Destinations Magazine

Top Tips for Cherry Blossom in Japan

By Emma @glasgowfoodie

In between the cold winter and the hot summer, Spring is an ideal time to visit japan. If you are visiting Japan between January and May you will soon be swept up in the fervour of everything cherry blossom flavoured - from ice-cream to crisps to this year's Starbucks offering. The excitement is nationwide with televised cherry blossom forecasts!

We have some tips on how to appreciate cherry blossom just like a local.

1. Hanami

Literally translated as "looking at flowers", this is the term used to appreciate the blossoms whilst having a picnic. Gather up your friends and family and grab a space at the local park.

Top Tips for Cherry Blossom in Japan

2. Appreciate why blossom is so popular

The delicate, short lives of blossom resonate with Japanese beliefs. From "wabi sabi" to "Mono no aware" the Japanese have beautiful words and phrases which English just doesn't have. "Mono no aware" means the pathos of things. It's understanding the transience of the passing of things as well as experiencing a gentle sadness about the reality of life. This captures blossom for me. It's beautiful but has a short life so take time out to appreciate the nicer things in life. This sums up Japanese life for me. Take time, enjoy your surroundings and appreciate them.

3. Watch official forecasts

There are television forecasts and you can check the latest online forecast from the Japanese Meterological Corporation or download an app - "Sakura no Kimochi"(Free)( iOS / Android

Top Tips for Cherry Blossom in Japan
4. Pick when to visit

Unfortunately, Mother Nature can be fickle. Some years there can be a warm early spring and sometimes a cold snap creates problems with cherry blossom watching. Generally the blossom season spans from January until May. Starting in Okinawa in January and ending in Hokkaido in May. Higher altitude areas have a later blossoming. Remember the TV forecasts are your friend for up-to-date information.

5. Pick a location

Here are some of the more popular locations to hanami.

6. Prepare your picnic

Snack-sized foods such as sushi, dango (sweet dumplings on sticks) and onigiri (rice balls) are ideal for Hanami picnics. Many shops have prepared bento boxes with seasonal tweaks. As well as food, you will also need a blanket to sit on and bags for taking your rubbish home with you.

Top Tips for Cherry Blossom in Japan

7. Prepared Packing

Remember your selfie stick if you want to blend in like a local and warmer clothes to wear for when the sun goes down - cherry blossom is beautiful by night however it can get chilly. With this in mind remember to pack a flask with a hot drink. Comfortable shoes should be worn - you might have to walk a bit to find a good hanami spot.

Come say hello

Top Tips for Cherry Blossom in Japan
Top Tips for Cherry Blossom in Japan
Top Tips for Cherry Blossom in Japan

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