Tokyo in Pics


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

Wisteria at Kameido Tenjin - 2018

There are times when you just can’t win in photography.  No matter how hard you try, it is impossible to get exactly what you want.  And so was the case with photographing the wisteria at Kameido Tenjin shrine near Kinshicho station in Tokyo.  The problem was the timing, once again due to the warm weather the city has been experiencing this year.  Such is life!

As you can see this was the only trellis at Kameido Tenjin that had a decent amount of wisteria on it. Everywhere else was green

The shrine’s Wisteria Festival, which runs from April 15 to May 6 is only halfway through, but for all intents and purposes, is over.  Most of the flowers are gone.  The unseasonably warm weather had caused them to bloom extremely early caught many people, including me, unprepared.

Concentrating intensely to get that perfect picture

I knew I should have gone a week earlier, but as I can only shoot once a week I had to choose between them and the azaleas at Nezu shrine.  I chose the azaleas as I thought I might still have a good chance with the wisteria later.  Unfortunately, my plan didn’t work out.  I really wish I could have gone a week ago, but as I need to work too, I had to make a hard choice.

Torii and flowers

So, even though I had an inkling that Kameido Tenjin’s wisteria wouldn’t be looking very good, it was still a little shocking when I finally walked onto the grounds of the shrine.  Seriously, it was mostly green, very little purple.  Only one section of the trellises had wisteria on it.  Everywhere else was almost completely devoid of the plants.

Looking past the wisteria to the main hall of Kameido Tenjin

Still, what was there in that one section looked surprisingly good.  While the flowers weren’t at their best they were still good enough for a few photographs.  So rather than give into defeat and go home, I worked with what I had and ended up with, what I think are, some reasonable pictures.

Pretty in purple

In the end, I think, it was another lesson in photography.  No matter what the situation, it is important to work with what you have, to get something you want.

Anyway, if you are in Tokyo and thinking about going to the Wisteria Festival at Kameido Tenjin, it might be a good idea to rethink your plans as there will be even less to see from now on.  But if you are a hardcore wisteria fan, you could still see something there.  If you would like to see the shrine's (Japanese) website you can see it here.