Day 1: Chidorigafuchi & Shinjuku Park (Tokyo) - Travels Blogs

Day 1: Chidorigafuchi & Shinjuku Park (Tokyo)



Sunday 9 April 2017

Continues from JT7: Flight and Tokyo

Today! At long last!

I will be able to see sakura (cherry blossoms) for the first time!

I woke up at around 8am, and after getting ready, joined my lovely AirBnB hosts for breakfast, which was delicious!

After breakfast I checked out, walked to the station and on the way I saw my very first cherry blossoms!!

The tree was just part of a school, and some of the petals had already fallen but it was really cool to see!

From the station I caught a train back into the city of Tokyo from the suburbs of Nerima

My next AirBnB is actually on the same Seibu train line, which runs west out of Ikebukuro station, however I decided to leave my luggage at Ikebukuro instead of further out as it's a much bigger station and has more lockers.

This didn't go as well as I had hoped.

While I managed to find an empty locker soon enough, when it came time to leave I couldn't find it again!

I had even taken multiple photos so I knew where it was, but I couldn't work out where I was in the station most of the time.

The main issues were that there were not that many station maps, some of the maps didn't cover the area my locker was in, and it didn't take long after walking away from a map for me to get lost again.

It took me around 40 minutes!

But, I'm getting ahead of myself.

From Ikebukuro I caught a train down to Kudanshita station which is not too far from Yasukuni Shrine and Chidorigafuchi.
Yasukuni Shrine enshrines the Japanese war dead, but is also home to around 1000 sakura trees and is a noted cherry blossom spot.

Today was a pretty rainy day which wasn't fantastic but did at least help keep the crowds away and also added to the ambience in some areas.

The cherry blossoms were really amazing!

To be honest I had pretty high expectations after all these years and I'm happy to say that I was very impressed!

I've seen flowers blooming on trees before, jacarandas for example, but the cherry blossoms are really something else.

They seem to just be popping like bundles of popcorn all over the tree and the small, delicate, ephemeral petals contrast nicely with the big, strong and old trunks and branches. The fact that there are just flowers with minimal green leaves also adds to the charm.

After walking around the grounds of Yasukuni shrine I made my way down to Chidorigafuchi.

Chidorigafuchi is a moat on the north-western outskirts of the Imperial Palace. Along the edges of the moat there are hundreds of cherry blossom trees and is regarded as one of Tokyo's best cherry blossom spots.

At night, during late March and early April (ending on the 6 April in 2017) there are illuminations and I was planning on visiting during this time, however thanks to my cancelled flight it was not to be.

When I arrived at Chidorigafuchi I got a message from last night's AirBnB host asking if I wanted to joi...
Source: Trip to Japan
URL: http://microseism.blogspot.com

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