Hanami (“flower viewing”) is the Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the beauty of flowers, “flower” in this case almost always meaning cherry blossoms (“sakura”). 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 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.
I was lucky enough to move to Japan just before spring so had the chance to experience cherry blossom time in Tokyo!! Shinjuku Geyoen Park is one of the most beautiful cherry blossom sites that I visited while living in Japan.
The streets and especially parks were all filled with these beautiful blossoms. I loved walking around in the parks after work or on weekends when they were filled with people picnicking and taking pictures of the blossoms. Everyone looked like they were celebrating the start of spring.
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is a large park that was filled with cherry blossoms! The gardens have more than 20,000 trees, including approximately 1,500 cherry trees which bloom from late March to late April.
It was originally a residence of the Naitō family in the Edo period and became a garden under the management of the Imperial Household Agency of Japan. Now it’s…
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