Big cherry blossom tree Rikugien garden

Japan: Rikugien garden’s weeping cherry blossom tree

Date: 30th March 2015

The last time I tried to visit Rikugien garden, I was too late. They weren’t allowing anymore people to queue up. This time I arrived earlier, got off at Komagome Station and rushed towards the entrance. Luckily, the lines were still open.

Line to get inside Rikugien Tokyo
But the line was long — both in front of me and behind me
Sakura tree at night Tokyo city
In the mean time, I had a sakura tree across the road to look at

It took me nearly 20 minutes to get inside. There was an entry fee of 300 yen but I was happy to finally get in this time.

Rikugien garden sakura Tokyo
These are the dates for the special viewing of the famous ‘Weeping Sakura Tree’
Inside Rikugien garden at night Tokyo
It was pitch dark with only a few lights illuminating a few trees
Trees at night Rikugien Tokyo
I had my tripod with me

Rikugi-en means “Garden of the Six Principles of Poetry” — which comes from the idea of the six elements in waka poetry, while ‘en’ (as in gyuen) means garden.

Rikugien garden benches Tokyo
Rikugien is a bigger garden but I could not see anything else in this darkness
Rikugien old sakura tree Tokyo
But practically everyone was here to see the famous weeping cherry tree (taken on my mobile)
Weeping cherry tree Rikugien garden Tokyo
So I setup my tripod and began taking photos of this 50+ year old tree
Sakura flowers weeping cherry tree Rikugien
It wasn’t easy to shoot given the lighting conditions and all the people in front of the tree but I did my best
Weeping cherry blossom tree Japan
I took many shots. I am just sharing the ones that came out well and without ant blur.
Weeping cherry tree at night Tokyo
Barely 30 minutes in and the guards were now making the announcement that the garden was closing and asked everyone to leave
Big cherry blossom tree Rikugien garden
I was among the few cameramen (and women) who were waiting for everyone to clear in front of us
Exiting Rikugien garden Tokyo night
We couldn’t linger around any longer. All of us were asked to pack up our tripods and leave the garden.
Outside Rikugien garden Tokyo Japan
And that was my Rikugien visit
Tokyo night road streetlight
It was time to head back to my hostel

Was it worth coming all the way here for just a tree? I don’t know, but the size of tree is pretty impressive. Since my Japan trip was planned to make the most of sakura season, this visit to Rikugien was just another spot in Tokyo to view cherry blossoms. After all, it’s for a limited period only.

Back at the hostel, I had a quick dinner and freshened up. I had to wake up early tomorrow. It was my last full day in Japan, and I was lucky enough to buy a Hakone pass from a fellow hostel guest who purchased the 2-day Hakone Pass and only used it for a day. I bought it off her for just 1000 yen, so I saved a few thousand yen myself! With this pass, I could use the Hakone buses, trains, cable car, and the sightseeing cruise any number of times. Super convenient! At Hakone I would also get to experience a natural onsen — another first for me. All that in the next two posts.

Next post in this series:

Japan 2015: Getting to Hakone; Lake Ashi sightseeing cruise

Japan 2015: Hakone ropeway; onsen at Hotel Green Plaza

Japan 2015: Ōwakudani sulphur springs, views of Mt. Fuji — and last night in Tokyo

Japan 2015: Getting to Narita Airport — and flying an Airbus A380 for the first time

Previous posts in this series:

Japan 2015: Cherry blossoms in full bloom at Ueno Park

Japan 2015: Visiting Akihabara a second time, because why not?

Japan 2015: Harajuku at night — Takeshita Street

Japan 2015: Harajuku on a Sunday – Meiji shrine and Yoyogi Park

Japan 2015: Cherry blossom sightings at Shinjuku Gyoen

Japan 2015: Boat ride to Odaiba; giant Gundam statue at DiverCity Mall

Japan 2015: Cherry blossom celebrations by Sumida River

Japan 2015: Denboin garden, near Sensoji Temple

Japan 2015: Shopping in Shinjuku, and exploring Kabukicho

Japan 2015: Nishi-Shinjuku — views from Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building sky deck

Japan 2015: Shibuya – the busiest crossing in the world, and home to a loyal dog

Japan 2015: Ueno Zoo – pandas, a lonely polar bear, and more

Japan 2015: Nakamise street, Senso-ji temple, and Ueno Park sakura at half-bloom

Japan 2015: Nadagiku Shuzo Sake Brewery, leaving Himeji for Tokyo — and my last bullet train ride

Japan 2015: Himeji Castle, and the unexpected air show

Japan 2015: Kyoto Station, and arriving at Himeji by shinkansen

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Monkey Park in Arashiyama

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Bamboo Forest in Arashiyama

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Gion Corner Cultural Show

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Kinkaku-ji and Kiyomizu Dera temple

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Fushimi Inari-taisha, and climbing to the mountain top

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Nishiki market and Teramachi

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Nishi & Higashi Honganji, Shijo street, and Gion

Japan 2015: Riding a bullet train for the first time, Tokyo to Kyoto

Japan 2015: Walking around Akihabara and Ginza

Japan 2015: Going to Akihabara, and spending way too much time in Yodobashi Akiba

Japan 2015: Landing in Tokyo… and using a communal bath for the first time

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