27 Apr 2016 in Discover Japan
Do you really know the meaning of “Sakura”, a Japanese word which has even become familiar in Europe? Discover its significance and immerse yourself in its magic!
Sakura is becoming one of the most familiar words to people all over the world.
Look down the street and you can see a number of restaurants whose name alludes to the cherry blossom.
The word Sakura specifies both the tree and flowers. There are two stages : the opening of the first blossoms “kaika” and full bloom “mankai” which is eagerly anticipated by the Japanese. The Japanese are very sensitive to the seasons, and are even more so during this brief time of the year, which depending on the weather only lasts for a few weeks. The first trees in bloom can be admired in the south of the archipelago in March, in the Okinawa islands where the climate is milder, and the last blooms can be enjoyed in the North up to the start of May, on the island of Hokkaido where the weather is cooler. So, why not come in spring and experience the beauty of cherry blossom in Japan?
The blossoming of the cherry trees is a magical moment waiting to be discovered by you and with hundreds of varieties of tree throughout the country there are shades to suit everyone from white to pale pink to very intense pink. The most popular variety is somei yoshino whose flowers are adorned with five subtly shaded white petals tinged with pale pink. Kikuzakura is a variety whose flowers can have up to 100 petals. However, regardless of the colour or number of petals, the magic is still there, and no one can remain insensitive to the spectacle of these thousands of flowers provided by nature. Hoshino Resorts KAI Tsugaru, in the Aomori Prefecture is just the right place for admiring the cherry blossom.
To capture the moment, the Japanese meet in parks to admire the flowers, take photos of them, and picnic with family and friends. This is certainly the best way of enjoying sakura, the tradition of contemplating the cherry blossom, which is considered as a metaphor for life by the Japanese, beautiful and radiant, but also fleeting, hence symbolising our time on earth. Why not come and learn for yourself?
To enjoy this experience, why not have this once in a lifetime opportunity in Japan, and share the magic of the moment with your partner or your family? Get involved in a people’s passion for one of their oldest traditions. Get into it, follow the developments in blossom on the “sakura Zensen” weather reports, and be there at the right time to leave with a stunning photo which will forever ingrain the beauty of your visit on your mind. Better still take part in the Hirosaki cherry blossom festival, which has plenty of entertainment throughout the entire blooming period.