Every year the Japanese wait anxiously for their cherry blossoms. We inform you that the official month of flowering is during April, when the total flowering of cherry trees in the central region of Japan (Tokyo) occurs.
Next, we explain to you the 7 reasons to fall in love with Japanese cherry trees.
1. Announcing the end of winter
The cherry blossom marks the beginning of spring and the end of the cold season. From January, still in winter, they begin to bloom in the hottest region of Japan, in Okinawa and end in May, in full spring in the coldest part, in Hokkaido.
Suddenly, the days start to get longer and little by little the cold is losing strength. The gray landscape begins to gain color and movement in the blink of an eye.
2. National passion: cherry blossom
Prepare yourself to find a universe of flowers and everything you imagine related to the subject. At that time, cherry blossoms are present everywhere: in shops, on restaurant menus, in decoration, in houses, temples, and in the streets. They are sweets, drinks, porcelain, clothes, stationery and everything you can imagine with the cherry symbol.
Although the chrysanthemum is considered Japan’s official flower, the cherry blossom (Japanese for sakurah) is considered the country’s most popular national flower. It is present even in the most widely used coin, the 100 yen coin.
3. The year begins in April
From the once dry branches, ressure the flowers which in turn give rise to the leaves. It is the right time to think about the future, new desires and projects.
This time marks the beginning of the fiscal year, the school year and the calendar of harvests in the country.
4. The show will begin
As flowering depends on climatic conditions, you never know exactly the right time. Some trees are ahead, others are behind, but the big show begins when full flowering occurs. And when that’s about to happen, the cherry trees take over the news and the streets.
Using a methodology based on low temperatures during autumn and winter, the Japan Meteorological Corporation (JMC) pronounces the dates when cherry trees begin to bloom and reach full bloom throughout the country.
Each year, the spectacle has been brought forward. Previously it was more common to happen in April. However, in recent years it has occurred in the last week of March.
5. Time to Celebrate
The tradition of celebrating dates back to the Heian period (794-1185). Many festivals take place at that time. The parks are packed with groups of employees, families and friends who often have picnics and celebrations under the cherry trees, both during the day and at night.
It’s also a great time to plan a walk. The pleasant climate and landscape contribute to this moment. The walk to Mount Fuji, the visit to a temple or the view of the castle becomes more exciting with the view of the cherry trees in the background.
The National Tourism Organization of Japan (JNTO) brings information about the most suitable places to contemplate them.
In Tokyo, one of the most visited places is the Shinjuku Garden, which was originally built for the imperial family. There are 65 types of cherry blossoms in about 1100 trees.
Motoori Norinaga (1730-1801) portrays well the importance and representativeness of cherry trees for the Japanese.
It is no coincidence that since the 8th century the subject has continued to be widely celebrated and disseminated by artists.
The well-known kamikazes painted the flower on the plane and carried branches of trees on the mission.
For the samurai, who were willing to sacrifice themselves often, the flower was associated with their code: to live the present without fear, as their life could be as short as the cherry blossom.
7. Time of contemplation: hanami
There are nine basic species and more than 600 varieties of cherry trees. Cherry blossoms have pink, white, yellow or green tones that may vary during flowering. Difficult to describe the sensation when contemplating them, for that there is even a term in Japanese: hanami, which means contemplation of flowers.
Between flowering and falling petals, the flower does not last more than 7 days. It seems like a lot, but that only means a weekend. And the show, like at the beginning, is surprisingly beautiful until the end. The show ends when the flower petals, with the help of the wind, invade the streets, the lakes, creating a unique stage.
Finally, If you identify yourself with the Japanese culture and want to live an unforgettable experience, do not hesitate to visit Japan during the spring.