Posts Tagged ‘hanami’

Sugoi Sugoi! Spring Photo Contest!

Posted 13 Apr 2010 — by Andy in Tokyo
Category Events, Photography

Now then now then now then,

Did you get your fill of hanami/cherry blossom photos for this year? Think you’ve got some pretty decent shots, do you? Do You? DO YOU? Well, in that case you’re in luck.

The good people over at Japan-related blog Wide Island View are running their annual (I think. Could be seasonal. Who knows?) photo contest. Three lucky scrotes will get to pick from a selection of items from White Rabbit Press – Japan’s finest purveyor of kanjified goods for the linguistically challenged.

The contest ends on 15th May, so get yer skates on and start fooling about with those contrast/colour/minger sliders in Photoshop!

Click here for more details.

Shunbun no hi

Posted 18 Mar 2010 — by Andy in Tokyo
Category Events, Only in Japan, Photography, Tokyo, Weather

This coming Sunday is shunbun no hi, or Vernal Equinox Day. Traditionally, on this day Japanese people would visit their ancestral graves and hold family reunions. These days, however, they are more likely to visit Starbucks and hold rat-like Chihuahuas.

Shunbun no hi also marks the beginning of spring. It won’t be long before coats are consigned to the wardrobe and t-shirts once again become acceptable outdoor attire. Fantastic.


For all you avid cherry-blossom watchers out there, sakura trees in Tokyo are expected to flower from the 24th March, and should be in full bloom on around the 1st April. Probably the best place for hanami (lit. “flower watching”) in Tokyo is Shinjuku Gyoen, which is pictured above in its late summer guise. It’s a tranquil green oasis in an otherwise concrete-filled desert. Yoyogi and Ueno parks are also good bets, but whatever you do, don’t bother with Inokashira Park in Kichijoji – it’s absolutely rubbish, you’d hate it.

What’s the weather like in Tokyo?

Posted 17 Dec 2009 — by Andy in Tokyo
Category Tokyo, UK, Weather

Max and min temperatures in Tokyo and London

Spring (March, April and May)

The first half of spring is one of the rare times of year when the weather in Tokyo is comparable with London. The number of sunny days and average temperatures are about equal throughout March, though by the end of April Tokyo’s daytime highs are starting to reach into the high teens and low twenties.

Hanami usually hits Tokyo at the end of April and beginning of May (and thanks to global warming it’s getting earlier every year). The parks become packed with revellers even though it often rains buckets. Tokyo receives about three times as much rain as London during spring, but the high reliability of weather forecasts means that it’s easy to know when you’ll need a brolly.

Summer (June, July and August)

June through to July is the rainy season in Tokyo, though this is something of a misnomer as it can rain a lot more in September and October. Temperature-wise, June is usually very nice, the equivalent of a lovely summer’s day in London. July and August is when the humidity and heat can be intense: the middle two weeks of August usually sees highs in the mid thirties, so you’d be well advised to leg it to cooler climes.

Autumn (September, October and November)

September is often just as hot as August, though it can – and usually does – rain for days on end. Typhoons are especially common at this time of year but the chances of one hitting Tokyo full in the face are slim (ie, don’t worry about it). October and November are, on the whole, very pleasant. Expect lots of sunny, coat-free days, even up until the end of November.

Winter (December, January and February)

Tokyo’s minimum temperatures are lower than London’s during winter, and its highs are a couple of degrees higher. However, this doesn’t take into account sunshine and the wind-chill factor. Tokyo gets considerably more sunshine than London and doesn’t get battered by Siberian winds, so walking about during daytime is actually quite pleasant. The lack of cloud cover makes for nippy nights, though.

In terms of wet days per month London wins hands down. You can expect the majority of winter days in Tokyo to be rain-free. In addition, the air is very dry in the first two months of the year, which leads to an awful lot of static electricity.

Company entrance ceremonies and hanami

Posted 02 Apr 2007 — by Andy in Tokyo
Category Events, Personal, Photography, Tokyo, Work

æ�°å�¥ç¤¾å�¡ If there’s one thing the Japanese love, it’s ceremonies, and as Japan’s new financial and school year begins on the 1st of April, entrance ceremonies for new recruits were held in companies all across the country this morning. For me (and the three hundred other people in our office), this meant getting to work an hour earlier than usual, and watching the whole thing live via video-link from our company’s headquarters in Osaka.

Now, I’m sure for all those fresh-out-of-uni types this must have been a heart warming day to remember. But… I really cannot fathom why we had to watch it. I mean, they wouldn’t know whether we were watching it or not… but weird things like this happen all the time and you get used to it after a while. Radio taiso – that’s the morning exercise routines – freaked me out for the first few days of work. I thought that had all gone out of fashion years ago, but no, a fair percentage of our staff still go through the whole routine of bouncing around to bizarre nursery-rhyme music for five minutes. I tried it once, and felt like a complete tool. Needless to say I didn’t try it again.

The People Magnet In other news, the cherry blossom has already… well… blossomed here in Tokyo. We went to the park yesterday to check it out, and it appeared the entire population of west Tokyo had decided to exactly the same thing. It was ridiculous, you literally couldn’t move for groups of shit-faced students singing and old fogies taking photographs with enormous cameras. The weather was fantastic also (above 20 degrees Celsius), which only helped increase the crowds by a further twenty percent. We sacked the whole thing off and went shopping after about fifteen minutes.

My word… I really shouldn’t write on here after working eleven hour days ever again, it’s far too depressing…