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Sakura and Hanami on the Himeji Castle

Cherry blossom at the Himeji Castle, Japan
Cherry blossom at the Himeji Castle, Japan
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Cherry blossom? Sakura. Celebration of cherry blossom (or ‘flower viewing’)? Hanami.
Ok, so now you know two the most important words.
The Japanese see it as a very important moment and each year at the Sakura, the families get together for Hanami.
This custom is said to have started in the 8th century and at the beginning it was ume (plum) blossom that was celebrated.

Cherry blossom at the Himeji Castle, Japan
Cherry blossom at the Himeji Castle, Japan

While Hanami can be as well just a walk in a park, often times it includes a picnic under the cherry trees.
Some reserve their spots early in the morning by placing their picnic sheet and by either putting the name of the group/family or having someone sitting there all day waiting for the others to join after the work day.
Note though that in multiple places this kind of “reservation” is prohibited.

Picnic at the Himeji Castle, Japan
Picnic at the Himeji Castle, Japan
Picnic at the Himeji Castle, Japan
Picnic at the Himeji Castle, Japan
Photographing cherry blossom
Photographing cherry blossom
Cherry blossom
Cherry blossom

Often times, markets appear nearby, selling all possible festive drinks and food.

Hanami market
Hanami market
Hanami market
Hanami market

Before you start chasing the cherry blossom in Japan, check the Sakura dates and the best spots. It only starts now – you still have time to see it 🙂


Source: http://sakura.weathermap.jp/en.php

One of the most spectacular places to see the cherry blossom is the Himeji Castle – the 14th century hilltop complex of over 80 buildings:

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