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Capturing the Cherry Blossom Season in Japan
In Japan, sakura (桜), or cherry blossoms, stand as the symbolic flower of spring and start appearing all over the country as the seasons change. During this season, rows of cherry trees with their pastel-pink crowns transform the country and shower the streets in falling petals. People go out to gardens, streets and parks for hanami (花見), or flower viewing, to appreciate the beauty of the cherry blossoms and the mild weather after the long, cold winter. Often, hanami involves picnicking in the best sakura locations and enjoying food and drinks with friends under cherry trees. The blooming of sakura begins from the south around late March and spreads northward through the beginning of May.
Want to see more photos and videos from some of the most famous sakura locations in Japan? Explore the location pages below:
Daily Breakfast with @keiyamazaki
To see more of Kei’s breakfast photos, follow @keiyamazaki on Instagram.
For Tokyo Instagrammer Kei Yamazaki (@keiyamazaki), breakfast has been a passion and a daily ritual all her life. The meal is so essential to her life, when Kei first came onto Instagram nothing was more natural than to share her homemade breakfasts with the world. Now, after gathering a substantial following, Kei’s exquisite morning meals have inspired others to appreciate their love of food and breakfasts in particular.
Every morning, Kei spends anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour preparing whatever she feels like eating that day. Most days, she enjoys a one-plate, Western style breakfast consisting of pancakes, waffles or breads topped with fresh fruits or vegetables. This is accompanied by eggs, salad and a cup of handmade vegetable soup. “I try to keep a balance within the plate. For example: sweet and salty, heavy and light, as well as having a good mix of colors,” explains Kei. “But most importantly, I try not to go beyond the boundaries of ‘breakfast.’ I cook whatever I like, but I don’t want to get too fancy and overdo it.” Kei’s favorite breakfast meal is French toast, but she says many of her followers seem to like the freshly made pancakes, especially with strawberry toppings.
Kei started out her series of breakfast photos by capturing the plate from above using her iPhone, a signature style in which she still continues. Kei uses natural lighting and reveals that she enjoys using the Lo-Fi filter for a lot of her shots to maintain consistency throughout her account.
#WhoIFollow: Japan’s @terajiro
This weekend, Instagram celebrates its third birthday! To mark the event, throughout the week we’re sharing a special series of #whoifollow features asking Instagrammers to share their favorite person to follow. For this first installment, we’ve asked Kazumi (@terajiro) from Japan to share hers.
Kazumi (@terajiro) began using Instagram in October 2010, just a couple weeks after the app first launched. Through Instagram photos and videos, she documents her daily life in Gunma (群馬県), a prefecture of Japan just a few hours northwest of Tokyo. In addition to snapshots from in and around Gunma, you’ll find that Kazumi’s photo series features spoons of all different shapes and sizes. She even runs a website dedicated to her work with spoons, spoonship.com.
Kazumi follows her friends in and around Japan, but over the past few years she has found inspiration in the photos and videos shared by the people she follows all around the world. Her favorite person to follow is @d0125, an Instagrammer based in China. “His photos are very quiet,” Kazumi says. “But I feel some story in them and I love his frame of reference.”
Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPreplacemyface
Weekend Hashtag Project is a series featuring designated themes & hashtags chosen by Instagram’s Community Team. For a chance to be featured on the Instagram blog, follow @instagram and look for a photo announcing the weekend’s project every Friday.
This weekend’s tag was #WHPreplacemyface, which asked participants to take photos replacing their own faces with objects that had faces on them. Every Monday we feature some of our favorite submissions from the project, but be sure to check out the rest here.
Shifting Perspective with @brycetron
Everyone who lives in a hilly area occasionally has a moment—usually while huffing and puffing up a hill with an armful of groceries—when they curse the steep inclines of their city. However, hills provided a new source of inspiration for a man in one of the United States’s hilliest cities: San Francisco.
Instagrammer Bryce Tron (@brycetron) moved to San Francisco in 2011 and, like any new resident to a city, found his bearings by visiting all of the top tourist destinations. Fun though they were, Bryce’s attention turned more to the city’s steep hills and the structures built upon them. Inspired by other photos from the San Francisco community, Bryce began rotating his photos so that the normally-steep hill appeared flat and all of the buildings leaned at an impossible tilt. “It makes your mind twist,” he says.
After venturing outside of San Francisco and continuing to take these photos, Bryce started the #sidewayscity hashtag to encourage a new way of looking at uneven terrain that anyone could use—not just San Franciscans.