Sakura is the Japanese word for cherry blossom, which bloom across Japan between March and May each year in a dazzling display. Starting in Okinawa (southern Japan) and then moving northwards to Hokkaido. The cherry blossom is the country’s national flower and runs deep within the Japanese culture. Every year, the cherry trees of Japan are laden with beautiful pink blossoms, drawing people from all over the world to see them and marvel at their beauty and symbolism.
The significance of the cherry blossom in Japanese culture is its representation of the fragility and beauty of life. It is a reminder that life is overwhelmingly beautiful but also transient.
During cherry blossom season, people gather and celebrate under the blossoms. This form of celebration is called ‘Hanami’ and is a long-standing Japanese tradition of welcoming spring. The cherry blossoms are a floral embodiment of Japan’s most fundamental and deep-rooted cultural beliefs.
The first blossoms appear in Okinawa in late January, and the blossoms spread northward up to the vibrant cities of Tokyo and Osaka where they can be admired around the middle of March in full bloom. During the Sakura season, the whole country is swept up in a festival atmosphere with beautiful pink cherry blossoms filling the streets, ancient temples and sanctuaries. You can’t miss them.
If you want to follow the Sakura season and witness the cherry blossoms in full bloom then we recommend a few places to visit to experience a surreal Japanese phenomenon.
Yoshino is one of Japan’s most famous cherry blossom destinations, from early to mid April. It features over 30,000 cherry trees that cover the slopes which can be admired during the ascent up the mountainside. Kyoto is also one of the famed cherry blossom destinations, and while in the area be sure to take in the abundance of ancient Buddhist temples, imperial palaces and gardens all steeped in facsinating Japanese history.
Another renowned hotspot for cherry blossom sightings is the beautiful Mount Fuji. The Fuji Five Lakes area provides the best hanami opportunities, with blooming cherry trees that blanket the paths with pretty white and pink petals. Take our word for it... It's not to be missed.
Visiting one of Japan’s most iconic and beautiful spectacles and sharing in the excitement and passion as the locals celebrate the flowering of their national symbol is an experience you'll never forget. Follow the blossoms in March and April as they emerge in a swathe of glorious colour across the islands with flexible itineraries that include hand-picked hotels and traditional Japanese Ryokan guesthouses that will ensure you enjoy the most authentic experience possible.
For a completely bespoke itinerary, perfectly crafted to your family’s needs, call our Travel Consultants on 020 8246 5300 or click here.