Spring time in Japan is a perfect slice of wonder with the cotton candy pink cherry blossoms decorating everywhere. There are quite a few varieties to captivate your senses and keep you walking with your head up and a camera to your eye.
Where are the Best Places to See Cherry Blossoms?
This is subjective. I google search will return many famous places that are overrun with people such as Ueno Park, Hirosaki, Hanamiyama, Arashiyama and so on. I highly recommend staying away from such places in the spring especially on weekends. Everyone loves a good hanami (flower viewing) party and these places are crammed. Cherry blossom groves are littered all over Japan and can be enjoyed by just strolling around a few neighbourhoods in the big cities. You will get pictures like the one above without a bunch of people in it.
On my way to work this morning, I walked through a nearby park and was able to soak up the beauty that are cherry blossoms in full bloom. Best of all was the fact that there were only a few retirees sitting on the park benches doing the same. Visitors are often recommended to see the big spots but I doubt they are as enjoyable when you have to jostle with so many others. Two years ago I took some friends visiting, to see this absolutely beautiful scenery in Nakameguro ,but our enjoyment was not a 100% because we spent our time, fighting through the hordes of people there. We didn’t even get a picture without others crammed in hiding the awesome backdrop. View it from the train and find other places you can have for yourself.
There are many more flowers in bloom in spring in Japan. Ashikaga Flower Park is one that you can get to on a day trip from Japan. It also gets very crowded though. Chichibu is on my list of places to get to as I hear nothing but good things about it. It is also easy to access from Tokyo on a day trip.
Spring Time in Japan is as near to Perfection as you can Get
I am sure the people who suffer from hay fever do not agree.
The weather is mostly just right with moderate temps,clear sky and nice sunshine. For a bit of time all the elements come together to create this serenity. It is a nice way to transition into the blistering summer months. It is also a good time to try out many sakura flavoured foods. Here is a nice compilation.
It never gets old. Even after enjoying 11 springs here I always feel a sense of wonder at God’s creation.
Changes in Spring in Japan
Spring brings change as well. The school year ends in March and starts in April. Many people get transferred for their jobs and move to different places. It is a busy time of year for people at the city offices and real estate agents. If you work at a school you will turn up in April and someone will have been transferred and there will be new faces. It is a fascinating system and irritating at times. Many teachers and other staff members only work at one school (public) for an average of 3 years before being transferred somewhere in the city. Yes, even the principal and vice principals experience this.
This has its pros and cons of course but it’s apart of the culture. You adapt and roll with it or roll out. I like that I am able to meet more people in this way but it must be a headache moving and starting over every few years. This happens in some companies too.
I am eager to see what changes this spring brings.