Ueno Koen (The Sakura Guide)

The Spot

Ueno Koen is everything that you can expect from Japan: crazy and magnificent at the same time! Boasting over a 1,000 sakura trees and a pond, it is Tokyo’s most famous destination for hanami. Do not expect it to be calm and serene as the park hosts some of the largest hanami parties you can find in Tokyo. If your dream is to shoot pictures of Japanese people having fun, Ueno Park is definitely the place for you! Ueno Park is also home to an early blooming variety of Sakura trees that are often the first to bloom in Tokyo. Beware though, the location is so famous for hanami that it is often overcrowded, so arrive early in the morning if peace is what you are looking for. Improvisation will not work there and a hanami picnic will require booking a spot. Note that various events also take place during the hanami season such as geisha make-up workshops, shows and musical performances.

Pro Photo Tip

Ueno Koen offers various photo opportunities, but so different that you may easily face situations forcing you to change your focal length very quickly, skipping from wide-angle to long telephoto. The best solution would be to carry one long zoom (such as a 18-200mm for instance), or two high-end lenses covering the whole range, our weapons of choice being the 24-70mm and the 70-200mm or 100-400mm. The park is so crowded during the hanami season that using longer telephoto lenses (300mm and beyond), or very fast lenses (f/2.8 for the zoom lenses) can help create a nice bokeh as well as perfectly isolating your subject in this very dense environment. Remember that using a small aperture may result in messy shots in which the subject literally drowns in the crowd.

Access Info

Station : Ueno (JR Line)
Entrance Fees : Free
Opening hours : 05:00 – 23:00

Download your FREE copy via one of the following links :Tokyo No Sakura eBook


Ueno Koen (The Sakura Guide)

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About The Author
- Serial Entrepreneur, 2008 Power50 Award Winner, I am now dedicating my time and energy in promoting a country that has been mine since 2002 : JAPAN!