March 26, 2013

An Early Sakura Moment at Shinjuku Gyoen

Shinjuku Gyoen, one of Tokyo's most popular gardens. I visited about a week ago, when the majority of cherry blossoms were not yet in bloom. This is generally seen as a minus, but the plus side was that I was able to see trees that are often overlooked in the pursuit of finding the best day to view the sakura.

But then again, aside from a magnificent magnolia tree, it simply meant that I was able to see a different type of cherry blossom, instead of the standard somei yoshino (Yoshino cherry). Notice how these trees are pink, instead of the more pervasive white somei yoshino flowers.

The petals were surprisingly veiny.

Having visited the park only once or so before, I realized for the first time how vast Shinjuku Gyoen is. That said, it is about one-sixth the size of Central Park.

Branches so long, they look like trees stuck horizontally onto another tree.

It was virtually impossible to get a shot of a flowering tree that did not have a person with a camera standing in front of it.

This type of cherry blossom is called kanhizakura. The kanji for kan has the meaning of "cold", which I guess refers to the fact that it can bloom at relatively colder temperatures than other sakura.

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