Tis the season tourists always hope to witness, Sakura! Until last year I had no idea that the States also had cherry blossoms, I know silly right BUT I think that’s because it’s not really celebrated in the same way the Japanese do.
In Japan, cherry blossoms also symbolize the transience of life, which is a major theme in Buddhism. The cherry-blossom tree is known for its short but brilliant blooming season, a natural process that metaphorically describes human life. Source
Over here we also have a watch, which is basically a map that pinpoints when and where they’ll bloom. According to the watch today officially marks the beginning of the season for us. I went in search of some earlier today but haven’t seen any that have blossomed SO below a few photos I took last year.
It’s a shame the occasion only lasts about a week before they fall and the ground looks like a candy floss machine exploded! We live near lots of trees and its lovely seeing a trail of pink. There is a method to the Pink madness though, here are some fun facts about its origins:
There is evidence to suggest that the practice of nobility enjoying cherry-blossom viewing was a Chinese import from about the Nara period (circa 7th century). However, there is also a mention of what could be construed as hanami viewing in the Nihon Shoki, or Chronicles of Japan which date from much earlier (about the 3rd century) and would have been a Japanese innovation.
The cultural importance of these trees with their beautiful, delicate and short-lived flowers cannot be overemphasized. The metaphor of the short but beautiful life of these blossoms has infused everything from the samurai code of conduct to numerous haiku to more enka ballads and popular art scenes than could be counted.
The sakura blossom even adorns the jersey of Japan’s national rugby team. The modern equivalent of the hanami party has successfully melded the appreciation of these amazing scenes with the Japanese love of having a good time. Source.
Another part of the season that’s pretty cool is all the Sakura themed food and drink like this latte.
If you’re in Japan or planning a trip soon here is a list of the best places to view the cherry blossoms.
How is spring welcomed where you are?