The Significance Of The Cherry Blossoms In Japan

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Photo by David A. LaSpina

The cherry blossom is one of my most favorite flowers of all time. If you grew up in Japan, you would probably feel the same way. Sakura is very important to Japanese people. “Hanami” (cherry blossom viewing) is an old Japanese spring tradition that has been practiced for centuries.

Many tourists from all over the world come to Japan every year to see the beautiful blooming of the cherry blossoms. If you have never been to Japan and are planning to visit in the future, I recommend you go during the cherry blossoms season. It will make your trip a more memorable one. The blooming of the cherry blossoms varies each year but it usually starts in late March and lasts for about one month.

Sakura is a flower that has symbolic significance to people of Japan.

Like many people that grew up in Japan, the cherry blossoms bring up many good memories as well as bittersweet ones to me. The cherry blossoms are very important to Japanese people as many celebrations and festivals take place during the blooming season. This very short blooming period is often compared to the transition nature of life. It reminds us that every beginning has an end and that life is beautiful yet very short.

My most favorite part of the cherry blossoms is not the blooming but actually the falling cherry blossoms petals. I will never forget the breathtaking view of falling cherry blossoms in April exactly ten years ago. I went to the Ueno Park with my childhood friend and we were speechless as we saw tens of thousands of petals falling from the cherry blossoms trees.

For a second, I thought we were in a different world of pink snowflakes falling gently on our skin. After the viewing, I wondered if I would see that again and it turned out to be the very last time that I would be in Japan during the cherry blossom season.

Another reason that I get a little sentimental when I think about the cherry blossoms is that I had to say goodbye to my classmates each year and anxiously started a brand new academic year with newly assigned classmates in April. The academic year in Japan starts on April 1 and Japanese schools assign students certain classes in which we spend a lot of time studying and planning various group oriented activities. So the cherry blossoms bring up many memories of achieving certain milestones in my life back home, which has made me the success I feel I am today.

As the cherry blossoms season is just around the corner, I think about my family and friends back in Japan. Although I live in a completely different environment, I miss the cherry blossoms as I become nostalgic about the past.

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Japan born, US educated, language teacher.
  • Yumitolesson says:

    thank you so much for your comment..your descriptions of the sakura are so beautiful..and I am glad that you were able to visit Japan during the Sakura season..it is definitely my most favorite season. You son definitely had the wedding at the right time!

  • Yumitolesson says:

    thank you for reading..I wanted to talk about my own version of cherry blossoms..^_^ Sakura has a lot of meanings to me.

  • Takuya says:

    I really love to watch Sakura especially with family and friends spreading a blue sheet sitting there and eating food and alcohol !! This is so great time to have !
    Now I’m ready for coming spring and ready for Hanami !!

  • Meg Ryan says:

    Sigh~I would love to see the cherry blossoms during the March/April season :3 I hope to one day visit it during such a magical season. 🙂 I bet its like in anime shows with the picnics, festivals and sprinkling petals.

    • Yumitolesson says:

      I miss it so much…it is just not the same..i see cherry blossoms like trees in California but no,,it’s not the same. 🙁

  • Patrick Kozak says:

    Nice blog,, I wish my town would put in pink street lights instead of orange,, so when it does snow, it would look like Sakura

  • Jing says:

    aww I would love to see the cherry blossoms falling too! I missed it when I was in Tokyo early last May, hoping to witness it next year when I return again! :>

  • Iain McSwan says:

    I remember seeing the Sakura in Hakodatte it was the most beautiful thing ive ever seen. To walk through trees of falling sakura flowers is truely amazing.

  • Valerie J Brown (Cheers) says:

    I can almost smell them!

  • Manish Prabhune says:

    Beautiful article Nakata san. Reminded of 散りぬべき 時知りてこそ 世の中の 花も花なれ 人も人なれ

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