Japanese Cherry Blossom
A Japanese cherry blossom is the flower of a variety of trees that grows across the Japanese landscape, most notably in the species of the Prunus serrulata, which is also known as the Japanese cherry or sakura. The cherry blossom is so well regarded in Japanese culture that it has become the national flower of Japan. The blossoming flowers of the different species of cherry trees embody the eternal spring, a return to life, and the natural beauty of the world. The blossoms are celebrated annually in a tradition that dates back to the Nara period in the 8th century. Richer and more involved celebrations of the flower have taken the form of picnics and flower-viewing parties, which became popular between the late 8th and late 12th centuries among the aristocracy and Imperial Court before spreading to the likes of commoners and samurais. The cherry blossom has since become a symbol of the Japanese spirit often used in song, poetry, and other art. The government also encouraged its citizens during World War II to believe that the souls of downed soldiers were reincarnated as cherry blossoms.
The tradition of Hanami reflects the idea of enjoying transient beauty like the passing charm of flowers, which is most often used in regards to viewing the fleeting enchantment of the cherry blossoms each year. The popular viewing of the cherry blossoms across Japan often brings crowds of younger citizens and families to the countryside and city streets that are popular for hosting a variety of cherry tree species throughout the day. Some provinces use soft, electric lights or paper lanterns along the walkways for evening viewings. The special occasion of the Hanami is often accompanied by special drinks and dishes, such as a sweet dumpling that is known as Dango, the single portion meal that is referred to as bento, and sake.
Visiting Japan during cherry blossom season unveils a charming friendliness that is often hidden beneath the veneer of reserved, cultural integrity, turning the springtime across Japan into a majestic ambiance that is focused on simple pleasures and supportive joy. You will have a delightful view into a different side of Japan when the parks, gardens, and banks along narrow canals shimmer with fleeting white and pink blossoms, which indicate the arrival of warmer summer days. These gorgeous blossoms also add an ephemeral grace to the already tranquil ambiance of the temples, shrines, and gardens.