Japan is known for many different things. When people think of Japan they think of various parts of the country’s rich culture. However, nothing in Japan is a more beautiful image than the famous cherry blossoms.

In Japan, cherry blossoms don’t bloom in every area at the same time. In general, when trying to capture the ideal day to see the cherry blossoms fall, there are two primary considerations. One is that the flowers spread upward, from south to north. That means cherry blossoms appear in the southernmost parts of Japan, including Okinawa, as early as January.

Conversely, you might be seeing cherry blossoms as late as May in cold northern cities like Hokkaido. Do you want to learn more about the beautiful Japanese cherry blossom? Here are some facts you need to know about Japan’s most beautiful trees.

cherry blossoms
Photo credit: gogonihon.com

You Can Eat The Cherry Blossoms

Many people pickle both the leaves and the flowers of Japanese cherry trees. The flowers particularly boast a lovely, vibrant pink color and are used as sakurayu, sakura anpan (bean paste-filled sweet rolls), or toppings for tea.

Sakuramochi is the most popular dish made with those pickled leaves and flowers. The rice cake is covered with the leaves, while often — but not always — the flower is used as a topping.

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Sakurayu is a tea with cherry blossom where hot water is poured over the pickled flora. This tea is a bit of a lucky charm and often served instead of the usual green tea at weddings or engagements. It’s usually enjoyed for celebratory occasions, regardless of the season.

Historically, Japanese Enjoyed Planting This Tree

From the 8th century, seeding cherry blossoms was a national pastime. In addition, there were many varieties of cherries being planted around the country. In the 14th century, the trees were cultivated as an ornamental flora.

A type of cherry blossom known as Somei-yoshino was first introduced into Japan in the mid-19th century. From the late 19th century onwards, its cultivation spread throughout Japan, making it the most abundant cherry tree species today.

Cherry Blossoms Symbolize Many Things

Every year around February, shops throughout Japan stock their shelves with sakura-themed items, treats, and dishes. This is long before the bloom of the first flowers.

Every year, this demand for cherry blossoms grows more substantial. The variety of flower-centered goods and food increases. In March and April, when Japan actually experiences the beautiful cherry blossoms, dessert designs and sweets are abundantly available. The cherry blossom trees have a lot of significance for the Japanese people.

The Best Time To Visit Is Before Or During Summer

The buds turn yellowish-green in the Kanto area and open in mid-March. Then, they gradually become white. On average, after the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) reports that the buds have opened, you can expect the cherry blossoms to be in full bloom for about five days. However, if a cold snap occurs, the flowers will reach peak bloom ten days after the announcement from JMA.

You’ve got a two-week window that starts from when the buds bloom to when they begin to wilt. All of this depends, of course, on factors like wind and rain.

cherry blossom

Conclusion

Below the moonlight is the best way to enjoy the full bloom of cherry blossoms. The light casts a shadow over the flowers creating a soft, dreamy atmosphere. However, you can also enjoy the trees’ beauty during the day.

For more tips in enjoying your Japan trip, click here.

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