April 6, 2009 3:47 am Published by

Quite often, you can spend almost an hour trying to drive a couple of kilometers in surburban Japan. For the past few days though, views like this have made what is normally a teeth-grinding chore into a pleasant cruise.

I can see now why Japanese people make such a big deal about the annual sakurasaku, or blooming of sakura blossoms. When you get a few big trees together, the contrast of the dark, writhing trunks and translucent canopy of blossoms turns a simple patch of park into a work of living art.

I could have gone to a more famous place like Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park, but instead went to another large local park about half an hour from the house. I’m kind of glad I did, since the trees were quite spectacular there too.

For the past few days on the Kanto plain (the areas surrounding Tokyo), we’ve had very mild weather and not much wind. This has meant that the delicate flowers, which can be easily wiped out by a small bit of rain or strong breeze, have had a chance to bloom in full.

Before I took up this whole auto journalism thing, I used to work as a 3D graphics artist. One job I worked on was a Panasonic video camera commercial, where an enormous 3D cherry tree was combined with live-action junior school kids. The beginning of April is when the school year starts, so there’s a connotation between cherry blossoms and little kids starting their first day at school, so the ads were obviously targeting parents, telling them to buy a camera to record some precious memories, you get the idea.

My job was to cover this enormous tree with 3D cherry blossoms. This was the first time I had seen them for real, and was pretty happy that the real ones looked like how I remembered doing them!

I suppose I should take a pic of my ’32 under one. Hopefully the car lasts a bit longer than a cherry blossom does. There’s a drifting metaphor in here somewhere.

This one is right near the house. One of the surprising things about these trees is driving around and seeing ones that you had never really noticed before, but have become a mass of pink. In a couple of weeks, they’ll all be back to the way they were though, with fresh green leaves sprouting instead.

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This post was written by Alexi


  • SoSideways says:


    Both in the pics themselves and the pic compositions.

    Bely nice!

  • Minto says:

    Thats ace, Gots to love the Cherry Blossom’s

  • Shotgun155 says:

    great shots! think we can get some on wallpaper

  • Kolbotn says:

    I Hope to see the cherry blossoms when i visit Japan Next year! Great Pics man!

  • Sam says:

    Another reason why I love Japan.

  • Fury-S12 says:

    wow that second pic is pretty awe inspiring sure beats the typical aussie park of some stupid permanantly green fir trees or some koala-less gum tress lol

    i dnt envy you covering 3d trees with blossom either, i no how annoyingly hard and slow it can be to “simply cut and paste” alot of blossoms (or leaves in my case) to a tree in 3d

  • h.lohan says:

    dude plz fix ur car it looks garbage

    and not even cool boro garbage

    just garbage


  • Matt says:

    Would have been cool to see the uni near where I stayed like this. Adds to everything else that is awesome.

  • Alexi says:


    Geez, it’s not that bad, is it?

    The white front bumper is actually kind of useful. When we all go home after a track day and watch the video we took, it’s really easy to spot. 🙂

  • Lozz says:

    they’re a lil early this year. i’m hoping i can catch em for a while as i’m moving there sunday =D

  • jeremy says:

    Forget your car and traffic jams; get a bike like me and just lane split everything. I went to Mobara circuit yesterday on the bike and I found it took 50% longer when I went by car last month.

    But then you probably wouldnt be able to drift…



  • Ruiz XIII says:

    We need to start a fundraiser to help get Alexi’s bumper painted har-har

  • BlueSlug says:

    lol don’t worry alexi, your car is beautiful 😛 as long as you’re happy with it (dents and all) that’s all that matters. maybe you could get white skirts and rear bumper haha

  • Paul says:

    We need to start a fundraiser to buy Alexi a hair cut.

  • zhenkin says:

    nice scene!