every spring, just when you thought you couldn’t take any more of the dead/brown plants all around, something amazing happens, the cherry blossoms bloom. This isn’t just another tree blooming, they are explosions of white all around Japan. Trees that looked dead just days before are a beautiful display of white flowers. Its lovely. I heard it was, but this was so much more than I ever expected.
The opening act for the cherry blossoms, are the plum blossoms. They are more colorful, but there are less flowers on each tree. While beautiful, not as spectacular as the cherry blossoms.
a couple weeks later the sakura comes out to play.
Once the trees are in full bloom, the Japanese come out in heards to view the cherry blossoms. They have picnics under the trees in parks. The act of appreciating sakura is called hanami (flower viewing)
These picnics are serious business, they don’t just pick up a bag of Doritos and beer on the way to the park. There are full bentos (lunch boxes) made, some people even bring grills to the park. It may be the greatest activity ever, camping out under the flowers for an afternoon of just hanging out. People will stay in their “camp sites” for an entire day. And why not? It’s awesome!
Cherry blossoms are an important symbol for the country of Japan, they’re even on the back of the 100 yen coins. They are also featured on just about anything else you can think of. Starbucks in Japan even have a sakura line of beverages that come out in the spring. (didn’t try it tho)
I can see why the Japanese make such a big deal out of the cherry blossoms. They really are amazing and worth all the hype. Besides who am I to argue with a season devoted to picnics?