One of the most popular times of the year in Japan is the cherry blossom season. Many people have seen it on pictures and the telly, but nothing quite compares to being around for the two weeks a year (give or take) where the blossoms are in full bloom. Man points soaring through the roof with that last statement.
There are a few popular places in Tokyo to view the cherry blossoms, although with me being all hipster and that I actually prefer the less crowded places. For example, the above picture was just taken on my walk to the station last year whilst living in Oizumi Gakuen.
As I woke up on Sunday morning with the unfamiliar feeling of a clear head, I decided to head into the city – Nakameguro more specifically – to check out one of the more popular viewing spots. The fact that there’s a place there called The Breakfast Club where you can actually get a proper cooked breakfast didn’t swing my decision at all. Nope, not one bit.
I’ve recently been trying out a few different lenses and styles of photography and to be perfectly honest I still haven’t got the slightest clue what I’m doing. Well, I actually do know how to do those fancy pictures with the blurry background now and even know the word for that which I think means I’m now a fully-fledged photographer.
It’s ‘bokeh’, just in case you think I’m bluffing.
I was quickly reminded of why I very rarely venture out of the house on Sunday apart from to get breakfast and on occasion go to the gym. As a matter of fact, the crowds were so ridiculous I actually vowed that I would be hungover on every Sunday between now and the time I leave Tokyo just so I avoid the temptation to go into the city.
What these crowds did give me however was the chance to practice a little street photography which, as far as I can tell, is all about just being a bit ballsy and not worrying about people knowing you’re taking their photo.
I actually have more photos than anyone probably should have of policemen/security guards and indeed if my camera was ever confiscated I’m pretty sure people would either think I’m planning something against the authorities or I have a fetish for men in uniform. In case anyone powerful is reading (and why wouldn’t they be?): neither is the case.
Getting a little stressed after a few hours in the crowd I decided to do what any sensible person would do and go to Yoyogi park on what would probably be the busiest day of the year so far. Sakura season brings about ‘hanami’ parties which, as far as I can tell, is Japanese for ‘let’s get pissed in the park while pretending to admire the cherry blossoms’. Suits me.
After eventually making it through the bottleneck of people I caught the last few hours of the hanami which was rounded off nicely with an Oasis singalong (you can take the boys out of the north) and even a few of us dancing with some local Hare Krishnas on the way out.
All in a day’s work.