Everyone knows about cherry blossoms in Japan, right? I can testify that the beauty of the season goes beyond words. It’s like being in another world when the streets are lined with shivering iridescent white-pink blossoms.

Cherry blossoms, or sakura, are a core part of Japanese culture. Ohanami, or literally, viewing flowers, is definitely the thing to do when the cherry blossoms are blooming. News media broadcast sakura forecasts as they start to bloom from south to north in Japan. People go to particularly beautiful spots to watch the flowers and admire the ephemeral beauty that lasts so briefly before it’s gone (like life).

Oh yes, and there is a lot of hoopla regarding equipment for ohanami, including sakura-themed everything so that you can eat, drink, and be merry while watching the flowers.

There are some lovely words specific to sakura, such as:

  • shidarezukura (cherry tree with the branches hanging down, like a weeping willow)
  • yaezakura (8-petaled flowers)
  • yozakura (night viewing of sakura)
  • sakura fubuki (falling cherry blossom petals)

Some of my photos of this year’s sakura are below.


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