Aerial Drone Photos of Cherry Blossoms at Inokashira Koen

Inokashira Koen cherry blossoms (1)

all photos © Danilo Dungo

Inokashira Koen, the sprawling park in Tokyo’s Western suburb of Kichijoji, was my backyard. Having grown up in the area, I spent countless days after school and weekends exploring the park on bicycle or on foot. There always seemed to be a section that had been magically added; that I hadn’t discovered yet.

The park was known for many things: a lake and rowboats associated with an urban legend that predicted couples who rowed together would break up, a grisly murder, and – for a short week in late March – a multitude of cherry trees whose blossoms turned the park white and pink.

Inokashira Koen cherry blossoms (2)

aerial photo of Inokashira Koen in the early morning | photo © Danilo Dungo

Of course this was pre-drone days. And so I naturally knew the park only from a pedestrian’s perspective. But last month photographer Danilo Dungo, using a DJI Phantom drone, captured some spectacular aerial photos of the park and its gorgeous cherry blossoms, giving us a rare and special vantage point. Capturing the ephemeral cherry blossoms as they fall, the lake can be seen covered with a beautiful layer of pink.

After several high-profile incidents like a drone landing on the Prime Minister’s roof, the flying devices have come under scrutiny in Japan. And there are now even police drones that can capture rogue drones. But Dungo seems to have avoided attention by shooting early in the morning, which adds an extra layer of misty beauty. (And also, no crowds of people!)


Inokashira Koen cherry blossoms (3)

photo © Danilo Dungo

You can see more of Dungo’s shots from this year’s cherry blossom season in Japan over on his NatGeo Your Shot page. Japan’s cherry blossoms usually do get all the attention for their short-lived beauty. But equally ephemeral are Japan’s Nemophila, or Baby Blue Eyes. And if you missed the cherry blossoms you can still catch this astounding sea of flowers that cover the land from late April to early May.

Inokashira Koen cherry blossoms (4)

photo © Danilo Dungo

Inokashira Koen cherry blossoms (5)

photo © Danilo Dungo


  1. Gorgeous but the colours are definitely tweaked – nowhere near as pink in real life!

  2. Even if the colors are tweaked the photos almost look beautiful to be true. It’s not everyday in this world of almost image overload that images are striking.

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