KHANAMI – IMPORTANT JAPANESE TRADITION
If you have ever been to Japan in the spring, we can say with complete confidence: most likely, you went to enjoy the stunning spectacle of the blossoming sakura. The cherry blossom season was and remains one of the most attractive things about Japan. However, the cherry blossoms do not bloom as long as we would like, and not everyone gets a unique opportunity to admire it in full bloom. Many tourists try to make the most of a trip to Japan to capture these two or three weeks of the week, but unfortunately, due to the unpredictability of flowering time, not everyone can see the sakura in its full glory.
Sakura always fascinates tourists. But do not think that her magic acts only on visitors. The Japanese themselves are no less obsessed with this fleeting beauty. The Japanese word hanami means the process of admiring and enjoying cherry blossoms. Simply put, if you have a picnic in the park under the canopy of sakura branches or just walk between sakura trees, then you are engaged in hanami.
For many centuries, the Hanami remained a Japanese tradition. The first mentions of it belong to the Nara era (710–794). Surprisingly, in those days, the Japanese were far from hunting for sakura; instead, they admired the flowering of ume — that is, the plum. It was similar to how the holiday of blossoming cherry blossoms is celebrated now: The Japanese gathered in the gardens and enjoyed the panorama of flowering trees, looking for the most beautiful places. Sakura began to gain popularity only during the Heian period (794–1185). The beauty of sakura blooming beauty has made her famous all over the world, therefore, both Japanese and visitors now prefer to have picnic with sakura in the company of their friends and relatives.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO IN THE SEASON KHANI?
In fact, even if you are simply considering a full-grown sakura, you are doing hanami. However, the custom is much more common – to gather with family and friends, settle under sakura trees and enjoy its fragile beauty in pleasant company.
In popular gardens and parks, suitable for hanami, you will find rugs everywhere on which people have settled. Many take photos, try delicious food, arrange active games in the fresh air, and some even get a nap. A particularly important part of the celebration is alcoholic beverages.
Usually, the khans make during the daytime, but for true connoisseurs of Japanese culture, sakura admiring can continue after sunset. For this, the Japanese even came up with a special term for evening hanami – закdzakura. So that the darkness does not hide the beauty of cherry trees, paper lanterns are hung in parks and gardens. Such lighting adds a mystical touch to the sakura and creates a truly magical atmosphere.
MOST POPULAR PLACES FOR KHANI
Sakura trees in Japan can be found on the spot, but there are several particularly beautiful places, known for Hanami:
Gorekaku Park (Hokkaido)
This park is famous for the Battle of Hokkaido. More than 1,600 sakura trees grow here.
Hirosaki Park (Aomori)
Beautiful cherry trees, a traditional bridge and the stunning Hirosaki Castle in the background together create a magnificent panorama that you will remember for a long time.
Tidorigafuti Park (Tokyo)
Tidorigafuti Park in Tokyo is known for its закdzakura – this is the name for the process of admiring sakura in the evenings. A pedestrian mall, almost 700 meters long, is planted with 260 cherry trees. These trees are illuminated in the spring evenings, which is an amazing sight, however, for those who prefer day walks, there is something special: you can rent a boat and sail on it through the river flowing through the park, admiring the beautiful view.