Sandwiched between the harsh winter the humidity of the summer, spring is by far the most popular time to visit Japan. The atmosphere at this time of year is contagious. All the supermarkets in Japan are stacked top to bottom with blossom-flavored drinks. Basically, everyone is gripped by the fever of cherry blossom festival in Japan.
Cherry blossom in Japan begins with southern Okinawa in February and works its way to northern Hokkaido in May. Numerous factors can affect the blooming of cherry blossoms: a snowy winter can result in cherry blossom season being pushed to April. The Japanese celebrate this time of the year enthusiastically with Japanese cherry blossom viewing parties. Colleagues, friends and family members gather and sit on plastic mats under the pink trees to sing, drink, chat or simply admire the beauty all around them.
Cherry Blossom Japan 2020 Dates
You have a one-week window beginning from when the cherry blossom buds bloom to when they start to shrivel. Once the cherry blossom buds open, there’s a chain reaction. You may start to feel like you’re in Barbie land, with pink flowers hanging from the trees and some of them strewn on the ground.
Cherry blossom in Japan 2020 will start earlier this year, with the first flowering occurring in March on the Shikoku island. The blooming duration of cherry blossom trees differs from year to year depending on the weather and other factors:
- Nara: March 27- April 3
- Kanazawa: April 1 – April 7
- Hakodate: May 1 – May 4
- Fukushima: April 5 – April 10
- Hiroshima: March 22 – April 1
Significance Of Cherry Blossom Month In Japan
Viewing cherry blossoms in Japan has been an adored national pastime since the 8th century. Cherry blossoms are not native to Japan. There are many species of cherry now as opposed to the medieval era, some of which have been cultivated through cross breeding. They were cultivated as an ornamental flower in the 14th century and since then, the cherry blossom festival picked up steam.
In the 19th century, a cherry blossom variant whose non-scientific name is Somei-yoshino was introduced to Japan. From the 20th century onward, its cultivation spread across Japan, resulting in it becoming the most abundant species of cherry tree.
Suggested Read: Travelers Will Now Have To Pay A Sayonara Tax When Leaving Japan
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Best Places For Seeing Cherry Blossom In Japan
The Japanese word ‘hanami’ is dedicated to the viewing of cherry blossoms in Japan and picnicking beneath them. There are countless incredible hanami spots all across Japan, and everybody has their own personal favorite too. We’ve tried to put together a few of our top choices of the best places for seeing cherry blossoms in Japan.
If you’re in Tokyo, you can wander off to Shinjuku Gyoen. This park is a brief walk from Shinjuku Station. In the cherry blossom season particularly, more than 1,000 species of flowering cherry trees come alive. Another park in the vicinity, Yoyogi, has fewer cherry blossom trees than other parks in Tokyo, but its wide lawns and forests makes it a favorite haunt among young couples.
In Kyoto, stroll in the famous Nakaragi no Michi path, where you can walk by the side of the lake shaded by pink and white flowers. The path lies on the way to the Kyoto Botanical Garden. You can alternatively book a boat ride on the magnificent Lake Biwa Canal, which reopened to travelers in March 2018 after being off-limits for nearly 70 years. Eager to see a weeping cherry tree? You can stop by Maruyama Park, which is next to Yasaka Shrine. Maruyama gets lit up in the evenings during cherry blossom in Japan.
If you’re planning a trip around cherry blossom in Japan, make sure you stop by supermarkets and bring seasonal products to your family picnic, such as tightly packed rice balls that are dyed pink, red bean treats and sweet, sticky rice cakes dyed pink and wrapped in a pickled cherry leaf, to name a few. Sounds appetizing, right? Book your trip to Japan and witness first hand the cherry blossoms in full bloom.
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