Spotting Report: Cherry Blossom Season at Tokyo Narita Airport

Spotting Report: Cherry Blossom Season at Tokyo Narita Airport

Every year, millions of Japanese do hanami – cherry blossom viewing all over the country. And, hundreds if not thousands of aviation enthusiasts (as well as “non-avgeeks”) visit Sakura no Yama park near Narita airport to enjoy the cherry blossoms together with aircraft.

Today, I decided to visit the park as well. And, while getting there was a frustrating experience due to a traffic jam near the park’s entrance (it took almost one hour for the bus to move about 100 meters), it was well worth the wait in the end.

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Cherry Blossoms at Sakura no Yama Park

One of the first aircraft to land after I got to the park was a United Airlines 777-300ER arriving from San Francisco as flight UA837.

While I got that information from FlightRadar, thanks to announcements from Flight Shop Charlie’s that were being made throughout the day, even non-enthusiasts without FlightRadar on their smartphones or without aviation scanners knew which flights were about to land, what airline and aircraft types they were, and where they were coming from.

United 787 Landing from Sakura no Yama Park

United Airlines 777-300ER landing seen from Sakura no Yama park.

Shortly after, a JAL 777-300ER landed, arriving after a long flight from New York.

JAL 777-300ER

JAL 777-300ER.

The next aircraft to pass in front of my lens was a Delta Air Lines Boeing 767-400ER – a type that cannot be seen in Tokyo often, so I decided to go with a regular side shot for that one.

Delta Air Lines Boeing 767-400ER at Tokyo Narita

Delta Air Lines 767-400ER.

And then, the wind got a bit stronger, sending the flower petals flying all over the park.

Sakura no Yama Park Tokyo Narita Airport

It’s raining flower petals!
United Airlines 737 Landing with Sakura in the Foreground

United Airlines 737 arriving from Guam.

From then on, I spent a couple of hours photographing various combinations of airlines and the cherry blossoms.

ANA 767 Landing

ANA 767-300ER.
Where is the aircraft?

Where is the aircraft?
Delta Air Lines Boeing 767-300ER Narita

Delta Air Lines 767-300ER.
ANA 787 at Tokyo Narita

ANA 787-8.
United 787 with Sakura Trees

United Airlines 787-8.
Korean Air Cargo 747-8F Tokyo Narita

Korean Air Cargo 747-8F.
Jetstar A320 with Sakura

Jetstar Japan A320.

And, I wasn’t the only one – in fact, as you can see in the first photo in the article, as well as below, there were (probably) hundreds of people all around the park enjoying the aircraft, the cherry blossoms, and the great weather.

Sakura No Yama Park

ANA 777-300ER.
Sakura no Yama Park

Sakura trees in the park.

Towards the end of the day, there were two movements that I didn’t have a chance to photograph before – and so, once again, I opted for “regular spotting photos” of those. The two aircraft were a Lufthansa Cargo 777 and an Air New Zealand 787-9.

Lufthansa 777 Cargo

Lufthansa Cargo 777F.
Air New Zealand 787 Tokyo Narita

Air New Zealand 787-9.

Finally, before leaving the park, I tried getting a couple of photos with yellow flowers in the central part of the park. However, because of the large number of people, it was difficult to get any “clear shots” with just the flowers and aircraft.

As such, I will have to return again later on – preferably on a weekday.

Jin Air 737

Jin Air 737-800.

Overall, I can only recommend visiting Sakura no Yama park during the cherry blossom season. However, to spare yourself from the frustration of being stuck in a traffic jam, either go on a weekday or get off at the bus stop before the park’s one!

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