It’s getting close to 花見 (“Cherry-Blossom Viewing“) time in Japan.
Every spring, during the short time that the pink Sakura (Cherry Blossoms) are in bloom, Japanese people enjoying hanami (“Cherry-Blossom Viewing“).
This ancient Japanese tradition is basically a picnic under the Sakura trees.
Japanese people will often join a “hanami” party more than once during the period the flowers are in bloom…because people will often join a party with friends, another with co-workers, and another with their family.
It’s very enjoyable to sit under the delicate flowers as they fall from the trees in the spring breeze like a pink snowfall and enjoy good food and beer and conversation with friends and / or family.
Sakura is a symbol of Japan and it’s appreciated for it’s beauty and also that it’s gentle and is gone soon after it blooms…like life itself.
Quite a contrast from a strong thorny flower with a long life like a rose.
Anyways, “MAPPLE” is probably the most famous map company in Japan. And on their website they have a 「お花見地図」 (“Cherry-Blossom Viewing Map“).
On this map, you choose an area of Japan from the list on the left (it looks like this):
And then the map will highlight that area of the map of Japan with images of Sakura trees that are color-coded to indicate whether the sakura flowers in that area are “in full bloom”, “just beginning to bloom”, “not yet”, “almost all past”, or “finished”.
There’s a key in the upper-left corner of the site that indicates what the colored trees mean:
If you can read Japanese, you can click here to see the 「お花見地図」 (“Cherry-Blossom Viewing Map“).
Have you ever gone on a 「花見」 (Cherry Blossom Viewing)? Did you enjoy it?
Will you go this year?