A long, long cold winter is finally gone and spring has arrived in Japan with cherry blossoms blooming all over the country! As the national flower, cherry blossoms are an important indicator of the arrival of spring in Japan, and the blooming of cherry trees is celebrated throughout the country. Although there aren’t many specific “festivities” to celebrate, many people go out to view cherry blossoms, go on a picnic, take pictures, and enjoy themselves. We call this custom “Hanami” (meaning “flower-viewing”) in Japanese.
Cherry blossoms are blooming everywhere in Kyoto as well, and here in the Okazaki area where the physical store of Kyoto Handicraft Center is located, cherry blossoms are now in full bloom!
On the nearby Okazaki Canal, sightseeing boats come and go specifically for this season, and passengers enjoy Hanami on the water. This seasonal passing of the boats has become a springtime tradition in the Okazaki area.
Another perfect place for Hanami in Okazaki is Heian Jingu Shrine. In the garden within the precincts of Heian Jingu Shrine, you can find many weeping cherry trees with long-hanging twigs, which look like large flowery umbrellas or parasols spread over the ground. In contrast to the soft-colored cherry blossoms along the canal, the weeping cherry trees in the garden are bright pink, and this contrast in color makes Hanami in the area very exceptional.
However, as anyone who has experienced Japanese spring knows, the spring weather here is very changeable, and just after cherry blossoms bloom, we usually have rainy days and spring winds, and they quickly blow the blossoms away. Therefore, the period you can enjoy cherry blossoms in full bloom is very limited, which makes cherry blossoms even more precious. What a fleeting life!
Although cherry blossoms are beautiful because they are ephemeral, if you would like to cherish them for a longer period, why don’t you incorporate cherry blossom items at home and enjoy Hanami as much as you want? On our online store, we have cherry blossom items not only in spring but also all year round. We hope you will have a look at them and add a touch of spring to your home!
Here are some of our recommendations for Hanami at home!