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Yushima Tenjin plum blossoms in 2018

I often talk about how photography can be frustrating.  There are times when everything goes right and times when they don’t.  That can be the story of my life.  In 2018, I visited Yushima Tenjin.  It was a terrible visit.  Because Tokyo had had a long run of cold weather, the flowers had barely bloomed.  Well, I knew they had bloomed as I rang the day before.  I woke up, and with the skies looking great, I headed to Yushima Tenjin, once again.

Yushima Tenjin main hall

Well, they had bloomed for the most part.  I was thankful for that.  But disaster struck, the weather rolled in.  In the end, it was all fine as I was happy to get out and about and enjoy some beautiful flowers on a not-so-cold spring day.  Such is life! 

I had fun.  The flowers looked good, and a good crowd was there.  And let’s be honest, getting out on a nice day in Tokyo can be a reward in itself. 


girls taking selfies in front of plum blossoms

For photos, I used my Fujinon XF 16-55 mm.  And if I’m not mistaken it was one of the first times to use the XF 55-200.  Both lenses were great, but very different lenses.  

stairs and get to Yushima Tenjin
people looking at plum blossom trees

The 55-200 has better bokeh, but for shooting flowers, it isn’t ideal.  It has a minimum focus distance of over a meter, 1.1 meters, to be exact.  In crowded places, that focus distance is less than ideal.  On the positive side, though, the lens isn’t huge, and it is relatively light.  And it has stabilization!  Right from the beginning, it gave me a favorable impression.  Best of all, it came at a reasonable price.  

Shishi lions at Yushima Tenjin

The day worked out quite well in the end.  Granted, I didn’t get everything I wanted, especially with the cloudy weather, but I did go there to shoot flowers.  And the pictures, while not great, are satisfactory.  My technique needs improvement, though. Yushima Tenjin is on my list of places to visit annually.

plum blossoms under roof of Yushima Tenjin
crowd watching monkey performance at Yushima Tenjin

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