The essence of Hanami
Hanami means looking at Sakura which is the Japanese term for cherry blossom. For the Japanese, this blossom is the symbol of the transience of life and it is therefore extensively discussed. The tradition dates back to the eighth century when it was introduced during the Nara period.
The emperor celebrated with the court in the city parks under the blossom. Later, this tradition also came to life outside the royal court and was, among other things, adopted by the samurai. The falling petals became the symbol of the warriors who gave their lives to the Emperor.
During World War II, the Sakura was also reflected in the planes used by Kamikaze pilots for their last flight. Life does not last forever and you should enjoy it for as long as it lasts, the idea was behind this. It is the same with the blossom, it is only visible for a short period of the year, so enjoy it for as long as you can
Cherry Blossom Festival
Today, a major cherry blossom festival takes place every year in Japan to celebrate the blossoming of cherry trees. They do this by going to the park with friends or family to have a picnic or barbecue. These kinds of parties go on all day long. Because the blossom period depends on the weather, the exact date of this festival is never entirely fixed.
What is certain is that the blossom ‘travels’ from the south to the north. This means that Sakura is often visible in Hokkaido in April, while in Fukuoka it often disappears in March. It is not without reason that we recommend traveling from north to south, in order to have the best chance of experiencing this phenomenon.
Although the blossom is also visible elsewhere in Asia, Japan is still the ideal country to admire this natural phenomenon. There are several reasons for this.
First of all, of course, because Sakura is the national flower of Japan. In addition, a forest full of blossoms remotely resembles a beautiful cloud. Castles or temples that protrude above the trees then seem to “float” on the clouds. Similarly, Mount Fuji, which stands out slightly better between the cherry trees as the ultimate symbol of Japan.
In addition, nowhere in the world, the myths, symbols, and experience of Sakura are as intense as in Japan. It is therefore important to book a spring trip to Japan in time to ensure that hotels are not yet fully booked. People travel to Japan from all over the world. It, therefore, becomes so busy in some parks that the ‘King’s Day principle’ is applied. The most beautiful spots under the trees are reserved in advance with ribbons and mats. However, as experts by experience, we know that this bustle should not stop you from going to Japan for Hanami yourself.
If you have found a place in a Japanese park, always keep the following rules in mind. Do not take up more space than necessary, do not touch the trees and petals (as long as they have not swirled to the ground by themselves) and do not leave a mess. Well, in that respect the Japanese rules don’t really differ that much from ours at all.
Cherry trees in the
The Netherlands You can also enjoy Japanese cherry blossom in the Netherlands. In the year 2000, Japan gave us 400 cherry trees that are now in the Amsterdamse Bos. These trees are also in bloom every spring. So if you don’t manage to be in Japan next spring, this is an excellent opportunity to reflect on the transience of life.
Do you want to know in which countries in Asia you can also enjoy the blossom or would you like to know what other natural phenomena are worth traveling for? Feel free to contact us. I and my colleagues are happy to tell you all about it.