Sakura season is around the corner, especially in Japan! Every year, from late March to early April, sakura, also known as cherry blossoms, transforms the country into a sea of wonderful pink color. More importantly, in Japanese culture, the season of sakura signifies a new beginning.
The arrival of the sakura season is enthusiastically awaited not just by the Japanese people, but also by everyone around the world. As tourists–maybe including you–start to flock to Japan in these coming months, here are a few activity ideas for you to enjoy this sakura season!
Hanami 花見, literally meaning ‘flower viewing’, has been an ancient tradition in Japan for centuries, starting from the Heian period back in 794-1185 AD. Today, Japanese people still celebrate hanami every year. In more than half of Japan, the cherry blossoming days come at the same time as the beginning of school or work after vacation, so welcoming parties are often opened with hanami.
During hanami season, thousands of people fill the parks to hold picnics under the flowering trees, and sometimes these parties would go on until late at night. People go to the parks to celebrate hanami with friends, family, and co-workers, bringing delicious food and drinks to accompany them. Some people would play musical instruments to make the occasion even merrier.
One of the items you must include in your bucket list when visiting Japan during sakura season is to visit Nara Park in the city of Nara in the Kansai region. Other than the beautiful cherry blossom trees you could find everywhere in the park, the highlight of the park is undoubtedly the gorgeous and adorable deers here, and you can even feed them! Don’t forget to check the surrounding areas of Sagi-ike and the Ukimodo gazebo, where the fallen sakura petals would dye the pond in a gorgeous pink color.
Can you imagine something more romantic than a picturesque train ride with your special someone beneath the sakura trees? If you visit Kyoto during this sakura season, you can do just that! Don’t miss the opportunity to have a 25-minute train ride from Saga-Arashiyama Station to Kameoka Torokko Station aboard the Sagano Romantic Train. The scenery of Sagano and Hozu River you would see from your window as you leisurely sit back and relax inside the train are as if it was taken straight out of fairy tales!
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