• From the Editor

The Japanese People and Cherry Blossoms

  • delicious Japan
  • April 2024
  • Vol. 18

Sakura (cherry blossoms) are in full bloom for only about two weeks at most. As spring approaches, news programs predict when the cherry blossoms will open and when they will be in full bloom, songs about cherry blossoms are played on singing programs, and the streets are filled with accessories and food with cherry blossom motifs. When cherry blossoms begin to bloom, everyone holds up their smartphones to take pictures, and when they are in full bloom, Japanese people visit hanami (cherry blossom viewing) spots to see the blossoms. Why do Japanese people love cherry blossoms so much? There are two reasons why Japanese people love cherry blossoms.

The first reason is that cherry blossoms symbolize the arrival of spring. In Japan, where the four seasons are clearly defined, the severe cold of winter is over and spring brings a new year and a fresh start, so this is an exciting time of year. The school year begins in April, and it is also in April that fresh graduates start work in new companies. The arrival of that exciting season coinciding sakura in full bloom is part of why Japanese people love cherry blossoms.

The second reason is that it is a fragile and beautiful flower. Even though we have been anticipating for months the time when the cherry blossoms will be in full bloom, they will be scattered in about two weeks at most. Since ancient times, Japanese people have always had an aesthetic sense of the transience of life, so they love the short-lived beauty of cherry blossoms in full bloom, as ephemeral flowers that will soon scatter and end.

Why not come and enjoy the cherry blossoms together?

Since ancient times, Japanese people have enjoyed cherry blossoms in various ways. We, “delicious Japan,” recommend the following cherry blossom spots in Tokyo.

Enjoy cherry blossoms while having a party with a large group at Ueno Park

Known as a cherry blossom viewing spot since the Edo period (1603-1867), the rows of around 800 diverse cherry trees make Ueno Park a perfect hanami spot. The area is crowded with hanami visitors who bring their food and drinks. At night, the area is lit up, so visitors can enjoy cherry blossom viewing by day and by night.

Enjoy fantastic yozakura (nighttime cherry blossoms) lit up in Tokyo Midtown

Tokyo Midtown is an urban complex with a vast green space and six buildings. It houses various stores, restaurants, offices, hotels, green areas, museums, and other facilities. With 103 cherry trees, visitors can enjoy the juxtaposition of nighttime cherry blossoms and skyscrapers.

Take a boat and relax as you view the sakura at Chidorigafuchi Greenway

Chidorigafuchi Greenway is a 700-meter promenade along the moat of the Imperial Palace. There are approximately 260 cherry trees along the promenade. You can rent a boat to view the cherry blossoms from the water at night. Tokyo is a metropolis of skyscrapers and cutting-edge fashions, but it is also home to many cherry blossom viewing spots and diverse landscapes. Please bring your food and drinks and enjoy hanami like the Japanese do.