Sakura 2019 ? – The (Japanese) Season for Cherry Blossoms

Japan Start Date: 15/03/2019 End Date: 06/05/2019

Sakura – The Season for Cherry Blossoms

South Africa has its jacaranda trees, Australia has tumbleweed but Japan has something nobody else has – it has its cherry blossoms called sakura – possibly the closest thing we’ll get to heaven on earth.

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The imminent arrival of spring is announced with clouds of decorated pink cherry trees, promising a new season, a new life, and a very welcome end to the bitterly cold winter. While the cherry blossom trees don’t bloom around the same time every year,

Sakura – The Season for Cherry Blossoms

South Africa has its jacaranda trees, Australia has tumbleweed but Japan has something nobody else has – it has its cherry blossoms called sakura – possibly the closest thing we’ll get to heaven on earth.

the cherry blossom in japan

 

The arrival of spring is announced with clouds of decorated pink cherry trees, promising a new season, a new life, and a very welcome end to the  cold winter.

If you arrive to Japan in April, you can also see the Kanamara Matsuri in Kawasaki

While the cherry blossom trees don’t bloom around the same time every year, it usually happens between the end of April, into May. Out of 365 days, a year visitors are only able to witness the floral phenomenon for two weeks. Part of the fun of the festival is keeping a lookout for all the updates of when the very first cherry trees will blossoms.

So What is Hanami?

Hanami is the word that refers to the specific viewing of cherry blossoms all around Japan, called sakura. Hanami is roughly translated to “flower viewing”. It’s a custom as old as time that encourages people to stop, and literally, smell the flowers.

The tradition is significant in so many ways, for people to appreciate the transient nature of things, like a season to live and to die.

Temperatures in Japan start rising end of March, trees come out of hibernation and everything starts to bloom. For me, what makes it so incredibly special is that the celebration is short-lived, with the blossoms only lasting a week or two. Boy oh boy, what a magical two weeks they are.

the cherry blossoms in sakura period in japan with a beautiful landscape

A cherry tale

Steeped in history and tradition, it’s the perfect opportunity for people to celebrate with families and friends, with picnics, street festivals, and outdoor parties. Trees are decorated with paper lanterns and lights and it like Narnia, only in Japan.

Traveling with a small group of friends, we didn’t only get to appreciate the beauty of the cherry blossoms, but we also experienced a new found passion in the simpler things in life, like family, nature, the very essence of life. We all left feeling our lives’ perspectives had been put back into balance.

Summary

There are no words to describe the wonder of Sakura, the evening comes to an end the trees sway, as if they’re saying “good night”.

It is a time to contemplate the things that matter in life, like family and friends. And as I ready to pack up and get ready for the trip home my only regret is never getting the chance to experience hanami with my mum.

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