TOPCommunityTW Sakura Photo Contest: Our Top 15 Entries of 2021

TW Sakura Photo Contest: Our Top 15 Entries of 2021

With summer just around the corner, we say goodbye to spring with the top 15 entries of our first TW sakura photo contest

By Weekender Editor

Last fall we hosted our first photo contest celebrating Japan’s autumn foliage. This spring, we wanted to relaunch the initiative and feature the quintessential cherry blossoms. Over the last month or so, we received over 500 entries on Instagram through our hashtag #TWSakura2021 and the time has come to crown the winner. We also introduced a prize: a gift box of sakura-inspired items to transition from spring to summer. Below we list our top 15 photos taken all over Japan. Read all the way to see the winning post.

15. Spring in Tottori

 

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A post shared by Marie In Misasa (@marie_in_misasa)

Every picture by @marie_in_misasa in this post is beautiful, but we especially love the third photo, which offers a glimpse into strangers’ private moments captured under the cherry trees. Plus, you know we have a soft spot for Tottori. Marie also recommends checking out the Misasa hot springs next time you’re in the area.

14. White blossoms in Kyoto

When we think of cherry blossoms, our minds often go to the vibrant pink blossoms of Shinjuku Gyoen, but sakura come in many shades of pink and white as well. Reader @byamytang took this close-up while in the old capital.

13. The perfect SkyTree shot

 

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A post shared by Miah (@walk.wander.sonder)

There’s nothing quite like a clear blue sky and cherry blossoms to frame Tokyo’s tallest tower. Miah (@walk.wander.sonder) captured one of the most perfect photos of Tokyo SkyTree this spring.

12. Simply sakura

 

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A post shared by Sansaku-chan (@sansakuchan)

One of our favorite things about sakura is that they are just as lovely on their own and sometimes you don’t need all the extra props. @sansakuchan entered the contest with a simple close-up and we love it!

11. Scared place

 

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A post shared by anne (@2_b_anne)

@2_b_anne submitted this captivating photo featuring the cherry blossoms of a Buddhist temple. No need to go very far from home to find cherry trees, right?

10. The underrated Yaezakura

 

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A post shared by Mai | Street Photographer (@maielbaz)

We agree with @maielbaz when she says that Yaezakura are severely underrated. Blossoming a little later in the season, they are fluffy, a soft shade of pink and just as photogenic.

9. Every tree has a name

 

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A post shared by Marie In Misasa (@marie_in_misasa)

Especially at shrines and temples, you can find signs that indicate what type of cherry tree is blossoming there, as @marie_in_misasa captured in this photo.

8. Spring in Odawara

 

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A post shared by Ola (@leadmetotravel)

Odawara Castle is a short shinkansen ride from Tokyo and a well-known spot for hanami. The light pink flowers against the crisp white of the landmark are without a doubt post-card worthy. Thank you to Ola from @leadmetotravel for submitting!

7. The perfectly minimalist SkyTree shot

We couldn’t help but include not one but two shots of SkyTree featuring cherry blossoms. This one by @alejandraakai features sakura peeking from the bottom.

6. Sakura viewing in Kawagoe

 

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A post shared by Kevin Pramudya Utama (@pramudyakevin)

As hanami was heavily discouraged this year, many Japan residents turned to their residential area in search of blossoming flowers. @pramudyakevin submitted this beautiful shot of women in kimono roaming the streets of Kawagoe.

5. A day at the temple

 

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A post shared by Estelle Pizer (@estellepizer)

Fall photo contest winner @estellepizer showcases her amazing photography skills again this year. We loved this dynamic shot of a shrine maiden taken at Fuji Hongu Sengen Taisho Shrine in Shizuoka.

4. Bird of the spring

 

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A post shared by @belinthewild

@belinthewild submitted a lovely photo of a Japanese tit resting on a cherry blossom branch and was fairly popular among our staff.

3. Pretty in pink

Making it to the top three is @nelson_okaneku and this soft-focus close-up. Nelson submitted many other amazing shots of sakura in Tokyo so be sure to give him a follow over on Instagram.

2. Urbanophile

 

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A post shared by Carlos Kato (@chkato)

In second place comes this street photography entry from @chkato. We love the contrast between the fading sakura and the concrete street below, the pop of color from the construction worker’s jacket and the general grungy Tokyo vibe.

1. Colorblocking

 

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A post shared by Dinh Thi Kim Cuong (@kim_tsubaki)

@kim_tsubaki won the vote amongst our editorial team thanks to this pastel shot. The colors, the unique perspective and the hint of spring in Ibaraki Prefecture felt like it needed to be shared with our readers. Congratulations Kim for impressing the TW team and inspiring us to maybe plan a trip up north for hanami next year (if Covid permits).


Thank you to everybody who entered their photos using the hashtag #TWSakura2021. What photo contest should we do next? What would you like to see featured as a prize? Let us know in the comments or email our editors at [email protected]