at a later date, if all goes to plan. 
A few days earlier, the sakura were well in bloom on the cold and windy hills of Shonan-daira, in south Kanagawa Prefecture. This is a pleasant hilltop in itself with (presumably) great views in all directions from its observation platforms. Credit to Pearly Wong for the photos.

Great views in all directions were once again obscured by this month's perpetual grey, but a clearer day should afford panoramas across Tokyo and Sagami Bay, along with most of southern Kanagawa.

Shonan-daira can be reached in around an hour from central Tokyo on the JR Tokaido Line. Our route began at Hiratsuka station, with the hills in plain view ahead from the main road. We came down on the west side, into Ōiso (one station further), past peaceful cottage scenery and Japanese tree surgery.

If you are in or near the Tokyo area, there may not be much time left to appreciate the sakura, so make the most of that which remains!

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