Now that summer is so close and you can almost taste the humidity in the Tokyo air, I thought I should at least acknowledge the arrival (and departure) of the famous cherry blossom.
Their highly-anticipated arrival in Tokyo was projected for mid- to late-March according to The Bloom Calendar. They blossom from south to north in Japan and other parts of Asia and they were in full bloom here by March 30th.
I’d heard much about the cherry blossoms and how beautiful they are. I’d missed them bloom in Washington D.C. both times I was there as an intern. And though I’d seen cherry blossoms up close a few times, nothing prepares you for a pink bud-covered Japan. Previous to this my first spring in this country, I really wanted to believe that it was all touristy hype.
There is no way to describe it, really. I went to different parks around the city and whoever dare describe the experience as a “you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all” could not be more wrong. Everywhere I went I fell in love with the cherry blossoms for the first time all over again.
And in case you’re wondering, the cherry blossoms do not produce cherries. That may be stupid of me to think but apparently it’s a common misconception, helping me feel slightly better about it.
I took so many pictures even though in the nearly three-week lifespan of the blossoms I only managed to visit a handful of places that have cherry blossom trees.
And the Japanese love their sakura. Everywhere you go people are having hanami parties, which are cherry blossom viewing parties. It’s like a boozy picnic under the trees at the park with friends. And parks stay open late here and some even light up the trees for optimal night viewing. It’s a great time to be in Japan.
And I really must mention the loads of cherry blossom flavored food products available during the season. Even Starbucks has a limited-engagement cherry blossom latte and Frappuccino. I definitely had too many sakura-flavored cakes, drinks and ice creams than I’d care to admit.
I can’t wait for next spring!