photographer

A pop of color in a river of black and white outfits on crowded sidewalk

shigeki_kunashita_hanami

みんな白黒の服を着ているので、友達の青色の帽子が目立ちます。友達は「ハッセルブラッド」という古いフィルムカメラを持っています。

That’s my photographer friend Shigeki with the bright blue cap and the antique Hasselblad film camera. It was peak day for cherry blossoms at Kudanshita.

 

Matching camera and photographer camo raincoats

photographers_ogasawaramaru_ship

大きいカメラとカメラマンは同じカモフラージュのレインコートを着ています。

These guys were prepared for cold weather, and spent hours monitoring the sea for birds, dolphins, and whales.

Shinjuku Gyoen is gorgeous in spring. So many trees blooming!

ピークの季節の前にも、新宿御苑をカメラマンやノンビリ歩いている人が多いです。前景に黄色の花が咲かせているサンシュユという木があります。池の反対側はピンク色の桜があります。

Even on a weekday before peak cherry blossom season, Shinjuku Gyoen has plenty of photographers and people strolling around the trees. The yellow flowers in the foreground are sanshuyu, a Northeast Asian dogwood that produces cherries and is used in Chinese medicine. I like the documentation and how the pond connects the yellow and pink blossoms.

Cherry madness starts early in Shinjuku Gyoen

Today was a gloriously sunny day with a warm breeze, and I found myself in Shinjuku Gyoen. Plenty of young families sprawled out on the lawn, with small kids playing ball. There’s a glorious magnolia pair near the entrance, but already the senior citizen, photo hobbyists brought out the big equipment to take photos of the early cherry trees.

Did you know that Shinjuku Gyoen has twelve species of cherry? And that they bloom from late February into mid April? There’s a very educational chart. I believe the one above is Prunus x kanzakura (カンザクラ、寒桜). If so, it’s about one to two weeks behind the schedule.

Not sure if I will be brave enough to return to Shinjuku Gyoen during peak cherry season when literally millions of people fill the park. Here’s my favorite photo from last year’s cherry season: a salaryman perched precariously on the Imperial Palace moat’s rail to snap a photo with his cellphone.

What’s your favorite place for cherry blossom viewing? Famous spots or neighborhood spots? What’s the most unlikely place you’ve seen cherry madness?