The beautiful country of Japan is a site to behold at this time of year. Should you decide to head to that side of the world, make sure you visit at least one area of Japan and witness firsthand the wonderful sight created by nature, which attracts much attention yearly.
Japan is noted for among many things, one being its cherry blossoms, which can be seen throughout the entire country but are especially good to view at Yoshino. Each year, visitors come to view the sights of groves of cherry trees in full blossom, which gives the appearance of earthly clouds of flowers. It is sort of a national event in Japan with many news services covering it, and carrying maps of their progress. It is also a time when many Japanese tend to be less reserved and throw parties.
A Hanami tradition is to have a picnic party amid the blooming trees; these parties begin from the arrival of the earliest buds. Parties are held both by day and under moonlight. Crowds flood the parks with beer and of course their good cheer. Hanami can be enjoyed anywhere there’s a cherry tree in blossom, however few places have become favorites over the centuries.
Tokyo’s Ueno-kōen has 1000 flowering cherry trees and is noted as ground zero for Hanami explosions. It is arguably the most popular spot in the country. Shinjuku-gyōen, is one of Tokyo’s largest parks and you can set up Hanami parties without large crowds. However the pick of spots is Maruyama-kōen, in Kyoto, the centerpiece is a massive weeping cherry tree. It is one of the city’ s most spectacular sights especially when it is lit at night.
If you happen to visit Kyoto on the second Sunday in April, then head out to the Diago-ji temple, where a special procession in period costume is held to re-enact a cherry blossom party held there in 1598.
As Hanami locations become more and more popular it usually means that the best picnic spots are considered prized turf. Don’t be surprised to see tarpaulins strewn across the grass as people reserve their spots for the day from very early in the morning. Its best to go out and also reserve your spot if you want to be right in the thick of the bloom party.
If you do go to Yoshino, a 500m uphill walk from the cable station will take you to Kimpusen-ji. It houses a hall said to be the largest wooden building in Japan. Inside you will find the Tokyo National Museum, which houses almost 90,000 items including the world largest collection of Japanese art.