Cherry blossoms, also known as sakura (桜:さくら) in Japan, are the small, delicate, light pink flowers that bloom from cherry blossom trees. This springtime phenomenon is breathtakingly beautiful, but also incredibly brief. After only two weeks, the petals of the soft pink canopy, drop to the ground, falling like feathery snow before they wither. If you visit Japan during cherry blossom season, it is important to double-check the blooming forecasts for the area you plan on being in.
Enjoying Japanese Cherry Blossoms
Everytime Spring comes, the Japanese celebrate a tradition called hanami (花見). The kanji hana (花) means “flower” and mi (見) means “look” or “see”. Basically, hanami is the simple pleasure of walking beneath the pink cherry blossom trees, taking in the picturesque view, while recognizing and reflecting on the beauty of nature. People often gather around the trees, have picnics, and play some music. It has become so popular with the locals as well as to the huge flock of tourists every sakura season that the Japanese even coined the term “Hanami party“.
Hanami Picnic Parties
If you are planning to enjoy Hanami this coming spring, it would be best if you bring along your own Obento (lunch/dinner box) and picnic blanket that you can set up beneath the pretty pink flowers. The popular food items enjoyed during sakura viewing are sweet pink sakura mochi, sushi rolls, and tamagoyaki or Japanese-style omelet; though it is really up to your preference. After your picnic, remember to take all your trash with you so that others can enjoy hanami in a clean park. It is also imperative to treat the cherry blossom trees with respect by not climbing on them and by not breaking their twigs because it can prevent the blossoms from growing again come next spring.
Cherry Blossoms and The Japanese Psyche
Sakura is …continue reading