YES! it's that time of the year again where the entire nation come together to watch the beautiful petals of Sakura (Cherry-blossom). It's personally my favourite time of the year! the weather is great - sunny days with mild temperature. And you see colleagues, family, friends coming together to enjoy drinks/food in parks, fantasizing the beauty of sakura (this is called hanami).
When is sakura on?
unlike the meticulous transportation system in Japan, sakura is not as punctual as its blossom depends on the temperature. But generally, if you come to the main island late March to early April, you will definitely catch it! Check this site to find the detailed dates for the blossoms this year!
Where should I go?
Sakura is all over Japan!
If you are in Tokyo...Yoyogi Park, Ueno Park are the places to hit if you want to see the hype of Hanami. Shinjyuku Gyoen with a entrance fee of $2 or so, is a beautiful option and maybe less crowded. My personal favorites are Nakameguro - amazing to see the sakura overarching the river; and Roppongi - specifically Keyakizaka-dori or Sakurazaka-dori - its just breathe-taking!
In Kyoto... Maruyama Park or Kamo River to experience Hanami. My all time favorite is a late night stroll along the Philosopher's path.
Please note that Sakura season is probably the busiest time in Japan - full of tourists. I'd strongly suggest to make your bookings early. I personally don't see any value in booking fancy tours just to look at sakura as they can be found everywhere in Japan.
Why is Sakura so important to Japanese people?
Sakura has a great significance in Japan because it's a visual reminder of how previous life is . Sakura's beautiful blossom only lasts around 10 days. Like life, it is beautiful, yet short-lived. Its metaphor for human existence reminds us that we need to LIVE our life to the fullest while we can, rather than wait for things to happen.
Sakura also signifies a new beginning. Unlike elsewhere where schools begins in September, Japanese schools begins in April, and new graduates start their job in April. A new beginning full of hope and dream! And during this time, we look to the future with trust and faith, and this gives us the courage to keep moving forward.
While we may not all be lucky enough to be in Japan during this festive season, why don't we utilize this symbolic season to check on ourselves...
- are we embracing life fully?
- are we keeping up with our new year resolution?
- do we have a positive attitude towards life?
- do we have the confidence to succeed?
- are we living the life we want to?
If your answer is not a straight yes to any of the above, hit me up here to discuss! Maybe Life Coaching could help you live your life differently.