Sakura simply means cherry blossom. It happens once a year around late March to early April depending on the area. You need to check the map of Japan for Sakura blooming times on websites around this time of year.
The beautiful cherry trees produce white flowers with a very pale pink undertone. And they are stunning. It is quite a spectacle to see these trees blossom especially at very famous areas including the most famous in Tokyo named CHIDORIGAFUCHI. If you google this, you will get a lot of info.
While I am here to tell you how beautiful Sakura is and happy to give you the main place, there is also a dark side to this…. can you guess??? PEOPLE!!!
On TV or broachers, they will show you stunning pictures of Sakura and lure you into visiting these places, unfortunately it’s not just you going there. In fact, so many people go at the same time it’s hell. Everyone pushing, shoving, leaning on your shoulders to take a “photo” with their iPhone and Instagram it. Signs IN ENGLISH saying do not touch the Sakura, meanwhile Japanese people are pulling it down for their instant gratification and nothing is said. Gaijin pull it and WOW you would think we killed someone.
So, while CHIDORIGAFUCHI is the main place, there are a lot of other amazing places to see Sakura. Take these photos for example. These were taken at Chofu, which is on the Keio line around 20ish minutes from Tokyo.
Now we get to the “party excuse” Japanese love to sit under Sakura trees and have a picnic as such. This is all well and nice and I do it myself. Unfortunately, a lot of people use it as an excuse to get SO DRUNK and lose control of themselves which results in police everywhere, rubbish dumped everywhere and generally very bad behaviour. Don’t be surprised to see this.
The blue cover on the floor is basically “I reserved here” Which is insane and highly annoying because they say you must remove it if unattended or it will be disposed. ABSOLUTE RUBBISH… you will see in the photos below that they camp there all night to lay it down and then leave for work and is it disposed? NOPE or the mile-long sheet, can you see anyone? This is because companies will pay a bit of under the table money to have it over looked. So do not think you can sit at these blue sheeted areas, you cannot!
What I will tell you is this, you do not need to go to these “famous places” to get stunning photos of sakura. Do not make the mistake of sticking your phone as close as humanly possible to the flower, it is as interesting as watching paint dry. Try and get different angles, even B&W and use the crowds to your advantage. Below are a few of my photos as an example.