Nakano Photography Guide at Cherry Blossom / Sakura
In Tokyo, spring is a time of year when opulent Sakura trees bloom, covering all parts of the city in a sea of pink and white. There are numerous famous spots in Tokyo where you may see this natural beauty, but the Nakano area is a must-see for cherry blossom fans that are looking for a less crowds. During the cherry blossom season, the district’s main thoroughfare is lined with cherry trees, creating for a magnificent spectacle.
Start your tour from Nakano JR Station and go north along the main street towards Tetsugakudo Park to truly appreciate the beautiful scenery of Nakano during cherry blossom season. You’ll pass via various footbridges along the walk, each with a different view of the cherry blossoms. Take your time exploring the region and take in the beauty of the japanese cherry blossoms.
During the cherry blossom season, walking down Nakano’s main street will feel like you’re in a fluffy dream. The cherry trees on both sides of the street form a natural tunnel, and the delicate pink and white petals create a magical environment that transports you to another world. This one-of-a-kind sight makes Nakano a popular destination for photographers and environmental enthusiasts alike. The Nakano district also has various footbridges that offer a unique view of the cherry blossoms, because you get the view from the treetops! The Arai Gochome Hodo Bridge, in particular, provides a breathtaking picture of the yellow train passing beneath the Sakura. The view of the yellow train adds an extra bit of charm to the setting, making it a picture-perfect location for photographing Sakura in full bloom.
The Nakano Sun Mall is a must-see when visiting the Nakano area. It’s just adjacent to the Nakano JR Station and is ideal for a stroll and some street photography. The mall is home to a wide selection of shops, cafes, and restaurants, so whenever you want to take a rest and satisfy your hunger, you can go there.
Yellow train in Toyko
Where to find yellow train location in Tokyo?
The yellow train, known as the Seibu-Shinjuku Line, is located in Tokyo’s Nakano area. To see the yellow train from a different angle, go to the Arai Gochome Hodo Bridge, which overlooks the track. This footbridge is about 15 minutes north of Nakano Station and offers a great view of the passing train. Exit Nakano Station’s north exit and proceed to the left side or through the Nakano Sun Mall to discover the Arai Gochome Hodo Bridge. You can then proceed north on the main street.
Nakano Sun Mall
Best time: during day, because the light hits through the transparent ceiling. But also in the morning very nice, because less busy.
Photography Equipment: Tele-lens. There is no space for tripod.
Photospot(s): Inside the Mall
Short Info: Use a long lens and shoot over your head and the crowds
Nakano Sun Mall in Tokyo is a great place for photographers to capture the soul of the city. The mall is best photographed during the day, when the light from the ceiling creates a lovely mood. However, coming in the morning is recommended for those seeking a more relaxing and quieter experience.
To get the greatest photographs, I recommend shooting over the heads of the mall visitors with a telephoto lens. This will allow you to photograph the lovely patterns on the mall’s ceiling as well as the hectic ambiance of the retail arcade below. It’s worth noting that Nakano Sun Mall can get crowded, especially during peak hours, so patience is required. Wait for the proper moment to get your photo, and arrive during off-peak hours to avoid crowds.
Best time: morning or evening
Photography Equipment: Tele-lens. It is less busy than the mall, so you might find space for a tripod.
Photospot(s): Almost each alley crossing the Sun Mall is truly photogenic.
Short Info: be patient to find your single subject
If you enjoy street photography, don’t miss the little passageways that bisect the Nakano Sun Mall in Tokyo. These lanes offer an excellent opportunity to capture the busy energy of Tokyo’s streets as well as the mall’s distinct vibe. The greatest times to photograph these lanes are in the morning and evening, when the soft light creates a lovely ambience and the crowds are thinner. This will allow you to capture the beauty of the streets without being distracted by too many distractions.
Araiyakushi Park Footbridge
Best time: morning, due to less busy streets.
Photography Equipment: Tripod can be easily setup here.
Photospot(s): On the bridge, but also very nice directly at the crossing.
Short Info: Try to isolate people at the crossing in your shot.
Photographers wishing to capture the beauty of Tokyo’s streets during cherry blossom will love the Araiyakushi Park Footbridge in Nakano. The best time to visit is early in the morning when the streets are less crowded, giving you the perfect opportunity to get magnificent images of the neighbourhood.
Arai Gochome Hodo Bridge
Best time: early morning on a sunny day / evening also good, but more crowded. Tripod can be setup here.
Photography Equipment: different lenses, but take definetely a tele-lens with you
Photospot(s): on the bridge / at the street / at the bus-station
Short Info: not every train passing is yellow. Sometimes you need to wait some minutes.
If you’re a photographer trying to capture the beauty of Sakura in Tokyo, Arai Gochome Hodo Bridge in Nakano is a must-see. You’ll be able to shoot a stunning yellow train as it passes through a sea of cherry blossoms. But be aware that not every train that travels through this area is yellow. It’s sometimes necessary to wait a few minutes for the train in the right color. But believe us when we say it’s worth the wait.
Setting up a tripod on the bridge is simple, allowing for stable photos of the moving train and surrounding Sakura trees. To get the best zoom and catch the details of the cherry blossoms and the train, carry a tele-lens with you.
There are various photo opportunities, including from the bridge itself, the street level, and the bus terminal. Each location provides a distinct perspective on the passing train and the surrounding cherry blossoms.
Best time: morning light (evening will be in shadow)
Photography Equipment: standard or wide lens
Photospot(s): on the bridge
Short Info: take a model with you or be patient. It took me one hour to get the person perfectly into the shot.
Cherry blossom season in Tokyo is always a beautiful time for photographers, and one of my favourite places to capture the beauty of these pink blooms is at Nakano’s Katayamaritsu Bridge. This bridge provides an excellent vantage point for photographing the Sakura and crossing pedestrians below.
The greatest time to visit this location is early in the morning, when the light is just right and the crowds aren’t too dense. To capture the complete scene, carry a normal or wide-angle lens. The juxtaposition of the pink blossoms and the busy street below is simply stunning.
Best time: morning / evening at low-light conditions
Photography Equipment: Tele-lens. Tripod can be easily setup here.
Photospot(s): view on the Nogata Water Distribution Tower
Short Info: use the tele-lens to make the tower more visible
Look no further than the lengthy main street towards Nogata Water Distribution Tower at Shimoda Crossing for a stunning place to photograph in Nakano during cherry blossom season. With Sakura trees along the roadway, it’s the ideal location for some lovely springtime photos.
I recommend going early in the morning or late in the evening when the lighting is softer and more diffused. You’ll be able to catch the details of the cherry blossom petals and the distant tower with a tele-lens. A tripod can be readily installed here.
Don’t pass up the chance to photograph the unique beauty of this place during cherry blossom season. Prepare your equipment and head out to the Shimoda Crossing with its beautiful view on the Nogata Water Distribution Tower.
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