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April 12, 2009

Hanami (花見) or flower viewing is a typical Japanese custom, mostly held around springtime, they will gather to watch the blooming cherry blossoms, sometimes even through the night.

Usually done with friends or colleagues, it is a time to drink and relax while enjoying the view of the cherry blossoms, whose beauty is offset by their short blooming time, reminiscent of how life is bright but fleeting.


Yesterday, headed to the Japanese garden in Hasselt for our own hanami, to enjoy the sight of the blossoms and take some photos.

Created around 1985 after fraternizing with the city of Itami, the garden was made to reflect traditional Japanese gardens, it even has a Japanese styled ceremonial house located near the water and hilltop tea house.


The day started overcast with heavy rain, but by opening time it was dry, bright and sunny. Spent almost three hours there, took our time to leisurely stroll along the garden enjoying the sights as it was my first visit.


Used the Canon Eos 450D equipped with the EF-S 18-55mm IS kit lens.

Quite happy with how the photos turned out since it was my first real outside landscape and flower shoot with the Canon 450D.


The waterfall was absolutely gorgeous and created a refreshing atmosphere.

Felt like sitting on one of the rocks relaxing, feet cooling off in the water… not sure the fish would have agreed though. (Nor the garden park personnel for that matter.)


However, do feel this time round I ran into the limitations of the EF-S 18-55mm IS lens, while most photos are bright and sharp, just wasn’t able to zoom in or get as close as I wanted to.

Like the result of these shots of the blossoms near the ceremonial house looking over the water, a gorgeous scene. Light was a bit warmer too as they were taken later in the day when the sun was lower on the horizon.


Was shown the Canon EF-S 18-200mm IS lens of a friend, looks like quite the lens.
Tempted to save up and invest in such a lens or another more potent one than my current EF-S 18-55mm IS lens.


Wonder if a polarizing filter would be a good investment, to try and get more punch in the colors.

Lovely how the light played with these branches, illuminating the center one like that.


A shame we hadn’t packed a picnic or had the opportunity to tread much on the grass under the trees.

With the gorgeous weather it was, an afternoon nap in the grass below the cherry trees would have been heavenly.


Spotted quite a few people with Canon and Nikon DSLR’s, all shooting freehand though, which is beyond me as my hand is too unsteady, so I took my tripod.

The Sherpa 750R may not be a tripod the likes of Manfrotto’s renowned ones but it folds up nicely and wasn’t heavy to haul around. It’s satisfactory as a step in model for someone like myself who’s just starting out.


Glad to not have waited longer to go, the blossoms looked past their peak already and the gales of rain seemed to have taken their toll.

Though most were still stunning, like the one you see below.


After winter, it was nice to spend time outside in such good weather, enjoying nature and its beauty. Very relaxing and inspiring, will do it more.

Saw fellow otaku Danny Choo brought a figure along on his hanami while Chun took along her Super Dollfie Mirai.
Wonder if I should get a figma or other otaku gadget to take along next time?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 12, 2009 9:16 pm

    I would say yes you should bring something as a focus! hehe (thanks for the mention!) and great shots 🙂

  2. April 13, 2009 6:16 pm

    Oh wow the Japanese Garden in Hasselt looks pretty awesome! Ours is nothing against yours! Astounding pictures ❤ ❤ ❤

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