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

Plum Blossoms at Hanegi Park in 2019

Hanegi Park in Tokyo’s Setagya ward is usually a quiet place where most locals go to enjoy some quiet time, jog or take their dog for a walk.  In spring, the park becomes quiet colourful when its 650 plum blossom trees come into bloom. If you want to see one of the city’s flower festivals up close, this is a great place.  In 2019, Hanegi’s plum blossom festival runs until March 3.

When I visited the park, I was expecting the flowers to be at their very best, but with the less than warm weather Tokyo had been experiencing over recent weeks they were a little below optimal.  Still, they did look very good in the early morning with no clouds in the sky.

The only complaint I had was that I wasn’t able to see Mount Fuji.  Every year, on previous visits, the famous mountains could been seen on the horizon, snow-capped and very clear.  Unfortunately, in 2019 when I visited the horizon was quite hazy preventing it from being seen.

A local child-care centre showing their children the flowers

And for this visit, I actually felt a little lonely.  The park was fairly devoid of people. There were some, but they were mostly just quickly passing through, on their way to work via one of the local train stations, Higashi-Matsubara.  It wasn’t until about 9 am we saw the park fill up with people, who were mostly walking their dogs, a couple of photographers and a few joggers. Finally it did become a little crowded when one of the local childcare centres brought their kids down to see the flowers.

The only thing I didn’t do this time was visit the stalls.  They have a lot the typical foods you find at festivals like yakisoba, okonomiyaki and frankfurts.  They also sell a products made from plum blossoms but I didn’t have time to check them out as I had other things I needed to do during the day.  Just take my photos and run type of day.

This is the beginning of spring and we are in for a great time with so many flowers coming into bloom over the next few months.  Soon we’ll be seeing cherry blossoms, azaleas and hydrangeas. Until June at least, it will be an exciting time for flower lovers.

The good thing about Hanegi Park is that it is not far from Higashi-Matsubara station on the Keio-Inokashira line and Umegaoko on the Odakyu line.  From those two lines you have easy access to Shinjuku, Shibuya and Kichijoji which means that after a visit, you can visit a lot of other places in Tokyo.  

I wouldn’t recommend going to Hanegi Park in most seasons as there  isn’t anything to see. However, in very early spring its plum blossoms are just great.  If you want to see the official website, click here.

Gear used for these pictures:

Camera - Fujifilm X-T2

Lens - Fujifilm XF 10 - 24 mm f/4.0 R OIS

  Fujifilm XF 16 - 55 mm f2.8 R LM WR

  Fujifilm XF 55-200 mm f3.5-4.8 R LM OIS

   

Film Simulation - Velvia/Vivid