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.
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.
Shortly after, a JAL 777-300ER landed, arriving after a long flight from New York.
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.
And then, the wind got a bit stronger, sending the flower petals flying all over the park.
From then on, I spent a couple of hours photographing various combinations of airlines and the cherry blossoms.
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.
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.
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.
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!