My first hanami at Zojoji in 2022

Daishonsho hanami at Zojoji
Zojoji's Daishonsho bell with its cherry blossoms.

I’ve never experienced hanami at Zojoji. Well, I’ve been to the temple many times. It must be one of my most visited places in Tokyo. But, I had never taken a single picture of its cherry blossoms. In 2022 I rectified that. I finally spent a morning there photographing the trees. It was a great day.

What photo gear did I use for this shoot?

Camera Body: X-T3

Lenses: 

  • XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS
  • XF 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR

How was the hanami at Zojoji experience?

What can I say about the cherry blossoms at Zojoji? I’ve already said they were great, but what else? Tokyo Tower was in the background! That made things special. To have these two together with the trees made my day.

And the weather made it more special. It was perfect. A couple of clouds were in the deep blue skies. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

Well, I did. Before I went, I prayed few visitors would be there. Guess what? Someone upstairs listened, which surprised me. As it was a Monday morning, the grounds were almost empty. I didn’t have to wait for photos.

Actually, I had a motivating factor for going to Zojoji. I wanted a photo of Daibonsho (Big Bell) with the cherry blossom trees. Some pics I’ve seen on the web have been very good. But, I wanted one of my own. I think I can say mission accomplished for this one.

So most of my photos centered around the bell, the temple, and the jizo statues. That was because the trees were there. The places I didn’t photograph much were Daitokuin and Sangedatsumon, the two gates. There weren’t many trees around them.

I didn’t take every photo from within the temple grounds.  One was from Shiba Park. Another was from between the street next to Tokyo Prince Hotel. But whatever, I was happy with what I got.

This year I changed my approach to cherry blossoms. In years past, I concentrated on parks. But it was nice to see the flowers around the buildings. I might find more places to do this from now.

And there was one more thing. I wanted to photograph Zojoji and its cherry blossoms. But Tokyo Tower is so close and huge that it ended up in many of my pictures. It had a presence. You can’t help but notice it. Maybe I took too many photos of it? I know, but it was my first time there, and I got excited about it!

After my first hanami at Zojoji, I visited Chidorigafuchi, Yasukuni Shrine, and Somei Cemetery. You’ll be able to see these articles soon. Please leave questions and comments below.

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