Cherry Blossom Viewing

Cherry Blossom Viewing

Japanese people love sakura or cherry blossoms not only because of their beauty but also because of their brevity of life. Cherry blossoms usually bloom for only a week or two. They remind us of the transience of our life, meaning more than just beautiful flowers to us. The most famous variety of sakura is somei-yoshino, developed through cloning in the 19th century. All somei-yoshino carry the same genetic information, so they come into full bloom altogether. The full bloom period depends on the place and climate, but cherry blossoms usually bloom between late March and early April in Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. From the beginning of March, TV news programs provide “cherry blossom forecasts” every week. Every spring, many parks, castles, temples and shrines get crowded with viewers and street stalls. People also enjoy illuminated cherry blossom viewings at night. Since Japan is long north to south, sakura can be seen for more than two months in spring.

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