Sorry for the lack of posts recently, I returned home for a week to visit my family so that prevented me from writing for 2 weeks and then the last two weeks have just been very busy. I’ll try to catch up and get back to the regular schedule~
This week’s Throwback Thursday is about sakura (cherry blossom) season, a much anticipated time of year in Japan and a time when everything is cloaked in a beautiful layer of pink.
Japan does not have an official national flower, but if it did, the sakura would be a strong candidate and they have been used to represent Japan for a long time. Each year there is even a forecast for when the sakura are supposed to bloom in each region of Japan.
When the sakura have bloomed, people have hanami, or cherry blossom viewing parties. This can be during the daytime, in the form of a picnic, or at nighttime, with alcohol. Families, friends and coworkers alike often gather together under the cherry blossoms to enjoy this yearly spectacle.
Since Beppu’s in the south-west of Japan (but the east side of Kyushu), we get sakura quite early, and they did, as predicted, bloom around late March and last until early to mid April. I enjoyed the sakura both with my fellow JETs, at lunch in our local park, and with coworkers, in the same park but at nighttime (various places often have illuminations for nighttime sakura-viewing), and at a nearby amusement park.
It was really nice to be able to finally enjoy hanami, since I didn’t really do any on my year abroad. Plus, since it wasn’t in a big city, there was plenty of space for everyone and it wasn’t crammed and uncomfortable like it might have been in Tokyo.
So if you want to enjoy the sakura when you come to Japan, I recommend picking a smaller, less tourist-filled place like Kyushu! ^-^