Pretty in pink on a spring afternoon might have you imagining sakura, but there’s something else going on.

In Japan, pink is the color of spring. That’s because it’s also the color of the cherry blossoms that bloom in late March/early April, transforming patches of the country into fantastic landscapes shaded in sakura hues.

And sure enough, these springtime photos of the streets around Tokyo Tower, taken by photographer and Twitter user @shiifoncake, are extremely pink.

However, you might notice that it’s not just the trees that are especially pink, but Tokyo Tower too, despite the structure ordinarily appearing crimson. Another mysterious aspect: @shiifoncake shared these photos back in early March, weeks before the sakura reached full bloom in Tokyo.

So are these some special type of early-blooming cherry blossoms? Nope. Look closely and you’ll see that the trees in the photo don’t have pink flowers, but pink leaves.

And if you’re thinking “Wait, I’ve never seen a tree with pink leaves!” you’re absolutely right, because these photos, which don’t show sakura trees, were taken with a camera that captures the spectrum of infrared light that’s invisible to the human eye under normal circumstances.

Even though Tokyo Tower is one of the most photographed sights in the city, few have seen it like this before, prompting reactions such as:

“Whoa, this has a major isekai vibe!”
“It’s like something out of a fairytale.”
“So spring-like and beautiful.”
“Hmm…so this is how some animals and space aliens would see the world.”

Yet another famous Tokyo landmark, the Asakusa neighborhood’s Sensoji Temple, also looks amazing given this treatment, as shown in the bottom right of this collage.

@shiifoncake’s current artistic ambition is to one day travel around Japan, taking infrared photos everywhere along the way. Until that happens, though, we’re happy to have this reminder that there’s all sorts of beauty to be found in the world, as long as you know where, and how, to look.

Source: Twitter/@shiifoncake via Hachima Kiko
Images: Twitter/@shiifoncake
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