Tokyo has many famous cherry blossom spots, Chidorigafuchi in Kudanshita, Meguro River at Naka-Meguro, Sumida River in Asakusa. The Roppongi area, relatively new, has emerged as a location for blossoms with the arrival of Roppongi Hills and The Tokyo Midtown.
Chidorigafuchi is about beautiful light-up, Meguro is about romantic setup on the river side, the blossoms in Roppongi and Midtown contrast the office buildings which are the centre’s of financial activity of the city, a very materialistic backdrop actually. The upscale financial district really does not contrast well with the cultural beauty which has been about transience and simplicity.
In a Japanese world view Wabi-Sabi, aesthetics is centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. Philosophically, there are seven aesthetic principles for achieving Wabi-Sabi. Fukinsei: asymmetry, irregularity; Kanso: simplicity; Koko: basic, weathered; Shizen: without pretense, natural; Yugen: subtly profound grace, not obvious; Datsuzoku: unbounded by convention, free; Seijaku: tranquility.
Midtown Cherry blossoms looks pretty, somewhat bordering on pretense. Seem out of place in the financial district of Roppongi with the trees doing their best to look pretty, but end up feeling too modern unlike the aesthetic principle of Koko (basic and weathered)
Executives smoke, drink and dine on the right in the picture frame with cultural beauty of Sakura on the left. The voices that could be heard were more about discussing executive matters and office stuff and an occasional “beautiful flowers” comment.
There are things which we like about this spot too. Location being Central Tokyo it is closer to the Tokyo Tower too which is clearly visible and the blossoms, coupled with the illuminations at night and the tower backdrop is quite a beautiful attraction. You can see shutterbugs in large numbers at this location trying to snap this shot. We did not have a tripod so do not have a mind blowing snap, but believe you get the idea.
The crowds are not to the level of Chidorigafuchi or Sumida River and you can enjoy this spot and the experience is “did not get crushed in the crowds” types. There are neither stalls to eat around and put your mats around nearby the trees so do not count on cheap, fast food, but restaurants in the Midtown which can certainly burn a hole in your pocket. Take care. Even the Indian Restaurant Nirvana will set you back by 4000-5000 yen if you go for a dinner.
Now, every Hanami location has a spot which becomes the main focus which in case of Sumida River can be the new backdrop of Skytree, in case of Chidorigafuchi, the floating paddle boats and in case of Midtown is this below spot, an overbridge which overlooks the beautiful trees with Tokyo Taxi’s and other cars passing below. We took some traffic trails of the spot and they come out really beautiful. A MUST VISIT SPOT if you visit the Midtown for Cherry Blossoms.
The streets at night are an awesome for stroll and see the silence in the place just a few meters from the crowds at the back side of the Midtown Building.
All said and done Roppongi Tokyo Midtown is ia about the working upper class and white collar workplace, its a hanami for the brain not the heart and you can take many such snaps as the below. Lost in work and oblivious to the culture around.
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