Tokyo in Pics


A photography blog about Tokyo, run by Australian photographer Rohan Gillett

Cherry Blossoms at Shinjuku Gyoen - 2018

I can’t remember the last time I missed hanami at Shinnjuku Gyoen.  Hanami there has so much going for it: 1) a large amount of cherry trees; 2) the trees are spread over most of the park; 3) some of the views are amazing, and most importantly; 4) it isn’t very far from my home!  So, on a very sunny but high PM warning day, off I went.  I had a great day there.

The NTT DOCOMO Building, near Yoyogi station, seen from Shinjuku Gyoen

The trees, I thought, were in very good condition.  My timing for Shinjuku Gyoen visits has been off for the last couple of years I think, but this year I got to see some really good blooms.

Lots of places to rest and enjoy the cherry blossoms in Shinjuku Gyoen

My favourite shots from this visit?  Most of the shots I liked were of the NTT DOCOMO building, which is located near Yoyogi station.  I love looking at it, as it soars above the trees.  And this year to catch it above the cherry blossoms was stunning.

A shot with the Fujifilm XF 55-200 with some nice bokeh in the background

This year I used the XF 55-200 too.  It was great to use it for closeups of the flowers in a macro fashion it is a very sharp lens and produces beautiful bokeh.  Considering its price, this lens is an absolute bargain when you consider the image quality it gives.  Hopefully one day I’ll be able to afford a real macro lens for flowers, but not yet.

There is lots of space to run around in Shinjuku Gyoen

As I look through my photos from Shinjuku Gyoen, I’m starting to think the haze was a godsend.  While the sky didn’t have the deep blue I was expecting, it did have a paleness to it which I found very attractive.  One day, to get perfect lighting, I’d love to be able to visit the park in “Golden Hour” (i.e. thirty minutes either side of sunrise or sunset) but as it opens at 9 pm and closes around 4:30 that might be difficult.  If anyone has good contacts at the park, please let me know!

One of the ponds at Shinjuku Gyoen with its cherry blossoms

If there is one thing I found a little annoying this year, it was some of the staff patrolling the grounds carrying signs that constantly reminded people that alcohol was forbidden.  I certainly don’t mind a drinking ban in the park, but as all bags are searched before entry I think the extra signage within the grounds wasn’t necessary.

I hope you enjoy the pictures and please feel free to leave any comments below. You can read a longer article about Shinjuku Gyoen here and you can see the park’s website here.