Sakura - poetry and emotions
The most amazing season to experience Japan is when the cherry trees blossom. For the Japanese it is an old tradition for young and old alike to enjoy the beauty of the sakura (cherry blossoms) . All over Japan is hanami (flower viewing) of such great importance that most weather bureaus and media present the sakura zensen (blossom forecast).
Cherry blossom from January to May
The cherry blossom starts in the southern subtropical island of Okinawa as early as January and is ending in May in the northern island Hokkaido. In Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto the best time is the end of March or early April. From year to year the start of the cherry blooming season can vary by up to two weeks.
A time to celebrate
Parks all over Japan are filled with people in daytime that sit down under the trees to celebrate hanami. You can see traditional tea ceremonies take place beneath the sakura, business men having their lunch and photographers of all ages trying to catch the perfect sakura snapshot. In the evening people arrange parties under the flowering trees , sometimes the parties last until late at night. Everyone wants to experience this beautiful time of year when the life of the cherry blossom is short as the blossom only last one to two weeks.
Special dishes are prepared
It is so important to have the best place to welcome the sakura that people go to the parks and sit down hours before to keep the right spot for friends and families. Even companies are having parties. To celebrate the sakura special dishes are prepared for eating. For drinking green tea but also sake plays an important role in welcoming this wonderful and beautiful season.
From January to May, you can enjoy the cherry blossom, what are you waiting for..
Leif Almo, Hon. Consul General of Japan in Sweden