Tokyo is the land of timelessness,with age-old Japanese traditions mixed in with state-of-the-art technology. Where Harajuku fashion and Kimonos, matcha (traditional green tea)and karaoke, metropolis and volcano meet. Japan has always been fond of the outdoors, with hot springs on every turn, but the adoration for cherry-blossoms (sakuras) dates back to the Heian period, more than 1,000 years ago (794-1185), which has developed into a festival of viewing cherry-blossoms in open air, known as Hanami ‘honourable flower-viewing’, which only emerges for a short time in the spring. Thousands travel to Japan just to view these pink blossoms like snowflakes blanket streets, parks and the whole country.
Canal in Nakameguro. ( Instagram/tokyo )
The enigmatic emergence of these flowers has added to the fascination around the flushes of pink throughout the country and the world. Sakuras are known as a meditation on life, death, renewal and the ephemeral nature of being in Japanese tradition. This festival only lasts for a fortnight, between March and early April. Hanami season is expected to start from March 28th in 2020. Keep an eye on cherry blossom forecasts for more news on dates.
There are more than 1,000 places to view the sakura in Japan. From the North to South unbelievably stunning locations are present to have a traditional Hanami picnic in. In Tokyo itself, Shinjuku Gyoen, a calm and peaceful Hanami destination in the heart of Tokyo, Ueno Park, one of Tokyo’s liveliest and popular cherry blossom party locations featuring more than 1,000 sakura trees best for socialising and festivals, and lastly Chidorigafuchi, the moats of the former Edo castle at Kitanomaru Park are lined with hundreds of cherry blossoms trees, making for one of Tokyo’s most picturesque locations for viewing the sakura. Other locations include, Mount Yoshino, Fuji Five Lakes and The Northern Shores of Kawaguchiko.
Sakura blooms in Tokyo. ( Instagram/bearlion )
So grab a plate of dango (tri-coloured dumpling snack) and a bottle of sake to set a blanket under a sakura tree and let the blush petals bring your peace.