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How to Best Enjoy the Cherry Blossoms

Cherry blossoms are given great importance in Japan, so much so that the Japanese even hold flower viewing festivals or “Hanami” to appreciate them in full bloom. In Japan, cherry blossoms are not just any other flower that blooms during fall; it also holds a great significance. It looks immaculately exquisite during the fall, but its life is short lived.

This is the main reason why in Japan, cherry blossoms remind them of the beauty of life and mortality, and of the splendor of both life and death.

Hanami: the cherry blossom viewing festival

In Japan, every time these cherry blossoms bloom, people hold grand festivities where they spend their hours picnicking, drinking, and socializing. All these activities are done beneath the beautiful cherry blossom trees as it gives them a better view to fully appreciate their beauty.

Cherry blossoms in Japan are located all around the country so “Hanami” can be enjoyed and celebrated in different parts of Japan. Whether you are a tourist or a resident of this country, it would be impossible for you to miss this wonderful event.

If you are planning to go to Japan yourself, and would like to experience this heavenly event here are a few tips.

Viewing guide: enjoying the cherry blossoms

The flowers bloom in slightly different periods depending on region, but they typically bloom from around January to May. The different climates and weather conditions all over Japan also make the hues of the petals slightly different. In Tohoku Region located in the North, for instance, cherry blossom colors are more intense and vibrant compared to its Southern counterparts. So if you truly want to experience authentic Japanese viewing festivals with friends and family, you might want to read up on the following places.

  • Mt. Yoshino

Mount Yoshino is actually considered a World Heritage site. There, you will be able to see at least 30,000 cherry blossoms in full bloom during the month of April. Not only is the scenery from Mt. Yoshino impeccable and breathtaking, it also provides you with a 360-degree panoramic view of the cherry blossoms located in several parts of the mountain like Shimo, Kami, Oku, and Naka.

  • On a Yakatabune on the Sumida River

The Yakatabune is a pleasure boat in Japan. People enjoy dining and partying in this boat during viewing festivals because it runs through eastern Tokyo allowing you to take a peek at around 330 cherry trees located in certain areas of the banks of Sumida River. Riding a boat while eating remarkable food and enjoying the view? Don’t mind if I do!

  • Hot springs in Okuhida Onsen-go

Okuhida Onsen-go is a known hot springs area in Japan. In some areas, people are given a breathtaking view of the cherry blossoms while they dip themselves into a relaxing hot springs bath. In Tochio, for instance, cherry trees are placed in a row along the mountain stream so that hot springs enthusiasts can treat themselves to a day of pampering with a stunning view of the flowers.

  • Beneath the cherry trees

This is the old-fashioned way – picnicking, drinking, and making lovely conversations under the cherry blossoms is also an equally excellent choice to immerse yourself to this rich cultural and seasonal event. There are plenty of specific locations in Japan where you can do this like the Nara Park, Arashiyama, and Shinjuku Gyoen Garden to name a few. Just make sure that you pay attention to the yearly weather broadcasts posted in Japan so that you will be able to go there when these flowers are in full bloom.

There are plenty of fantastic ways to enjoy the view of the cherry blossoms. You can try modern and sophisticated ideas like riding a boat, or skiing. You can even stick to the traditional ways of embracing the event. What matters is what makes you connect most to this beautiful and rich culture that is the Japanese flower viewing festival.