One of Japan’s most beautiful times of year is Sakura or Cherry Blossom season. The Sakura are so important to Japan that much of the country comes to a standstill when they bloom. Right now the Sakura are blooming in Japan, and though many of you are not able to see them in-person, you can still enjoy their beauty.
This video will give you 5 Fun Facts about Sakura, but continue reading to learn more about this beautiful flower!:
Sakura symbolize the ephemeral nature of life, which is often associated with Buddhism. Sakura bloom and fall within one week, which is one of the reasons why it is so important to enjoy them as soon as they appear.
Japanese people will basically take a week off from work to take part in “Hanami” or “Flower Viewing”. They will setup picnic areas under the Sakura trees, and then eat, drink, and have plenty of fun with friends.
The essential Hanami party includes:
- Picnic blankets (though many people use blue tarps);
- Drinks—including sake, beer, soda, and water;
- Food—this can be anything you like, though my personal favorite is yakitori and Japanese snacks;
- Jackets/blankets—in case it gets cold;
- Disposable plates, cups, and utensils—Japanese people are very clean;
- Trash bags—again, Japanese always clean-up after themselves; and
- Family, friends, or random strangers—c’mon you have to have someone to Hanami with. And if you don’t then you can be the random stranger!
Hanami can be very serious business, literally! As many Japanese companies will have their Junior Salarymen stakeout the best Hanami spots days in advance, and their “job” is to defend these spots.
One of the most popular Hanami spots in all of Tokyo—and really all of Japan—is Ueno Park in Tokyo, Japan. Ueno houses over 1,000 cherry blossom trees, and they are lined on each side of the main walkway.
This means that the prime Hanami spots are the areas that line the sides of this walkway. If you get to Ueno Park in the morning, you will find that many people actually slept there overnight, just so that they will have the best spots. Now this is the power of the Sakura!
During early to mid-March of each year, you will see Cherry Blossom forecasts, which indicate the estimated date of the cherry blossoms first bloom. The entire country keeps track of this forecast, and many news outlets provide a report specifically dedicated to the cherry blossoms.
People are so crazy about Sakura in Japan that many businesses will produce Sakura-themed products and food. McDonald’s is well-known for its Sakura-flavored foods, like Sakura burgers and Sakura shakes. They sound funny, but man are they good!
Over the last several years I have had the opportunity to enjoy the Sakura, and they really are amazing. It’s as if Japan bursts with beautiful pink and white color, and everyone collectively stops to enjoy life. I sincerely hope that everyone gets the opportunity to experience the Sakura in Japan at least once in their lifetime.
Thanks for visiting JapanSauce.Net, we will see you again soon! Now please enjoy some more pictures of Sakura!
–The JapanSauce Team