Savvy Tokyo Sakura Photo Contest 2018: Our Top 10 Photos

Your Sakura, Your Tokyo

By The Savvy Team
May 18, 2018
Lifestyle, Savvy News

And the prize goes to...

Just like last year when we first started our now annual sakura photo contest, this year we were once again deeply impressed with the great talent and creativity that we saw in all photos that were submitted for the contest. From adorable pets lost in the pink petals to blooming love in the air (and on boats), to family reunions under the cherry blossom trees…we couldn’t help but smile as we were looking through the photos.

We received nearly 350 submissions via Instagram, Facebook and e-mail. A big thank you to everyone who contributed. Every photo submitted for this contest had a creative story behind it that showed the best of Tokyo, the city many of us call home. And this was exactly what we were hoping for when we came up our 2018 contest theme: “My Sakura, My Tokyo.”

So here they are, our grand winners, from No. 10 to No. 1. The lucky No. 1 gets our prize of ¥20,000-worth of vouchers for a stay (or a dining experience) 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: Yoyogi Park’s last spring samurai

Why we chose it? It’s the bunny ears, it’s the note on his chest that reads “Last Samurai,” it’s the nonchalance described in pretty much everyone appearing in this photo — this is what sakura is all about, enjoying it as you can and while you can. Yoyogi Park is one of the most notorious places for sakura viewing and one where many interesting people gather, regardless of the season. Cheers to being who you want to be in the big city!

Photo: Instagram user @tunde986. Taken in Yoyogi Park on March 31, 2018.

#9 Tokyo spring nights at Sensoji 

Tokyo spring nights 🌸🌸⛩⛩🌸🌸 #savvysakura2018

A post shared by Mon (@muuf_) on

Why we chose it? An iconic Tokyo sightseeing spot, this photo captures both the beauty of a fleeting season and the beauty of the everlasting: a place we can always go back to and see from a different perspective. We loved the color composition, the unique angle and the simplicity yet perfection in this photo.

Photo: Instagram user @muuf_. Taken at Sensoji, Asakusa Yoyogi Park on March 26, 2018.

#8 Edo Castle moat in a sakura daydream 

Why we chose it? It has it all: modernity (in the background), tradition, blooming flowers, and people appreciating it all in the center. The perfect composition and just a great shot to put in a frame and hang on your wall!

Photo: Instagram user @celiaintokyo. Taken at the Imperial Palace on March 31, 2018.

#7 All set for the hanami 

Why we chose it? Because we often focus so much on the flowers themselves that we forget to see all the other blooming (and sparkling) things around us. All goodies in this photo are essential attributes to the perfect hanami, and we loved how meticulously they were arranged for this perfect Tokyo picnic shot.

Photo: Instagram user @oonamcgee. Taken in Tokyo on March 26.

#6 Nature vs. city 

Why we chose it? One of the most beautiful photos we’ve ever seen being taken in Chidorigafuchi and given that this is an immensely picturesque spot, coming up with this angle is worth an applause or two. The city in the background is beautifully incorporated in the nature surrounding it — the blooming sakura, the floating moat and the gorgeous sky. It’s the perfect nature-and-city harmony!

Photo: Instagram user @maielbaz. Taken at Chidorigafuchi, Tokyo, Chiyoda ward on March 30.

#5 Tokyo Tower and yozakura  

Why we chose it? Because there’s no photo contest themed “Tokyo” without Tokyo Tower in it. Among the many submitted Tokyo Tower photos, however, this one stood out for us for its combination of motion (the streets), steadiness (the Tower) and the ever-changing city colors that are just so well merged on this canvas.

Photo: Instagram user @celiaintokyo. Taken near Tokyo Tower in Tokyo’s Minato Ward on March 26.

#4 Just a regular day in the park 

Why we chose it? Though we all love sakura, we have to admit that sometimes it is overrated — especially in photography.  When we saw this photo, however, we were reminded of the most beautiful feature of the sakura and the spring season: its simplicity. In this photo, you see no one looking at the sakura tree; people are just passing by — and yet, here it is, right in the middle, strong, solid and stunningly beautiful. A small and not-so-well-known venue away from the city center, Higashi Ayase Park is, indeed, “my Tokyo” for the residents captured in this photo.

Photo: Binoy Satumba (sent via email). Taken in Higashi Ayase Park in Tokyo’s Adachi ward on March 29, 2018.

#3 Just the two of us 

Why we chose it? While there were probably hundreds of people viewing the cherry blossoms in Chidorigafuchi while this photo was being taken, it makes it look as if this elderly couple is somewhere far, far away and completely distanced from everyone and everything else. It’s just the two of them and the beautiful spring blossoms. The rest is all peace and quiet. It literally makes us want to jump in that boat and ride along.

Photo: Instagram user @chkato. Taken in Chidorigafuchi, Tokyo on March 30, 2018.

#2 A short break along the river


A post shared by Tanja Houwerzijl, Tokyo (@jittetan) on

Why we chose it? We don’t know who they are or how they are related but we are pretty sure that we can hear their conversation and we’re telling you — it has nothing to do with the cherry blossoms. We imagine that these two women were just taking a walk, and as they got tired they just sat down to continue their conversation in peace. And this is when they became someone’s canvas.

Instagram user @jittetan. Taken along Meguro River on April 1, 2018.

And the winning photo is…

#1 “Sakura Feelings” 

Why we chose it? The photographer titled this work “Sakura feelings” and we think that there’s really a no better way to capture the many emotions mixed in this one single photograph. We can see an international couple rowing their boat in Tokyo, a place perhaps very far from where they are coming from. They look partially confused, partially intimidated by the experience (or did they just drop something in the water?) Meanwhile, a Japanese elderly couple looks at them with a smile, perhaps trying to tell them something. It is this natural interaction that makes this photo a truly “My Sakura, My Tokyo”-picture-perfect scenery. Tokyo is a place for all, a place for everything, a place to get together, enjoy and grow together through various experiences. We can see it all happening in this shot and we can’t help but love it so much!

Photo: Instagram user @chkato. Taken in Chidorigafuchi in Tokyo on April 2, 2018.

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

What is your favorite photo of the 10? 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 one week, Savvy Tokyo reserves the right to award the prize to anyone else on this list. 

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