Destinations Magazine

Exploring the History of Cherry Blossom Season

By Livingthedreamrtw @livingdreamrtw
Exploring the History of Cherry Blossom Season Now is one of our favorite times of the year.   The weather is warming, the days are longer, and the flowers are in full bloom.  Of all of the flowers that appear during this time of year, there are none more beautiful and interesting to us than the Japanese cherry blossom.  Not only are these flowers a treat for the eyes of any photographer, but the history of these Asian flowers spans all corners of the world.  (Photo "Cerry Blossoms" by Alfi007)
Why the Cherry Blossom?
You may be wondering what the special secret is about the cherry blossom that gets everyone so excited and booking special themed East Coast Sightseeing Tours.  We looked into it and were rather surprised to find that there is no major back story to the flower, and no major event hundreds of years ago that started the popular viewing tradition.  The reason the cherry blossom viewing season is so popular is rather simplistic - its gorgeous!
For over 1,000 years, early spring in Japan brought on the bloom of the cherry blossom.  As this period of time marked the warming of the islands, the pretty flowers began to draw out residents to see their beauty and enjoy a nice sunny day with friends and family.  Cut to a few centuries in the future, add in better technology to track the blossoms, plus thousands more trees planted to spread the beauty, and you have the cherry blossom phenomena that we know today.
Exploring the History of Cherry Blossom Season The Japanese take their technological advancements to new levels during cherry blossom season in order to track the "cherry blossom front" to predict when the flowers will bloom in any specific prefecture.  The flowers begin blooming in late January in the southern island of Okinawa and travels slowly north to Kyushu and Hokkaido in March and April.  Nightly weather forecasts often take a few moments out of their broadcast just to give an update on the blooming locations of the day to ensure no one misses them when the blooms arrive. (Photo "Cherry Blossoms" by Alfi007)
You may think all the buildup to the cherry blossom season is a bit over-hyped, as even the popular video game Angry Bird's has a special cherry blossom themed level to get into the action.  But as quickly as the buildup to cherry blossom season arrives, the festivities are over.  Cherry blossoms, unlike many other spring  flowers, bloom almost overnight and only remain on the trees for about ten days before falling to the ground in a beautiful whirlwind of life and death.  For those looking to get out and enjoy the fields of beautiful flowers with friends and family, the countdown is on from the first sighting, and the tracking system seems all the more necessary.
Where Else in the World are They?
If you are not one of the lucky individuals to be in Japan over cherry blossom viewing season, do not be upset!  Japan has been sharing their national treasure with many of the world's nations over the last century, and national cherry blossom festival tours can be found in several countries around the world!  (Photo "Cherry Blossom" by angood)
  • Exploring the History of Cherry Blossom SeasonUnited States - Perhaps the most famous cherry blossom viewing outside of Japan is in Washington DC which were given as a gift to the United States in the early 1900s.  Since then, several cities in the USA have received gifts of thousands of cherry blossom trees that have flourished over the decades.
  • Brazil -  Due to a large immigration of Japanese citizens to the country who brought cherry blossom seeds along with them, Brazil enjoys the beautiful trees located all over the country, especially in the city of Curitiba.
  • Turkey - Perhaps one of the most interesting cherry blossom stories is from Turkey.  In the year 1890 a ship was returning from a visit to Japan and sank, claiming the lives of 500+ sailors.  To honor their memory, the Japanese donated cherry blossom trees to the country in remembrance of the lost sailors.
  • Multiple other countries including the United Kingdom, South Korea, the Netherlands, and more.
Whether you take in the cherry blossom viewings in the United States, Europe, or make the trip all the way to Japan to enjoy the festivities, one thing is for sure - the trip will be one that will be remembered forever.  Just be sure to charge your battery and take enough memory for your camera for the immense collection of beautiful shots that will be acquired along the way as once the cherry blossoms are gone, the yearlong wait for the next season begins.
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