Sakura is what the Japanese called cherry blossoms.
When we planned to visit Tokyo at the end of March, we didn’t plan around being there for the cherry blossoms. I’ve been told that it is one of those things that you should experience, and many try to plan around it. So when the cherry blossoms came out while we were there, it was just an extra treat. A special experience to see how much the Japanese are into it, and just seeing the many gardens with the pale pink flowers on the trees.
We went to many beautiful parks and gardens while we were in Tokyo, and saw how more and more cherry blossoms where out as time passed. One day we where walking through Ueno Park, which was full of people. It was a week day, but still there were people everywhere sitting under the trees. Not just tourists, but Japanese people who looked like they had come from work and so on. It was like everyone had decided to have picnic under the trees to celebrate that the cherry blossoms where out (That evening we saw that the news said that the cherry blossoms was here, officially, and showed Ueno park).
We bought a can of soda and a beer from a vendor, and then a snack from another of the vendors in the park. It was almost like a chocolate covered waffle on a stick. Whatever it was called, it was tasty. As it was sakura season, there was so many special things you could get. Sakura turned out to be a flavour too. Sakura ice cream, and various sakura cakes.
Gardens and parks we visited:
Sankeien Gardens – we went there before the cherry blossoms had really come out properly, but that didn’t make the place any less beautiful. And from the pictures our guide showed us there, it is also spectacular during autumn. The garden was originally private, but was made open for the public. Our guide told us about a japanese word ‘Mottainai’, which means ‘not too waste anything’. The owner has taken this to him, as the garden has traditional buildings that has been transported to the garden and protected, rather than have been ruined.
Mitsuike Park – A bus trip and a little walk and we found our way into this park. With the sakura beginning and the sun out, it was lovely. Brought some sandwishes and sat down and ate, and we were not the only ones. However, this park seemed to be where locals came to walk and took the kids to play.
Ueno Park – We walked through Ueno park twice, the second time being the day it was ‘officially’ cherry blossom season (it was talked about in the news that the sakura was out, and showed pictures from different places including Ueno park).
Shinyuku Gyoen National Park – You have to pay a little fee, but it is worth it. We just wanted to go for a little walk, but it is rather big and we ended up spending more time than planned.