Hanami in Japan

Hanami (花見) is the Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the beauty of flowers, flower in this case almost always meaning cherry blossoms (sakura) or (less often) plum blossoms (ume).[1] From the end of March to early May, sakura bloom all over Japan, and around the first of February on the island of Okinawa. The blossom forecast (桜前線) is announced each year by the weather bureau, and is watched carefully by those planning hanami as the blossoms only last a week or two. In modern-day Japan, hanami mostly consists of having an outdoor party beneath the sakura during daytime or at night. In many places such as Ueno Park temporary paper lanterns are hung for the purpose of yozakura. On the island of Okinawa, decorative electric lanterns are hung in the trees for evening enjoyment, such as on the trees ascending Mt. Yae, near Motobu Town, or at Nakajin Castle. A more ancient form of hanami also exists in Japan, which is enjoying the plum blossoms (ume) instead, which is narrowly referred to as umemi (梅見). This kind of hanami is popular among older people, because they are more calm than the sakura parties, which usually involve younger people and can sometimes be very crowded and noisy [ref]. Below the pictures I took of the Hanami season in Japan.

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first published on 4 April 2012 - last viewed 1 day ago for a total of 1,241 views - permalink