FESTIVAL OF THE CHERRY

The translation of the word Hanami means '' looking at the flowers '' in Japanese, and it is one of the best times of the year to visit Japan.

The Japanese wanted to make this moment a real tradition and there are many tourists from all parts of the world who go to Japan during this period.

The main flowers of the hanami are cherry blossoms (sakura in Japanese) and to a lesser extent those of plum trees (ume) and can be admired both day and night.

The cherry blossom, in Japanese culture, has very important meanings and since the sakura is a flower that blooms very conspicuously but lasts for a few days, it has become the symbol of seasonality and beauty.

The sakura metaphor is central to Buddhism, especially Zen Buddhism, where the cherry blossom annually recalls the ephemeral nature of all things, even those apparently destined to last.

In more modern times, cherry blossoms were often painted on the planes of kamikaze missions during World War II, and pilots carried a cherry tree branch with them before takeoff.

The thousand-year care of the sakura makes Japan a destination for real pilgrimages in search of the most beautiful place in which to admire the spectacle of an event that is repeated every year.


FORECAST OF CHERRY BLOOMING IN 2021

Cherry blossoms can usually be seen throughout Japan from the end of March until the first week of April, although the very first premature bloom could also be seen from the end of January and is called kaika. Normally this flowering occurs together with that of the plums, less known but still very beautiful. Below you can see the indicative cherry blossom dates for 2021, based on the bloom in 2020.

• Sapporo: flowering from 26 April 2021 (maximum flowering 20 April 2021)

• Aomori: flowering from 15 April 2021 (maximum flowering 20 April 2021)

• Sendai: flowering from 28 March 2021 (maximum flowering 3 April 2021)

• Tokyo: flowering from 14 March 2021 (maximum flowering 22 March 2021)

• Kanazawa: flowering March 26, 2021 (maximum flowering April 1, 2021)

• Nagano: flowering from 2 April 2021 (maximum flowering 9 April 2021)

• Nagoya: flowering from March 22, 2021 (maximum flowering April 1, 2021)

• Kyoto: flowering from March 22, 2021 (maximum flowering March 30, 2021)

• Osaka: flowering from 23 March 2021 (maximum flowering 3 April 2021)

• Nara: flowering from March 22, 2021 (maximum flowering April 3, 2021)

• Wakayama: flowering from March 22, 2021 (maximum flowering March 31, 2021)

• Hiroshima: flowering from March 22, 2021 (maximum flowering April 3, 2021)

• Kochi: flowering from 24 March 2021 (maximum flowering 2 April 2021)

• Fukuoka: flowering from 21 March 2021 (maximum flowering 2 April 2021)

• Kagoshima: flowering from April 1st 2021 (maximum flowering April 2nd 2021)


HOW TO CELEBRATE THE BLOOMING OF CHERRIES

Hanami parties are beautiful outdoor parties that can consist of a simple picnic or even a real party, with dances, music and entertainment. The most suggestive hanami parties are those at night, where the cherry trees are adorned with the characteristic paper lanterns.

Hanami is practiced in a more organized and showy way in large urban centers: just think that Tokyo, every year, passes more than 10 million visitors and many of them participate in hanami.

To protect yourself from the cold do not forget warm clothes: the beauty of sakura will keep you in the parks for many hours and you can also find comfortable disposable hand warmers or body warmers on sale.


CURIOSITIES

There are many curious facts about hanami and sakura. The hanami itself changes its name when celebrated at night, and becomes yozakura.


The sakura not only in the center of the hanami, but are also used to produce foods and drinks that are popular throughout the spring (but you can also find them at other times of the year): you can enjoy sakura ice cream, with petals and buds all around inside, sakura fries, drinks of all kinds including Starbucks Sakura Frappuccino, Sakura Pepsi, Red Bull Sakura, all cherry-flavored and pink in color.


In Japan there is also the oldest cherry tree in the world, the Miharu Takizakura. It is over 1000 years old and grows up in Fukushima Prefecture. On the occasion of the tsunami it was a great symbolic comfort and a good omen for the population.


The coins also celebrate sakura: the 100 yen has a cherry blossom as a distinctive decoration.

And finally, a poetic note. Pablo Neruda knew well the enchantment of sakura blossoms and in one of his verses he says: "I want to do with you what spring does to cherry trees".