Sakura trees have been spotted in various places around Tokyo, but the official blossom date is announced only when a special someiyoshino – a variety of cherry tree – at the Yasukuni Shrine comes into bloom. It is one of the government-designated benchmark cherry trees that sets the blossom date for each region. In addition to this benchmark, Yasukuni Shrine blesses its visitors with over 600 sakura trees. To make things even more interesting, the shrine holds a yearly sakura festival where most – if not all – professional sumo wrestlers are invited for a one-of-a-kind event. Moreover, in the main alley, you will find dozens of food stalls. You can have lunch there, and even dinner since those temporary restaurants stay open after the official closing of the shrine itself.
Pro Photo Tip
There are endless possible shots at Yasukuni Shrine at this time of the year making it hard to give one specific piece of shooting advice. However, the safest configuration would consist with the “Magical Duo” of a 24-70mm and 70-200mm, as well as bringing a bokeh-specific one such as a 85mm or 135mm. With such a configuration you will be well equipped to face almost every situation the shrine has to offer, from framing cherry blossoms to gargantuan sumo wrestlers. Finally, please note that this shrine has very strict policies when it comes to shooting photos and/or videos. Tripods are not allowed and in some areas taking photos and videos are strictly forbidden.
Station : Kudanshita (Hanzomon & Shinjuku Lines)
Entrance Fees : Free
Opening hours : 06:00 to 18:00
Download your FREE copy via one of the following links :Tokyo No Sakura eBook