When you hear Japan you start picturing blazing-fast bullet trains, pedestrians crawling at Shibuya crossing, out-of-the-world innovations, and drifting fast cars because you are influenced by the Fast and Furious - Tokyo Drift movie. But, there’s one more thing that Japan is famous for and that is Japan’s Cherry Blossom Festival.
This festival of flowers is celebrated in many other diverse regions such as Washington, Vancouver, Paris, Stockholm, and the Jerte Valley of Spain. But, Japan is considered to be the best place to see the blooming cherry blossoms and this year’s festival is just around the corner. Read on to know everything there is to know about this festival in Japan.
The Blossom Festival is known as Hanami which, when translated to English, means ‘viewing flowers’ or the act of seeing flowers. It is a tradition that started more than a thousand years ago. The nobles used to go out in the parks with their friends, families, and colleagues to enjoy watching the blooming flowers and have a joyous time with their loved ones. This time of the year is considered to be the best time to go for picnics. The budding poets in Japan used to channelize the inspiration into their poems.
You can find the most famous of the cherry blossom trees known as Sakura spread all over the country.
The land of Japan is dotted with many temples and castles. Each of these temples and castles has dedicated gardens and lawns. These gardens are the best place for congregating for Hanami.
However, the city of Kyoto is prominent for the tree lines of cherry blossoms alongside the river. The Ueno Park of the capital city Tokyo is the hub for Hanami.
The groups appoint someone among them to reserve the best spots under the cherry trees until the rest of the group arrives. They bring chairs, stools, and boxes to sit, and lots of home-cooked food. The adults celebrate with chilled beers with loud sounds of “Kampai!” - cheers and children enjoy the fruit juice. The small parties turn into a big ones by the evening and music volume increases. Merrymakers sing along and dance with each other. The people of Japan don’t shy away in welcoming the visitors like old friends to these parties.
Yes, anyone can join the blossom festival in Japan, the Japanese people are considered to be the most humble people and they will welcome you to celebrate with them like you are an old friend.
If you wish to be a part of this festival then bookmark this blog. You will be needing a picnic blanket and make sure that it is waterproof. Then, go to the local market and buy some bento box including inari sushi, strawberries, red bean mochi, Ankake meatballs, and some hanami edition snacks like pink KitKat, Sahi Beer, and Sakura Pepsi. Wait, that’s not it! Don’t forget to bring your camera with you!
For more than 1000 years, Cherry Blossoms or Sakura has been an integral part of Japanese culture. The pretty petals can be found in old Japanese literature, poetry, art, and engraved on the Samurai swords. The blossoms depict the meaning of life, death, renewal, and the transient nature of being.
The blooming of cherry blossoms happens at different times in different regions of the country. The flowers start blooming in January in Okinawa and reach their peak in late March-April in the Honshu region. Cherry blossoms start blooming in May in the Hokkaido region. However, it is very difficult to predict the exact time in advance for any individual. Each year, the Japan Weather Association and Japan Map Company announce the cherry blossom forecast.
The festival of seeing flowers is one of the most celebrated festivals in Japan and the most famous amongst travelers which means the prices of tickets and accommodations go high up in the sky. Visitors from outside Japan book their tickets and hotels almost 11 months before the festival because the prices could go up by 40 percent during the festival.
Japan is a country of etiquette and good manners. So, it wouldn’t be wrong to pick up a few etiquettes before visiting the country. During the Hanami Festival in Japan, many parks and gardens restrict people to enter to save the grass from getting squashed. So, check before entering any park. Don’t take too much space and don’t place your picnic blanket on the tree roots. Picking flowers from the trees and snapping the branches is considered rude all over the world, so restrict yourself from doing that in Japan as well. When you are done with hanami, pick up all the mess you have created and throw it in the dustbin. Japanese people are known for their tidiness, remember that they cleaned up the whole stadium at the football world cup?
Well, the main attractions of the Cherry Blossoms festival are the flowers, but there are other events to entertain people are organized i.e. dance and music performances by celebrities.
You can join the small tea parties going under the trees, it is an experience that you will never forget or explore the local markets as they are filled with local Japanese cuisine and regional crafts.
What should you do now? Read more interesting blogs on Adotrip and if you are planning a fun vacation then try our AI circuit planner tool to save yourself from all that unnecessary stress of planning a trip.
--- Published By Vineet Gupta
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