Cherry Blossom in Tokyo & Hanami Tradition

Hundreds of festive Tokyoites and tourists alike flock the streets of the metropolis this weekend to admire cherry blossoms which have sprung in full bloom. And not even the chilly weather and overcast sky would keep them indoors. cherry-blossom-tokyo-47cherry-blossom-tokyo-4cherry-blossom-tokyo-16cherry-blossom-tokyo-1cherry-blossom-tokyo-31cherry-blossom-tokyo-32Spring has always been my favorite time of the year and Japan made me fall in love with it even more with incredibly scenic views of flowering cherry trees. This weekend the cityscape exploded with blossoms as sakura burst into a dazzling array of pink and white hues, formed the tunnel of blooms and, most importantly, filled the city with incredible delicate fragrance. cherry-blossom-tokyo-37There are myriads of wonderful places in Tokyo where you can admire cherry blossoms including dozens of sprawling parks and even avenues lined up with these beautiful trees. I decided to head to the Imperial Palace grounds first to gawk at the petal-filled castle moat in Chidorigafuchi. It might as well be the most romantic spot in Tokyo during Spring. cherry-blossom-tokyo-10cherry-blossom-tokyo-18cherry-blossom-tokyo-21cherry-blossom-tokyo-27cherry-blossom-tokyo-28Couples rented the boats and leisurely rowed along the moat whilst admiring the blooms. A perfect date, don’t you think? cherry-blossom-tokyo-29cherry-blossom-tokyo-23cherry-blossom-tokyo-17Japanese take this time of the year very seriously, so much so that kids get a week off from school, and adults take leave to marvel sakura trees. Here, the cherry blossom is more than just a beautiful flowering tree. This time deeply resonates with Japanese and has been the epitome of change and new beginnings. The beautiful flowering trees represent the fragility and the beauty of life. It’s a reminder that life is almost overwhelmingly beautiful but that it is also tragically short. Also, a fallen cherry blossom symbolizes a fallen samurai who sacrificed his life for the emperor.cherry-blossom-tokyo-53cherry-blossom-tokyo-50cherry-blossom-tokyo-41cherry-blossom-tokyo-40And no cherry blossom season is complete without a hanami. Literally translated as flower viewing, this cultural ritual is so much more. When people gather to admire the blooms they aren’t just thinking about the flowers themselves, but also about the larger cultural meaning of the cherry blossom tree. This tradition of sakura appreciation has existed for centuries and is utterly significant seasonal highlight. It’s an experience; a spiritual metaphor for the beautiful but fleeting nature of life; and above all, a chance to get outside and eat, drink and be merry under the cover of beautiful pink and white blossoms. I was lucky to be invited by my wonderful Japanese friends to their hanami party on Saturday in Yoyogi Park. cherry-blossom-tokyo-42cherry-blossom-tokyo-39The place was flooded with joyous groups eating and partying on the lawns and under the trees. cherry-blossom-tokyo-44cherry-blossom-tokyo-45Crowded would be an understatement, and one should not expect privacy, although somehow as soon as you step under these dainty lush blooms you seem to immerse into a wonderland where no worries exist. cherry-blossom-tokyo-49cherry-blossom-tokyo-35cherry-blossom-tokyo-48cherry-blossom-tokyo-25Happy, blessed, and in love with life… This is what I felt this weekend for being able to live in Japan and experience firsthand the beauty of this amazing country and its culture. Even though Fall in Tokyo was picturesque, in my mind the thought of Japan will always trigger the memories of the scent of these ethereal flowering trees…. I am forever engaged to breathtaking Spring in Japan. cherry-blossom-tokyo-46

Linking up with lovely Emma, Angie, Jessi & Sus for #TravelLinkup

xoxo, nano


  1. beautiful pictures! I have been to Japan around late March this year and such a pity that they have not bloomed fully around due to the weather… definitely come back next year at the right time :)

  2. Great pun at end! :P I did the cherry blossoms in Toronto last spring and utterly loved it. I think I’d cry if I actually got to experience it in Japan. Lovely photos, thanks for sharing!

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