Hanami: A transient guide to Japan’s cherry blossom festivals

Keep reading to learn all about Japan’s most famous festival. 

Japan marks the start of spring with cherry blossom festivals throughout the island nation. From Hokkaido within the north to Okinawa within the south, these festivals are a crucial a part of Japanese culture that date back centuries. For those who’re planning a visit to Japan, keep in mind that the cherry blossoms don’t bloom on a selected date. Depending on the a part of Japan you visit, they may bloom anytime between March and April. Nonetheless, as spring approaches, you possibly can check the cherry blossom forecasts to get an idea of the most effective viewing times. Keep reading to learn all about Japan’s most famous festival. 

What’s hanami
Hanami is the highlight of spring in most parts of Japan. Hanami means “flower viewing” and refers back to the Japanese tradition of gathering under blossoming trees to watch, admire, and revel in their beauty. Visitors often absorb the cherry blossoms with a way of awe. The care that goes into the cherry blossom festivals throughout the country is a testament to Japanese perfection and a commitment to creating sure all the things goes as planned. 

Chances are you’ll be wondering exactly learn how to go about participating in hanami. For those who’re traveling to Japan for the festival, you could possibly join a bunch of tourists for a cherry blossom viewing tour or set out on your individual to explore the cherry blossoms in full bloom. 

Japanese people traditionally come along with friends or family at night and drink under the stunning pink trees while others throw a hanami party with food and drinks. Although hanami is a spring activity, temperatures drop across Japan at night, so be sure you dress warmly in case you’re participating.

Where to view cherry blossoms


Photo by Akira Deng on Unsplash

For those who’re visiting Tokyo in cherry blossom season, Yoyogi and Ueno parks are excellent places to benefit from the annual festival. You need to expect crowds, so it’s a superb idea to send someone to order a spot early within the day.

You will need to bring some entertainment along in case you’re the one who will save the spot for the remainder of your viewing party. While the cherry blossoms are beautiful you may often must wait all day to your group to hitch you. For those who prefer to play games, your phone or your tablet will be an amazing selection to entertain yourself with titles resembling poker, chess and even backgammon until nightfall when the hanami gets began. Before you loosen up under the trees, be certain you discover the appropriate location. It is simple to get a superb location in case you know what to search for: 

  • Avoid sitting next to walkways and sidewalks, especially in case you plan to go to one in every of the famous parks resembling Ueno or Yoyogi. The crowds are sometimes massive, so it is best to seek out a quiet spot in the inside of a park. 
  • Keep a watch out for trash cans and avoid sitting next to them. Since so many individuals attend these festivals, trash cans replenish quickly, and the smell often becomes intolerable throughout the day. 
  • If you want to go to the toilet, you will have to attend an hour or more. So, be sure you get in line early.  

How long do cherry blossoms last
Plan your hanami outing as soon because the cherry blossoms begin to bloom in your area because they will not last long. The typical lifespan for many varieties of cherry blossoms is just about per week. The great thing about Japan is that every region has a singular climate, so you possibly can follow the blossoms from one place to the subsequent as they bloom throughout the country.

Concentrate to the cherry blossom forecast to know when and where they’re expected to bloom. For those who do that, you could possibly enjoy hanami for as much as 4 weeks. Following the cherry blossoms can also be an amazing approach to see more of this beautiful country. 

Famous places to view cherry blossoms
If you need to explore hanami outside of Tokyo or plan to follow the cherry blossom throughout Japan, listed here are just a few more places value visiting. 

  • Hirosaki Castle in Saitama Prefecture 
  • Takada Castle in Niigata Prefecture 
  • Hirosaki Castle in Aomori Prefecture  
  • Odawara City in Kanagawa Prefecture 

Cherry blossoms all over the world
Although Japan hosts the most important and most famous cherry blossom festivals globally, several other countries have smaller celebrations within the spring. China, Taiwan, and Korea even have annual cherry blossom festivals. Nonetheless, they do not rejoice the season on the identical scale because the Japanese. There are also festivals across Europe and the USA. Washington, DC, is home to the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival, one in every of the most important outside of Japan.

Major photo by Sora Sagano on Unsplash

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