Chasing the Sakura in Tokyo

Spring has finally come and Tokyo is in full bloom.

If you have ever been to Japan or have an interest in the Japanese cherry blossoms, you will probably have heard of the word hanami. This can literally be defined as “looking at flowers”. When Japan makes a seasonal change from winter to spring, the sakura will start to bloom. In whatever direction you look, cherry blossom trees are thriving. Unfortunately, their blooming period is only very short, which makes it the perfect opportunity for the Japanese to celebrate the beginning of spring. Whether this be among friends, family or as a company event, people will come together, spread out mats under the sakura trees, bring typical hanami food and drinks (usually some kind of bento-lunch box, dango-rice cakes and beer). As this period is quite short, it’s hard for tourists to plan their trip around this time. You just have to be lucky. Tokyo is usually in full bloom by the end of March, but due to whatever environmental reasons, this could differ. Famous hanami spots in Tokyo are Yoyogi park, Shinjukugyoen and Ueno.

Since my company held a hanami event last week, and the weather forecast said it was going to be cold and rainy, I did not plan on going outside during the weekend. But lucky me, the weather on Sunday got warm and sunny, so Dion and I went for a long walk and were able to take many photos.

Have you ever been to Japan during cherry blossom season? Let me know what you thought!

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