Spring is finally coming to Toronto after the coldest winter in 20 years.
In Spring, Japanese hold a party called Hanami where they eat dango (sweet rice dumpling) with green tea or bento box, and so on. They do this under the cherry trees that blossom during this time of the year. It’s also known as Sakura watching.
Hanami has been conducted since the Nara period in the year 710, but was mostly celebrated by aristocrats. However, they viewed the Ume tree at that time while they are drinking tea or eating.
Later on, the Sakura tree became a more popular in 794. Hanami was actually a much more noble event where people composed songs and poems, which is completely different from today.
In these periods, Kyoto was the capital of Japan and a lot of traditions grew from there. That is why there are many beautiful Sakura trees in around the Kansai region that you can conduct Hanami and watch the Sakura blossoms. Of course, other regions also have many places to watch.
Here is a famous Sakura location in Kansai at Maruyama park, Kiyomizu temple and Yoshino mountain. Maruyama Park in Kyoto has around 800 Sakura trees, which have many kinds of blooms. The most famous one is the weeping Sakura tree. You will feel like sentimental, if you watch it in person.
This is a photo of the most famous Sakura tree in Maruyama park
Kiyomizu temple in Kyoto is a well-known sightseeing location for many Japanese as well as foreigner who are curious about Japan. The temple has over 1,000 Sakura trees and has the most popular scenery in spring and autumn in Kyoto. It is a really beautiful view from top of temple.
This is a photo of Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto.
Yoshino mountain in Nara prefecture is also a very popular place and has many Sakura trees in this location (around 30,000 trees!). Those Sakura blooms will absolutely make a deep impression in many peoples’ hearts.
This is a photo of “thousand Sakura trees” which is a very famous viewing in Yoshino
Toronto also has Sakura trees at High Park that change each season. It must be beautiful, although I have not seen them yet. They bloom around the end of April or early May depending on weather. I’m sure everyone will be able to enjoy Hanami this year, but do not drink outside (drinking sadly illegal outside in Canada).