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10 April 2014

Japan's cherry blossom - photo tour


Sakura at sunset

It was my boyfriend's Christmas present to go see the sakura in Kyoto, Japan. 

What a great gift!

Full bloom

The cherry family of trees are not, as you would imagine, the trees which actually produce cherries, but rather an extended family of genus prunus which generally do not bear any fruit because they have been modified to be decorative. The trees are called sakura in Japanese hence the inerchangiability of the word for Cherry Blossom

Picknicking

The practice of picknicking under the sakura trees, or Hanami, is an age old tradition dating back to the 7th century and it is very much still alive today. 

Families and friends brave the cold 10 degree weather to sit under the trees on perfectly laid mats with fully fledged BBQ pits, charcoal, drinks and food. Both in Osaka and Kyoto Japanese took to the local parks during the weekend. 

Up and close

Japanese being Japanese the sakura is forecasted weeks in advance so everyone can properly plan because the end to end blossoming is very short. As soon as the flowers blossom fully they start falling down like a rain of petals. It is worth it to wait until the blossom has peaked and arrive to see the petals being blown away by the wind, it feels like being in a movie to stand under the flowers being swiped away by the wind.

 


A sakura carpet

The sakura also make appearances in the menus around Japan. We had a traditional kaiseki dinner in one of the most reknowned restaurants in Kyoto and almsot every dish was inspired or sprinkled by the sakura. The rice for one of the dishes colored pink; the miso soup with sakura shaped tofu; the tiny fish tinted pink; the dishes adorned with sakura branches and flowers. Everywhere we looked the cherry blossom was represented in a way or another. 



Have you been to Japan during tthe cherry blossom? Have you seen the cherry bllossom elsewhere?