Spring is finally here, bringing with it warmer temperatures, brighter skies, and fresh green buds. For people living in Japan, the arrival of spring signifies one more thing: the beginning of cherry blossom season. Cherry blossoms, or sakura in Japanese, are a cultural symbol of Japan, admired for their delicate pink beauty and short lifespans. Each spring, they bloom in waves across the islands of Japan, attracting thousands of tourists, photographers, and local residents.
Cherry blossom season is linked to the centuries-old custom of hanami, which are small parties and picnics held outdoors to enjoy the beauty of the cherry blossoms. People gather beneath cherry blossom trees to eat, drink, play music, and have fun together, all the while gazing at mass of pale pink and white petals that flutter overhead in the branches.
Whether you are in the city or the countryside, alone or with a group of friends, during the day or at nighttime, the blossoming of sakura is truly a spectacular sight to behold. From Japan to Washington, D.C. to Taiwan, cherry blossom season is a wonderful time to celebrate springtime, nature, and fleeting beauty.
Above image credits: Masato Mukoyama