Savvy Tokyo Sakura Photo Contest 2017: Our Top 10 Photos

Your Sakura Done Your Way

By The Savvy Team
April 30, 2017
Savvy News

And the prize goes to...

So much talent. So much warmth. So much excitement.

This is what our team couldn’t stop saying as we were looking at the over 300 photos submitted for our Savvy Tokyo Sakura Photo Contest 2017. A big thank you to everyone who contributed — via Instagram, Facebook or email. Every photo submitted for this contest has a story behind it — whether it’s a beautiful sight captured along the Meguro River in Tokyo, a couple holding hands in the park, or friends taking photos while on their annual hanami. And that is exactly what we were hoping for: “My Sakura, My Way” — and your sakura, done your way.

So here they are, our grand winners, from No. 10 to No. 1. The lucky number one gets our prize of ¥20,000-worth of vouchers for a stay at one of our recommended hotels in Japan, plus a few extras.

And for those who didn’t win this time — stay tuned for more contests coming up very soon!!

#10: A Walk In Gion

Why we chose it? The streets of Gion abound in beautiful sights,” it says, and we couldn’t agree more. This photo captures both sakura, romance, the warmth of the season and the sprout of new (we imagine) love.

Photo by: Instagram user @chloezee12. Photo taken in Gion, Kyoto on April 7, 2017. 

#9: Brightens Up Any Canvas

Why we chose it? Millions of people visit the Meguro River in spring, yet there’s always a new perspective of it. For us, this photo is not only original because of the angle it’s taken from (we all know this is not the usual spot for photos along the Meguro River), but also because it symbolizes the many ways sakura’s fleeting life passes through: from full bloom to fallen petals, washed away by the river that keeps running in anticipation of the next event.

Photo by: Instagram user @kaypatsan. Photo taken at Meguro River, Tokyo, on April 10, 2017. 

#8: Sakura Capture

Why we chose it? For its uniqueness, it’s my way of looking at sakura, and because we just love the polaroid reference.

Photo by: Instagram user @lovenanavi. Photo taken on April 10, 2017 at a park in Katsushika-ku, Tokyo.

#7: The Girl And The Flowers

桜🌸!いつまでも綺麗だよね。好き!桜好き🌸!#savvysakura2017

A post shared by Elke Clearesta (@clearestaaa) on

Why we chose it? One of the very first submissions for the contest, we knew from the start that this photo would make it to the top 10. It perfectly matched the contest’s theme: it’s her way of enjoying and celebrating the arrival of spring, and she looks genuinely happy to be where she is. These early kanzakura (an early sakura type) blossoms were captured at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

Photo by: Instagram user @clearestaaa. Photo taken at the Tokyo Imperial Palace on March 4, 2017. 

#6: The Birds’ Way

Why we chose it? It’s not only people who enjoy the sakura, the birds do it too, and this photo reminded us of that. Everyone is doing things “my way” in this photo: from the birds in the front that just can’t be bothered, to the human who’s feeding them at the background of sakura, to the cuties in the back, who seem to be more involved with something else that’s not related to food …. or flowers.

Photo by: Instagram user @traveliiz. Photo taken in Ueno Park, Tokyo on April 2, 2017. 

#5: My Canvas, My Way

Sakura art in Gyoen 🌸 #savvysakura2017 (04.08.2017)

A post shared by Leiko Suzuki (@lei.k.o) on

Why we chose it? For the recreation of the nature before his eyes into the canvas in his hands. For the pure jealousy that he’ll take this beautiful sight back home and enjoy it all year round. For enjoying the season his way. And for being so great at what he does in this photo.

Photo by: Instagram user @lei.k.o. Photo taken at Shinjuku Gyoen Park in Tokyo on April 8, 2017. 

#4: Pure Joy

Why we chose it? What’s not to love about those two boys who are enjoying the end of the sakura season with pure joy, innocence and enthusiasm? They’re doing it all “their way” and we hope their life will be as joyful as they look in this photo, season after season, sakura after sakura.

Photo by: Facebook user Ali Kops Buford. Photo taken on April 14, 2017 near Kanda River in Tokyo. 

#3: Nakayoshi no Hanami

Hanami 🐶🌸

A post shared by Carlos Kato (@chkato) on

Why we chose it? Titled “Nakayoshi no Hanami” (roughly, “Hanami With Your Buddy”), it captures the peaceful sight of a person doing hanami his way: with a book in his hands and his best friend beside him. Everything about this photo just shouts peace, warmth and stability. Unbothered by the city noise and distraction, the two in this photo are enjoying their time in the park, and nothing else seems to matter. We say…cheers to that!

Photo by: Instagram user @chkato. Taken at Otonashi Shinsui Park, Oji, Tokyo on Apr 5, 2017.  

#2: Little Sakura Girl

Why we chose it? For the contrast between natural pink (the sakura) and the little girl’s clothes and umbrella, for the harmony between generations; for the silent, yet deep connection and warmth between the two, and for the way the woman and the girl are walking ahead on their way. We imagine that nothing will ever stop them.

Photo by: Carlos Kato Instagram:@chkato. Send via Facebook. Taken at Yanagawa, Kisarazu, Chiba on Apr 9, 2017. 


Drum roll, please….


#1: Back To Basics

Why we chose it? While most of us don’t even use cameras anymore (because uh, everything can be done on smart phones), this elderly couple uses their old flip phones to capture the moment. It’s their way. It’s their choice. It’s their everyday life. There’s something about this photo that tells us that everything will be OK: the sakura, which is gone now, will bloom again; the passion that has become a routine, will still be love; and life can be fulfilled even when we don’t get hooked up on the latest and trendiest. We can’t see their faces, but we imagine them smiling. And so are we.

Photo by: Instagram user @lizainzhil. Taken at Meguro River, Tokyo on April 3, 2017. 

You can view all photos submitted for this contest on Instagram here.

What is your favorite photo of the ten? Share your thoughts in the comments!


Note: The person who submitted the No.1 winning photo will be contacted directly to be awarded their prize. If for any reason they are unable to claim their prize or do not respond to our email within two weeks, Savvy Tokyo reserves the right to award the prize to anyone else on this list.