Japan (Part 1) Introduction- A Babymoon…….Sakura Style!?
Japan (Part 2) Japan Airlines First Class Chicago O’Hare to Tokyo Narita
Japan (Part 3) St. Regis Osaka
Japan (Part 4) Around Kyoto
Japan (Part 5) Around Nara
Japan (Part 6) Andaz Tokyo
Japan (Part 7) Around Tokyo
Japan (Part 8) Conrad Tokyo
Japan (Part 9) Fujigoko Sakura viewing (Beautiful full bloom cherry blossoms)
Japan (Part 10) Westin Tokyo
Japan (Part 11) Japan Airlines First Class Lounge
Japan (Part 12) Japan Airlines First Class Tokyo Narita to Chicago O’Hare
Fujigoko Sakura viewing
Note: This post went live earlier than planned as WordPress published it without me hitting the publish button. I have updated 5/17 to add content and some captions.
(Please remember any and all pictures on the blog can be clicked on to get a large full resolution image for added detail)
I woke up early one morning and for the first time in 3-4 days I felt good! I could breathe decent and had some energy. I checked the sakura forecasts and saw that the Fujigoko area was in full bloom. I really wanted to check this area out prior to our trip and wasn’t sure if it was going to happen. I plotted the trip on Google Maps on my phone and did a bunch of screen captures so we wouldn’t get lost. I woke my wife up around 4am and told her that I wanted to catch the first train out to see the cherry blossoms around Mt. Fuji. The forecasted journey was to be about 2 hours and 45 minutes via subway and train. We caught the fist train from Shinagawa Station and it was scheduled to leave at 5:33am and the subway system was amazingly empty!!!! Couldn’t imagine it being so empty in Tokyo but it was for the first hour or so then it quickly started to get crowded as normal. Our end destination was Shimoyashida Station and the Arakurayama Sengen Park was a 10 minute walk from there. I wanted to get here as early as possible as I heard recently they were shooting a TV show a few days prior and that Sakura bus tours were now stopping here. I wanted to try to beat as much of the crowd as possible.
It turned out to be a glorious Saturday morning in Japan! Beautiful weather and some nice scenery on the train ride out made the journey enjoyable. There are signs from the train station directing visitors the the park. It was also easy just to follow the rest of the people as that was were most people were headed and most people had big DSLR cameras too.
There are over 400 steps to reach the top of the park although there are many resting areas in between. If you have bad knees or are out of shape this could be quite the chore!
Once we got up toward the top on the ledge there were many photographers but everyone was friendly and got there photos and got out of the way or at least moved positions as to not hog the views. This is a great spot for photos as it blends in prototypical Japanese elements all in one shot: Mt. Fuji, Cherry blossoms, and a Pagoda/Shrine.
There were a couple older Japanese men that were happy to take our photos and actually did a decent job!! They would monkey with the settings or move around to try to get a decent shot which we appreciated. So often you go on vacation and ask for someone to take a photo and it turns out horrible but not this time.
We then stopped for quick bit to eat at a small cafe next to the train station after our visit to the park.
I was glad I felt good enough to go out and see the lovely cherry blossoms and Mt. Fuji! This turned out to be one of the highlights of our entire trip!