February end – March first week, the moment when the winter slowly starts to subside making way for the spring to take over. The cold winds from north are still keeping things chilly but I witnessed pockets of spring blossoms on the weekend when I went for a stroll around the Tokyo Tower area and the Shiba Koen (Park). The plums are the nano-hana (rapeseed flowers) were in bloom already and thought to share the story.
As I walked from Hamamatsucho Station, I stopped by the Family Mart convenience store just outside the Zojoji Temple to take this reflection snap of the Tower and Temple in the glass wall of the shop… Nice huh?Walking towards the Shiba Koen Gardens, I stopped by for any sight of blossoms, but most trees wore a dull look and not even buds to look at for the Cherry Blossom season which is at least three weeks away.
Walking through the gate, I climbed up the stairs and to my surprise the plum blossoms there along with a few cherry trees too were in blossom! Beautiful pink all around with the Tokyo Tower in the backdrop.But more surprise was awaiting me as the spring showed me that pink is not the only dominant color and the nano-hana, rapeseed yellow flowers were also in full glory at the Shiba Park. Shiba Park although is well known for the plum blossoms has other varities of flowers around too and it was a pleasant sight. The yellow flower contrast with the blue sky was very refreshing…
A similar shot with the Tokyo Tower contrasted with the pink flowersThere are over 70 pink and white plum trees at Shiba Park, in the shadow of Tokyo Tower. It is said that they were transplanted from Shinjuku’s Tsunohazu in the early 1900s. Personally, its so awesome to have this park in the center of a sprawling city, surrounded by delicate white and pink flowers and and awesome modern construction of Tokyo Tower to contrast it.
Beautiful Tokyo Tower contrast with white plum blossoms all around it as taken from the Shiba Koen (park). Shiba Park is Japan’s oldest public park, being the first to be officially designated as a park in 1873, only five years after the beginning of Japan’s modernization in 1868. There is a shrine in the park called as Shiba Toshogu Shrine. This shrine is an important cultural asset as it is closely related to the Edo period shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu who is enshrined here The shrine is now a family burial temple for the Tokugawa shoguns.With the political association of the shrine, and with the separation of church and state after the Second World War, the Zojoji temple was detached from this shrine. Shiba Toshogu Shrine, is known for an ancient gingko tree near the entrance, which is listed as a National Treasure, but for the season it is the deep pink flowers which will catch your attention.March is in and flowers are out. Both the plums and the rapeseed blossoms will stay until the second week of March after which the main cherry blossom season will take over.
Going back to Hamamtsucho, for a split second I thought that the Tokyo Tower was playing hide a seek with me, same as the spring is when every other day it feels warm and again gets cold and chilly… Ahhhhh SPRING AWAITED…..