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Cherry Blossom Season

Last updated date:2024/1/25

Cherry Blossom Season

Cherry blossoms in Minato Mirai 21

Spring is on our door and with it will soon come the beautiful cherry blossoms. As far as a symbol, it’s hard to find something that better fits the Japanese ideal. Its meaning has changed over time, but has always remained Japanese through and through. Frankly, it is one of the best part of living in Japan and it is quite easy to understand why the Japanese have been going back to see the cherry trees bloom year after year for centuries.

Blossom contemplation (“hanami” in Japanese) is about enjoying the beauty of flowers. But over the years, it has come to center especially around cherry blossoms. The period is short but explosive! To be honest, even if you actively tried to avoid seeing cherry blossoms, it would be hard NOT to get a glimpse of a pink petal here and there. There is even a blossom forecast (called Sakura Zensen in Japanese) so you can adjust your schedule!

The year 2012 is also important for cherry trees as it marks the 100th anniversary of the donation by Japan in 1912 of cherry blossom trees to Washington DC. So it is not exclusively a Japanese thing anymore. In fact, the Tidal Basin, where the donated trees have been planted, has become one of the most famous cherry blossom viewing spots in the world. As it is, cherry blossoms not only represent “japaneseness,” but have also come to commemorate the friendship between two countries, between Japan and the United States of America.

Cherry blossoms in Washington D.C.

If we look back 100 years, we discover that Yokohama is connected to this gift in more ways than one. Not only did the trees embark on their voyage to America from the Port of Yokohama, but Eliza R. Scidmore, who initiated the project and saw it through, was an American travel writer residing in Yokohama. She now rests peacefully in the Yokohama Foreign General Cemetery. The City of Yokohama had made a commemorative logo to celebrate related events taking place throughout 2012.

A quick search on the “ Yokohama Visitors Guide(外部サイト)” website created by the Yokohama Convention and Visitors Bureau will give you a good idea of the best places in Yokohama to contemplate the cherry blossoms. It is definitely worth a look. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t only list places but events as well.

Cherry blossoms at Sankeien Garden

I invite you all to search where the cherry blossom spot closest to you is and check it out. And do not miss the O-oka River Promenade with hundreds of cherry trees planted along the river bed.

(Cette page en français)

Note: The information and links on this page date from 2012.

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