A couple of weeks ago I started to think about where I would go to enjoy cherry blossoms. A couple of years ago, someone recommended Yanaka cemetery (I have done a couple of posts about Yanaka previously which can be found here and here). They said it was the perfect place. Peaceful and quiet and not crowded at all. I mean, it's a cemetery so it is spared the drunken frivolity that other places like Ueno Park and Yoyogi Park must endure. So, Yanaka cemetery it was!
Coming out of the North exit of Nippori station, Yanaka cemetery is less than a one minute walk away (you can also access it from the south exit). Up a few steps and I was immediately immersed in clouds of white!
Unfortunately it was a cloudy day, so I couldn't get the brilliant contrast that the pinky white of the cherry blossoms provide against a sky blue backdrop. But it was still pretty good! I won't do a whole lot of talking now, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.
It's just like winter time all over again!
If you arrive earlier than I did (4pm) make sure you drop in to have a look at Tennoji Temple. The gardens are superb! Unfortunately it was closed when I was there....... However, by following the first link at the top of the page for the previous posts on Yanaka, you can see it in all it's glory!
Oh well, back to the flowers!
It was now half time in my own little cherry blossom party so I wandered over to nearby Yanaka Ginza shopping street.
I stopped at this shop to get some menchi katsu (crumbed and deep fried hamburger pattie) and some yakitori.
Unfortunately you only get a side on view of the shop because they have signs up all saying "No Photographs" I guess they must be pretty famous...... It was about 1/3 of the way along the street on the left (the menchi katsu was pretty good too).
A little further down towards the end of the street, on the right is a liquor strore where you can buy plastic cups of beer or sake and sit down outside on some plastic crates and watch the world go by.
It was a wonderfully relaxing hour of dogs, kids, beer and menchi katsu. The one thing I noticed was that as people walked past, they would stop and talk to the shop owners, the other customers sitting down enjoying a drink and the dogs too. It was a really delightful time and I felt privileged to be able to witness a wonderful close community moment in the middle of what is one of the largest cities in the world.
Night was falling, however, and that meant it was time to head back to the cemetery. Yes, that's right..........head back into the cemetery after nightfall. No ghostly ninja or samurai was going to keep me away from getting a night view of the cherry blossoms in the park, so back in I went.......
And then I stumbled across this.......
"Wow, is it really that time already? It is surely dinner time......." I thought as I beat a hasty retreat back out of the cemetery keeping 2 watchful eyes wide open!!
Well, that's it for another post. I truly recommend, that if you live in Tokyo, or happen to be visiting Tokyo during cherry blossom season, you pay a visit to Yanaka cemetery and nearby Yanaka Ginza. It is well worth a visit. And if you can get there in the next couple of days, you can catch the cherry blossoms while they are still around this year. I'm already looking forward to next year! Where should I go next........
Thank you all for reading. Noel, I really hope you enjoyed this one! Please leave a message below, I enjoy hearing from people who read. Until next time, see ya!