Cherry Blossom Photo Tours - Hakusan Park, Niigata
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Saturday, April 13, 2019
By Japan Dreamscapes
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Cherry Blossom Photo Tours can be one of the most vexing type of Japan Photo Tours to host because of aspect in particular, timing.  If cherry blossoms lasted an extended length of time, then there would be no problem, but part of the appeal sakura carry is their short life span before their blossoms flutter to the ground and the green sprouts mark the true beginning of spring in Japan.


Sakura bloom at different times all around the nation, and Japan Dreamscapes (JDS) Photo Tour Leaders enjoy chasing the ephemeral flowers across Japan during spring.  The years of experience the JDS Photo Workshop Leaders have means they know that if a visiting photographer arrived in Japan today, many of the big cities such as Osaka and Tokyo are past the peak of the cherry blossom 「花見」hanami, or viewing parties hosted by local residents and visitors.  Of course, there are still some areas in Tokyo that are 「満開」mankai, or full bloom, but experienced photographers are heading north in Japan for slightly cooler climes and sakura that are only at this moment reaching their peak.


Hakusan Park in Niigata city is one of those locations.  Hakusan Park is slightly removed from the city center and is adjacent to a shrine which hosts thousands of visitors every year.  Hakusan Shrine is the center of a complex of various shrines located throughout the city, and everywhere you turn on the temple grounds is another amazing photo op.  Even before you enter the shrine, you are greeted with an enormous red gate, or torii, which designates all the ground beyond it as sacred.


The ground are covered with cherry blossoms, and there are many different varieties of sakura planted so you can see several color contrasts among the rich, pink blooms with others a sparkling white.  The path beyond the gate is lined with different varieties of sakura, all inviting you to capture that precise beautiful moment forever in your once in a lifetime photos.  As you move through the park, clients will see a gentle slope glittering with sakura invariably with other admirers of sakura enjoying viewing and afternoon snacks, some purchased from nearby food stalls that offer some local flavors for you to enjoy.


If you prefer an evening Cherry Blossom Photo Tour, then Hakusan Park can also be the focus of your photo tour.  Once the sun sets, the lights around the park flicker on, and the already vibrant colors become even more brilliant.  The lights are perfectly placed at the bases of several sakura trees in the park making an excellent picture taking environment.

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