Japan in full bloom

Spring has come to Japan with the first cherry blossoms of the year. People anxiously wait for the blossom forecast announced by the Meteorological Agency, while marking their calendar for the best day for blossom viewing (hanami). As the cherry blossoms front (sakurazensen) moved northwards, the cherry trees started blooming in Shizuoka, Kumamoto and Tokyo on March 22, a few days earlier than average. Many Japanese bloggers have taken the opportunity to snap pictures of the blossoms.

Rieko Koizumi of One Drop Room with Flowers, a photo blog that features pictures of flowers she encounters in her daily life, took a picture of a cherry flower before the cherry blossom season was “officially announced”.

Photo by Rieko Koizumi of One Drop Room with Flowers CC-BY-NC-ND


Late in the afternoon, I spotted something pink red from a distance, so I went closer and I found [this flower] blooming quietly.

Here are some pieces from another photo blog skyseeker
Sakura 1

yokohama sakura
Photo by skyseeker CC-BY


The row of cherry trees of “Kishamichi”, the promenade connecting Sakuragicho Station and the new port area.
It is so hard to describe the beauty, and I cannot even think of any word.

sakura 2

Photo by Danny Choo CC-BY-NC-SA

Blogger A Blue Swan reflects on why cherry blossoms are so special to Japanese culture:


The cherry trees are in full bloom. Cherry trees attract bugs, they are not so beautiful when they are not blooming, they cannot be used to build anything, their fruit is not edible, the flowers fall so fast, well they are not very useful trees. However, Japanese people have always loved the flowers. That's because the sense of “impermanence” that Japanese people have had since ancient times overlaps with the existence of the flowers. [These Japanese people] projected [the image of] human beings who died in the blink of an eye onto petals that fall in the blink of an eye. And then they found value in that.


Photo by sputnik CC-BY-NC-SA

sputnik blog posted pictures of cherry blossoms in a field of rapeseed flowers from their hanami trip, including the one above, and wrote:


I went out this year again. Hanami in the same place as last year. It really is beautiful, I am glad that I went. Last year I got there just after noon and it was very crowded, so this year it was sort of like a morning raid, I arrived before 7 in the morning. And yet, I was surprised that quite a few people were already there… But, because of this I was able to relax and see [the flowers]. The pale pink colour of the cherry blossoms and the relaxing yellow of the rapeseed flowers, the view of the tender colours makes me think heaven must be like this.


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