Top 100 : Cherry blossom illuminations at Inokashira Park in Kichijoji

I have known of Inokashira Park on the west side of Tokyo and had visited this place a couple of times in autumn for beautiful color season. Had never been here in spring and it was a discovery that Inokashira Park is one of the top 100 famous cherry blossom spots in Japan! Went over one evening on a weekday and understood why…!  Cherry trees arching over walk ways around a long, narrow lake and brilliant reflections in the water…. amazing reflections….
KichijojiInokashira Park for me implies the Inokashira Benzaiten, a beautiful temple of the goddess Benzaiten or Saraswati from India. The word “sarasvati”means a “holy river” and the root word “saras” means “flow”. With this background, Benzaiten statues in Japan are often located near the waterside and the Inokashira Benzaiten also stands in the center of its large pond. The cherry blossoms around the temple, I took the below snap to capture the ambience of the temple in the night. It is a 20 second shot in pitch dark, so kindly note that a regular smartphone will lead to dark photographs (atleast with smartphones of 2016)Kichijoji Cherry Blossom IlluminationsWent to the Benzaiten Temple to take a closer look and took this snap. As the shutter snapped two Japanese girls exclaimed “sugoi shashin” or “nice snap!!” and got into a chat for five minutes telling them how to take that kind of a snap. They had the Canon EOS Kiss and I took them to manual setting and they too were able to take a snap similar to this and their reaction was like “OHH WE NEVER KNEW OUR CAMERA CAN DO THAT!”. Good to share this information in the temple vicinity of Saraswati, the goddesses of knowledge and intellect.Kichijoji Cherry Blossom IlluminationsThe below is the famous painting by Utagawa Hiroshima of Inokashira Benzaiten, in the 18th century, of the Inokashira Benzaiten shrine covered with Snow. So much has changed in and around the Kichijoji area….Hiroshima Utagawa Inokashira BenzaitenMoved on ahead and noticed a cherry tree standing in isolation but brilliantly reflecting in the pond near it. Caught the reflection, but the bushes around were making it a bit to get a clear focus. Nevertheless the park is a beautiful location to take snaps of cherry blossom reflections due to the large pond…Kichijoji Cherry Blossom IlluminationsWhat I love about Japan is the “salary man”. He is with a coat, tie, formal shoes all in office gear on a weekday. Post the office hours he gets into his actual self and images like the one below, a salaryman with his creative self are the most impressive parts of Japan. He is still in his formal dress up, and obviously on his way back from office, but just catching up on his creative side with the violin….
Kichijoji Cherry Blossom IlluminationsI went to the main side of the cherry blossom pond where although the image looks serene, the pond was surrounded by many people who had come out in large numbers, seated around the trees and enjoying the “hanami” or flower watching time in the evening. Parties in the park are allowed until 10:00 p.m. in the evening.KichijojiTRAIN DIRECTIONS: Take the Chuo Line from Tokyo Station and get off at Kichijoji. Exit through the Inokashira Park Exit and in less than a minute, you will come upon Inokashira-Dori, dominated by the department store Marui (OIOI). Take the road to the right of the store into the park. Check the google map link here

Other than the Chidorigafuchi cherry blossoms, this location is no doubt a must visit on any person interested in seeing some stunning cherry blossom illuminations in Tokyo.Kichijoji Cherry Blossom IlluminationsSome trivia related to the Inokashira Park…

  • Inokashira Park (井の頭恩賜公園) and Inokashira lake were established during the Edo period and became one of the main water sources for Tokyo.  The park was opened to the public in 1913 as a gift from the Emperor to the people of Japan.
  • There are beautiful paddle boats in the pond at Inokashira Park. I was told once that if a couple takes a ride of one of these boats, the couple will soon break up!  I was cool, but my wife was so dead against getting on that boat with me… ha ha ha…

Kichijoji Cherry Blossom Illuminations

Leave Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading Facebook Comments ...
%d bloggers like this: