Hello Tokyo Part 2: Stop and Smell the Cherry Blossoms + Food

Stop and smell the cherry blossoms

because that’s exactly what i did on my second day in tokyo

Hanami 2018 in Shinjuku National Garden
Smelling the Cherry Blossoms in Shinjuku, Tokyo

What was suppose to be a quick stop in Shinjuku Gyo-en National Garden turned into hours of peaceful strolling, people watching, and photos

pink cherry blossoms in japan 2018
cherry blossoms close up

The 2018 Cherry Blossom season in Japan marked the beginning of spring

Cherry Blossom season, known as “Hanami” (flower viewing) in Japan, brought out people from all walks of life

It brought out locals, tourists, moms, dads, grandma, grandpa, businessmen, brides, grooms, instagram boyfriends…

You name it

Everyone and their mother was out enjoying the warm rays of sunshine

And everyone seemed to be partaking in the “Who can take the best selfie with cherry blossoms?” challenge

moms taking pictures in shinjuku garden cherry blossoms
moms taking selfies with cherry blossoms

People got creative with how they took their pictures

girl taking selfie in shinjuku park cherry blossoms
Girl taking a selfie with a phone stick

People got REALLY creative

photographer on the floor taking pictures
instagram boyfriend in shinjuku national garden

And people documented their love

wedding photos with cherry blossoms tokyo
bride taking photos with cherry blossoms

Here’s my selfie

selfie in shinjuku garden
my selfie with the cherry blossoms

It was awesome seeing how such a simple thing brought so many people together

Even stern Japanese businessmen in polished suits came out for the annual event to chill on the grass

people watching hanami 2018
japanese businessmen relaxing in shinjuku national garden

The grass was green

The flowers were in full bloom

Everyone was just SO damn happy

Pekkle, Vouy, Angus, and I naturally branched off from one another. We were all in our own little worlds with a camera on hand, each of us trying to capture the beauty of it all

green trees and shade in shinjuku national garden
Wandering around Shinjuku Gyo-en National Garden

At one point during my wandering, I stopped, sat down on a random patch of grass underneath the shade of cherry blossom trees, and watched the world go by…

shinjuku garden time lapse
Time-lapse credit: Pekkle Tran

Over 600 varieties of cherry trees exist

cherry blossom tree reflection shinjuku gyoen
reflection of cherry blossom tree

Each cherry tree differs based on the season the tree blooms, the shape of its flower petals, and the colors of the cherry blossoms

cherry trees in shinjuku garden 2018
four different cherry trees next to each other

I think each one of us found peace in Shinjuku Gyo-en National Park that day

hanami 2018 shinjuku
cherry blossom trees dotted the park
cherry blossom reflection photo japan 2018
cherry blossom branches over the pond in shinjuku garden

It was beautiful

skyline in shinjuku garden docomo tower
tokyo skyline overlooking water in shinjuku garden



After all that walking, Angus, Vouy, Pekkle, and I headed back into the city for some lunch

Hanami welcomed the beginning of spring in Japan and also some of the most delicious food on the entire planet

skewers and izakaya in shinjuku food hall
Izakaya + skewers + karaage

A must-do when in Tokyo

Go to Depachika, which are food halls on the very bottom of the department store

This one is called  Nihonbashi Takashimaya

Imagine stepping into the first floor of a Macy’s department store- but instead of necklaces, earrings, women’s shoes, and men’s blazers, you’ll find expansive and dizzying sections of food on food on food

tacos in shinjuku food hall
perfectly packaged pink taco with rice filling wrapped in leaves
sushi in food hall shinjuku department store
neatly wrapped sushi in a basket
desserts in shinjuku food hall

The Depachika was phenomenal. I stopped and smelled the food. I stopped and stared at the food.

The skewers, sushi, salad, fried chicken, noodles, tempura, expensive fruits, desserts, just everything was SO PERFECT AND PRECISE. The time and effort spent preparing the food was so meticulous, I was mind blown by the Japanese way. Which is why I definitely spent more time staring at the food than actually eating it…

And then after we finally ate our food, I took a sip of Pekkle’s Peach Coca-Cola to wash it all down


Cherry this, Cherry that

I could not seem to get away from Cherry

Of course, Cherry did not stop there

At the end of the day, we were all standing on the edge of the bridge, watching the breeze blow the pink petals onto Meguro River

lanterns along meguro river japan
sakura season lanterns

The sun set over the skyline and we awaited another day to stop

meguro river sakura 2018
meguro river at night during cherry blossom season

and smell the Cherry Blossoms



Stay tuned for the next blog -> Hello Tokyo Part 3: Ramen, Pablo, MORE FOOD, and Golden Gai


Leave a Reply

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