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Planning a trip to Japan to see this year’s Cherry Blossom season but unsure of where to go and more importantly when? Check out this handy guide below which covers the major prefectures and blooming dates for 2018.
Sakura season is literally around the cornet for Japan. That beautiful time of the year when the Cherry Blossom go into bloom and decorate the Japanese landscape with a sea of pink, transforming everything into a dreamscape. So it’s a perfect time for Starbucks to reveal the annual tradition of the new Sakura themed drinks they’ll be offering.
It’s a great time to be in Japan right now with the annual blooming of the Cherry Blossom, or Sakura, transforming Japan into a wonderland of sort with pink blooms everywhere. Yasunori Iwamoto, a Tokyo based film maker took to Tokyo with a camera enabled drone to capture some stunning footage of the sakura doing their natural thing. Arguable one of the more popular spots for sakura viewing is the Megurogawa River. These viewing parties are called hanami.
There’s a spot that goes on for a little over 4km and is host to no less than 800 trees in full bloom. In any case, here’s the drone footage which shows off the absolute beauty and majesty of this gorgeous time in Japan.
Yes, we’ve read about chocolate fries and honey lemon shakes and whole heap of other stuff that makes us envious of the different culinary delights in Japan. But for me, as a beer lover, this next one makes me teary. In a “I wish I was in Japan” kind of way. Coming back to Japan just in time for the Cherry Blossom season is Sakura beer.
The beer is called Sankt Gallen Sakura and is being produced by Sankt Gallen out of the Kanagawa prefecture, the same group responsible for doing the same thing this time last year.
It’s said to contain 5% alcohol and contains flowers from the cherry blossom species of tree known as the yaezakura. It’ll set you back a reasonable ¥463 (alcohol is ridiculously cheap in Japan!) and will hit stores from February 23rd through to early April. Get drinking!
Didn’t I just finish doing a post about the sometimes wacky and different food items and flavours that you can encounter in Japan? Well, here’s a new one…Sakura flavoured Pepsi. That’s right, cherry blossom flavoured Pepsi.
We’ve seen Salty Watermelon, Pepsi Shiso, Pepsi Tropical and even Pepsi White but now it’s the turn of one of the most iconic sights in Japan, the Cherry Blossom.
It hits stores from the 8th of March and the makers, White Suntory, are saying that it has the cherry blossom flavour and smell…colour me curious! The bottle itself looks stunning and would make a nice collectible too. Hopefully I’ll be able to grab a bottle…even if it’s empty.
PS. Just as an addendum to this story, I recently subscribed to monthly Japanese candy and snack provider, Tokyo Treat, and guess what came in the April box? PEPSI SAKURA!!
So I can confirm first hand that this beverage is very tasty!! For a quick concise review, tastes like it was made with natural spring water, it’s very sparkling. More so than usual soft drink and tastes like cherry with a nice after taste that lingers. Very very tasty!!
The Cherry Blossom season, or Sakura, is almost at an end for most parts in Japan but there are other regions which are just beginning to enjoy the beautiful bloom of these colourful flowers. In particular, the Eastern and Northern parts are now celebrating the fully bloomed flowers of Sakura.
In the Nagano prefecture, you’ll be able to find Ueda-city which can be found in the central region of the island of Honshu. There, they’ll be having a festival called “Ueda-jyou Senbonzakura Matsuri” (Ueda Castle Thousands of Cherry Trees Festival) which will be held from April 5th through to the 21st. And who should come to the party but probably one of the most well-loved Vocaloids, the blue haired Hatsune Miku. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the event so she’ll be providing her song, “Senbonzakura”, as the anniversary theme.
Below you’ll be able to see the promotional clip put together by the organiser of the event as well as the 10th anniversary promo poster.
So you’re in Japan or about to jet off and are hoping to catch a glimpse of the famed Sakura or Cherry Blossom while you’re there? Japandaman has you covered with this quick guide to make sure you don’t miss out on these unique and stunning flowers which Japan is famous for.
If your trip starts in January going towards the middle of February then a trip to Okinawa would be in order. Here with the warmer climate, the Cherry Blossom start blooming earlier than usual given that the traditional season is normally around the end of March. If you’re planning to be in Tokyo, anywhere from late March to the end of April, that will guarantee you a fantastic viewing of the Sakura.
Keep in mind that the blooming season is unfortunately short, usually in the area of two weeks but it’s at this time that it makes for a more sensational viewing time with petals adorning the day and night sky. Just as you’ve seen in countless animes. Ueno Park in Ueno is probably one of the best spots with their Cherry Blossom Festival where thousands of people come and indulge in flower viewing or ‘hanamai’.
Hope this helps and don’t forget to take pictures because memories aren’t enough for this vision unique to Japan!
Gorgeous pics of some Sakura or Cherry Blossoms, in bloom now in Japan, found on Tokyo Street View.
I’ll let the pics do the talking, anyone who hasn’t seen these beautiful trees in bloom needs to do so and tick it off their bucket list, they’re amazing.