Sunday, March 25, 2018

Japan's Beautiful Cherry Blossoms

Hanami is a term used in Japan to refer to flower viewing (cherry blossom viewing). The blooming of cherry blossoms is said to mark the beginning of spring. Once a year families come together to celebrate and have picnics under cherry blossom trees. I learned though from a documentary made by BBC that cherry blossoms was not the original national flower of Japan. It was plum blossoms. Plum blossoms though were only found in the homes of the elite. Cherry blossoms eventually became a very important national symbol.

Last year I caught the tail end of the sakura season in Tokyo. I was ecstatic to see them in full bloom outside of our hotel window. We had the opportunity to to see it in its all-pink glory. A few days later though they were gone. I read that cherry blossoms usually bloom during the unpredictable weather period towards the beginning of spring.

I arrived today and stayed at another hotel. Outside my window I could see a street full of cherry blossoms trees that have just started to bloom. They are not even pink yet. I hope to see them in their super pink glory in the next few days.

One thing I like about the sakura season is the presence of many kinds of desserts made with cherry blossoms. Here's a few mouth watering ones I've tried -

The first time though I saw cherry blossoms was in Washington DC when I was a kid. I don't remember it much, but my Mom said that they were originally gifts by Japan to the US. Maybe someday I'll catch the trees in full bloom when I'm able to visit DC again.

Visiting Japan for the Sakura season:
The dates vary per area. Best to check the forecast to get the best out of your trip.

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