EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SAKURA’S LOVE IN JAPAN
Before them freeze during picnics. They devote poems. They are considered a symbol of the transience of life. They sprinkle latte in Starbucks.
Welcome to the modern pink world of Sakura in Japan. It is impossible to imagine spring Japan without sakura trees decorated with pink flowers.
Being a leader in the field of robotics, sushi preparation and technology of building skyscrapers, the Japanese have long been famous as world leaders in the art of admiring blossoming cherry blossoms. Starting from the eighth century, the imperial courtiers, before going on a picnic or doing poetry, paused to admire the exquisite pink cherry flowers, known as sakura. In modern Japan, sakura flowers, to which poets have dedicated thousands of haiku, are revered no less than a thousand years ago.
Today, when spring is approaching, all of Japan, tours to which are particularly popular in the spring, is colored pink. Long before the arrival of spring, supermarkets are filled with plastic flowers of sakura, and stores for children are filled with goods with symbols of sakura (this year sales of sakura chips and butter and pepsi with sakura flowers have become sales hits). The countdown passion is further enhanced by the television forecast, which defines the flowering front of the cherry blossoms from south to north of the archipelago.
When the Sakura blooms, it is time for the Khans, which literally translates as “admiring the flowers.” Every year, all members of society, from white-collar workers and students to housewives and grandmothers, take part in Khanian picnics in all parts of the country.
WHY SAKURA’S LOVE IS SO POPULAR?
The nation’s attachment to blooming sakura goes far beyond buying a pink carbonated drink in 7-Eleven. Flowers are deeply symbolic: their short-lived existence entails a deep appreciation of the beauty of the transience of life, which is reflected in the entire cultural heritage of the country, from tea ceremonies to Wabi-sabi ceramics. Flowering also symbolizes a new beginning, April 1 is the first day of the financial and school year in Japan.
In short, sakura flowers are not just pink flowers, they are the floral embodiment of Japan’s deepest cultural and philosophical beliefs.
SAKURA FLOWER FRONT
The Japanese are proud of their devotion to the important task of predicting how the flowering of cherry trees spread throughout the country. Since 1951, meteorologists began to observe the flowering of cherry blossoms – Sakura Zensen in Japanese.
Today, high-tech technologies are used for predictions, scientists carry out complex mathematical calculations, the results of which appear on television screens. Usually, the pale pink flowers of Yoshino cherry tree are the most common species in Japan. The opening of the season is announced when five or six flowers are opened on the sample tree.
Sakura blooms for a week, and then begins the so-called “Sakura Snow” effect – a slow fall of the petals from the trees.
WHEN IT IS POSSIBLE TO SEE A FLOWERING SAUCAS?
Unlike Japan’s famous public transport system, the sakura flowers are not as punctual as the tourists would like to go on a tour to Japan for the sakura. In some years, Sakura begins to bloom early after a period of warm weather, in other years low temperatures cause flowering to be late, or heavy rain leads to early wilt flowers.
The first flowers usually appear on Okinawa in January and slowly move through the archipelago, passing through the central islands of Japan (including Kyoto and Tokyo) in late March and early April, and then moving further north and appear in Hokkaido in early May.
According to the forecast, in 2017, the flowering of sakura in Tokyo was supposed to begin on March 23 (peak of its heyday fell on April 2), in Hiroshima – on March 29 (peak April 7); in Kyoto – March 30 (peak April 7) and in the northern Sendai – April 4 (peak April 14).
BEST PLACES FOR LOVING WITH AMAZING FLOWERS OF SAKURA
The capital is a good starting point for tourists who have bought spring tours to Japan. It is famous not only for its skyscrapers, but also for its beautiful places to admire sakura. In Tokyo, there are numerous picnic spots — in parks and along river banks — that have been planted with cherry trees in recent centuries.
Among the main attractions are Ueno Park, one of the oldest and most famous public places in Japan (also home to museums, shrines and ponds). This park attracts huge crowds of tourists who have planned a vacation in Japan and come to admire the cherry blossoms, of which there are more than a thousand.
A quieter alternative is Shinjuku-geyen, where about 1,500 sakura trees grow. This is an amazingly quiet and well-kept park, just a short walk from neon-lit Shinjuku. Admission is 200 yen for adults and 50 yen for children.
Another iconic place worth paying attention to anyone who decided to buy a tour to Japan in the spring is Naka-Meguro, a district south of Sibuy.