THE SAKURA ARE COMING, TOKYO

Last year due to a late cold snap the traditional plum and sakura seasons were shorter and a little different on their timing. We happened to miss the best flowering as we were away on holiday. Hopefully the same will not happen this year.

The weather in Tokyo remains cold, but the trees have begun to flower – in this case the plum blossoms. Config: Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 28-300mm f/3.5 USM.

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On Saturday I walked through Arisugawa park, a hidden treasure of Tokyo. The green was starting to peak through. The families were out, enjoying the sun.

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I will not miss the blooms this year!

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GETTING OUT TO SEE THE SAKURA, TOKYO

This has been an odd winter. A couple weeks of warm weather meant that the trees began to blossom 2 weeks early. With our family heading to Bali for March break, we were essentially missing the season.

Plus the temperature has dropped again. But we did get out on Sunday to Yoyogi park in an attempt to see the blossoms before they are gone. Sure enough, the park was filled with young revellers enjoying a picnic and drink below the blossoms. A lot of revellers. A lot of drink. Shooting Canon 5D Mark III with my 28-70mm f/2.8.

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They all looked cold. 🙂 I found the lighting difficult to shoot – it was so grey and gloomy.

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Many were in unique outfits, which candidly, is not that unique in Tokyo .. and no longer very surprising. I liked the zombie theme.

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This is much more traditional Japanese.

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OK, this fellow was a little surprising.

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These folks actually had a sign up that said “No photographs” in English. Sure, go out in public dressed like that at Yoyogi Park and demand no photographs .. isn’t going to happen. People were lined up.

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Oh, almost forgot, the blossoms ….

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As it is the end of the season, they fall and make a beautiful pink carpet.

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I wish they were around a little longer. It was grey, overcast and 9C.

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Beautiful. Thanks for dropping by.

FUJI-SAN, WHERE ARE YOU?

Mount Fuji continues to elude me. Bring my camera, clouds role in. Don’t bring my camera .. clear as a bell. On this day I thought that Tokyo could double for Gotham city.

Shooting with my Canon 5D Mark III and Canon 28-70mm f/2.8. A mix of handheld HDRs and RAW.

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The weather has been odd in Tokyo. I am told it was an extra cold winter, but that it is also warm earlier. This means the trees are blooming weeks earlier. As I walked home with the wind blowing, I clicked off a few pictures.

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A school yard.

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Walking a dark path. Not scary in Tokyo.

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Trees in bloom.

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Beautiful time in Tokyo.

WHICH OF THE 3?

A fantastic photographer has been coaching me on shots. He is one of those “I picked up a hobby and there is no halfway” personalities.

Part of that is framing the shot. Here are 3 of the same shot at different crops. A cherry blossom on an old roof. I like 1 and 3. I just can’t decide which I like best? Although number 2 shows the roof top. In the end .. went with number 1.

Opinions appreciated on which way you would go?

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Configuration: Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 28-70mm f/2.8.

HAPPOEN GARDEN, TOKYO

Last week I was at a meeting at the Happoen Garden. The conference center and gardens are beautiful. All of the trees are not in bloom yet, but they are started. Definitely on my Fall visit list.

Today’s configuration: Canon 5D Mark III, handheld HDRs, Canon EF 28-70mm f/2.8.

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A beautiful open space right in the middle of Tokyo.

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The cherry blossoms are beautiful.

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I stood outside at lunch and took a conference call, snapping off a few shots as I listened.

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Of course, a beautiful little shrine is tucked into the garden.

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I am going to have to take the family back there.