Welcome back, spring! You glorious, rejuvenating season, when days become longer, night birds chirp all night long and the overwhelming feeling of warmth sets into people.
No matter the part of the world, enjoying the beauty of spring is what we all have in common.
The Japanese, however, have taken this reconnection with nature to a completely different level. One of the greatest outdoors customs coming straight from Japan is Hanami – flower viewing. More precisely, cherry blossom and, more rarely, plum tree blossom viewing. Sakuras, or cherry blossoms, are in bloom in Japan from late March to early May. These wonderful scenes attract thousands of spectators who throw nature-friendly parties under the blossoming trees. They sit, enjoy a picnic and, most importantly, observe the quiet beauty of changing blossoms. Despite Hanami being an ancient festival, every year thousands of nature lovers gather together with an ever-fresh enthusiasm.
What is so appealing about the cherry blossoms?
Their sheer beauty may be good enough a reason to delve into contemplation and silent admiration of nature. Hanami brings not only pure enjoyment of experiencing the allure of rebirth, but also the acceptance of inevitable transience. Watching the mesmerising scene of trees bud into life fills one with awe and appreciation for life itself. Hanami teaches humans to grasp the moment and sink into the beauty of the ephemeral.
Blossoming trees are not around for too long, and can be observed only for about two weeks a year. This very short-livedness is probably what makes them even more alluring. With that in mind, let’s seize the day and find the nearest hanami spots. On the bright side, you can spare yourself the long journey to Japan and experience hanami festivals in Faversham (near Maidstone in Kent), Copenhagen or Berlin.
Let us know how you’ve liked it!