Capturing The Beauty Of Spring: Hanami
Spring is one of the best times to be in Japan because the weather is warm but not hot, and there is not too much rain or humidity. The Japanese tradition of Hanami celebrates the beauty, vitality, and renewal of spring in a unique way.
Hanami can be just a stroll in the park, but traditionally it consists of having a picnic party under blooming cherry trees during the daytime or at night. ( Watch A YouTube Video - Yokohama )- ( Watch A YouTube Video - Odawara )
Hanami at night is called Yozakura "夜桜 - night Sakura". In many places like Osaka Castle and Ueno Park, temporary paper lanterns are hung for the occasion of Yozakura.
The tradition has been passed down through generations, and today people go to celebrate Hanami with family, friends, and coworkers in public parks and gardens across the country. In popular places, sometimes in the early hours of the morning or even a day before, a picnic spot must be reserved by spreading a picnic sheet. The sheet must be marked with the group’s name, or just have somebody stay there until the rest of the group arrives.
People who are planning Hanami carefully follow the blossom forecast as it only lasts for a short time, usually no more than two weeks. The first cherry blossoms usually happen in early February in the subtropical southern islands of Okinawa. In cities like Kyoto, Osaka, and Tokyo, the cherry blossom season normally takes place near the end of March and early April. On the northern island of Hokkaido, they bloom around the end of April and early May.
If you are planning a trip to see these beautiful flowers, then for an optimal experience, you need to consider where and when to visit in advance.
People who want to visit popular locations like Mt. Fuji can either opt for one-day private or group tours offered by Viator or bus tours offered by the WILLER highway bus service.
For people who are visiting Japan and want to visit a few spots in different cities, most choose the JR pass, which is available only to tourists from overseas. The JR pass allows unlimited travel on Japan Rail lines plus local JR trains. You can travel between cities quickly and easily.
Local Customs & Etiquette You Should Know