“Hanami”, cherry blossom viewing, is a seasonal spring tradition in Japan. A great number of people go out to enjoy the beautiful blooming cherry blossoms and welcome the spring with their families, friends or colleagues. “Hanami” literally means flower viewing, but usually refers to “Sakura”, cherry blossom, viewing.
Cherry blossom trees can be seen across Japan, starting to bloom as early as in January in Okinawa. The blooming area gradually moves northwards across the country, reaching Kyoto and Tokyo at the end of March to early April, and then to Hokkaido in May.
Cherry blossom trees remain in bloom just for a few weeks, lasting only about a week after full-bloom. “Hanami” is an important part of Japanese custom for people to sense arrival of warm spring season.
“Hanami” often involves picnic party under the blooming tree. This annual custom seems have started among the noble class around 9th century, and become widely popular in Edo era around 17th century. People would bring “Hanami Bento”, picnic lunch box, and enjoy drinking Hanami-sake. “Hanami Dango”, dumplings, are also one of the typical assortment enjoyed at “Hanami” since Edo era.
If you have a chance to visit Japan in spring, please take a moment to enjoy the beautiful cherry blossoms!
For “Dango”, please also find the article below.
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