What is Hanami, a Japanese spring tradition


Let’s learn about Hanami in Japan

What is Hanami?

Ohanami is an event in Japan to enjoy viewing cherry blossoms in March and April. Hanami is not only to enjoy looking at the cherry blossoms, but also to enjoy eating lunch and drinking alcohol at the foot of the trees. Many countries prohibit drinking in public places, but in Japan, people enjoy cherry blossom viewing outside of restaurants during this time of year. Also, in Japan, the new school year starts in April, so many people gather to welcome the new year.

What are cherry blossoms for Japanese people?


Source: https://www.pakutaso.com/

In Japan, the word “hana” means cherry blossom. It has been so familiar since ancient times that there are so many poems about cherry blossoms in the Kokin Wakashu, a collection of poems from the early 10th century. Besides cherry blossom viewing, “ume-viewing” to see plum blossoms and “autumn-leaf viewing” to enjoy autumn leaves are also popular, but for Japanese people, cherry blossom viewing is a very special and important event. During the cherry blossom season, festivals with food stalls are held, and some places are lit up at night so that people can enjoy the fantastic view of cherry blossoms.

The difference between picnics and hanami


Source: https://www.pakutaso.com/

There is a big difference between picnics in many countries and hanami in Japan. Even in Japan, which has four seasons, the cherry blossom season is limited to a very short period of time, but the weather is pleasant and it rarely rains during that time. This is why many Japanese people go out to enjoy hanami during the cherry blossom season. The food is different from that of picnics, which are mainly sandwiches and snacks. The culture of taking a colorful bento lunch box, which is delicious even when cold, to go out and enjoy the cherry blossoms has spread because the culture of bento lunch boxes has been developed in Japan for a long time.

Let’s visit famous cherry blossom viewing spots!


What are the three most famous cherry blossom viewing spots in Japan?

If you are going to Japan to see cherry blossoms, you should know the three most famous cherry blossom viewing spots. The first is the cherry blossoms of Yoshinoyama in Nara Prefecture. The first is Yoshinoyama in Nara Prefecture, which is known as “Sight at a Glance” because you can see 1,000 cherry trees at a glance. The second is the cherry blossoms at the Hirosaki Performing Arts Center in Aomori Prefecture. There are 2,600 cherry trees planted on a site of 490,000 square meters. The third is the cherry blossoms in Takato Joshi Park in Nagano Prefecture. More than 1,500 bright red cherry trees, which bloom only in Takato, are in full bloom.

What are the best places to see cherry blossoms in Tokyo?

There are a number of places in Tokyo that are recommended for cherry blossom viewing. Shinjuku Gyoen, Ueno Onshi Koen and Sumida Koen are some of the places that have been selected as one of the 100 best places for cherry blossom viewing. Ueno Onshi Park is surrounded by art galleries, museums and a zoo, so there is no shortage of things to see and do. Yasukuni Shrine and Roppongi Hills also host festivals and are ideal for watching the cherry blossoms at night. Other places such as Yaesu Sakura-dori Street, which is right next to Tokyo Station, are also very convenient for transportation.


Source: https://www.pakutaso.com/

A slightly different hanami experience!

Hanami is not limited to just sitting under the cherry trees. At Sagano Kanko Railway in Kyoto and Oigawa Railway in Shizuoka, you can enjoy a tunnel of cherry blossoms on a quaint train ride. Senkoji in Hiroshima and Beppu in Oita offer spectacular views from ropeways. At Hirosaki Park in Aomi, you can even take a scenic flight from a helicopter to see the cherry blossoms at one of Japan’s three most famous cherry blossom viewing spots. In addition to hanami boats on Tokyo’s Sumida River, there are endless ways to enjoy hanami, such as riding in a horse-drawn carriage or rickshaw.