One of the most magnificent sight that will get etched in your memory in Japan is the sight of the Cherry Blossom Trees also known as Sakura as they capture the attention of visitors and locals alike with their beautiful pink flowers blanketing the country in soft, colourful splendor. In Japanese culture, the cherry blossom is a cherished symbol of spring, fleeting beauty, and Japan itself. The short lifespan of the cherry blossom, each variety flowers for just seven to ten days exemplifies the Japanese concept of mono no aware, an awareness of the ephemeral nature of all things. The brief, colourful life of the blossoms makes them a poignant symbol of mortality and they frequently appear in Japanese art and literature.
Because the cherries blossom in bunches of flowers, they are symbolically associated with clouds, and stand for ephemeral nature of life in Japanese culture, thats highly influenced by Buddhism. Sakuras are often featured in Japanese art, movies, anime and manga. The blooming season starts in late March to mid-April or even early May and you watch the various varieties blooming in parks and streets of different cities of Japan. During this time, families and other groups, from workplaces or social clubs, assemble to celebrate a tradition known as Hanami cherry blossom viewing. For centuries, it has been celebrated in Japan and it often involves a picnic party with food and drinks.
The places where you can enjoy Hanami are Goryokaku Fort Park, Hirosaki Castle Park, Kakunodate, Ueno Park, Shinjuku Gyoen Garden, Maruyama Park and Senkoji Park. If you want to enjoy food at a Hanami party, Hanami bento is recommended. And as vegetables and fishes in season are used, you will be able to enjoy the taste of spring in Japan. You can easily get a bento from a departmental store. It is a common practice to reserve a picnic spot in advance by spreading a picnic sheet. And there are places, including parks and campuses, where a party i