Sakura

16 Apr in Life in Japan

With the  cherry blosoms,  the mechanical life in Japan turns to an enchanting one. The general moods in those beautiful parks become very lively with great foods and wines in such Hanami practices. "Hanami" is the traditional festival in Japan said to have started during the Nara Period (710–794) for picnicking under a blooming cherry or plum tree.  

Usually in Japanese short poems, tanka and haiku, "flowers" meant "sakura." The practice of enjoying foods and drinks (usually Japanese rice wine called Sake)  under the Sakura trees was originally limited to the elite of the Imperial Court. But by the Edo period, it has spread to the common people as well. 

Sakura season peaks around the end of March/early April in Tokyo and can be seen in norther parts (like Hakodate) by early May.