Continuing on with #ErinDoesJapan, I should talk about something that is a huge part of the Japanese culture: cherry blossoms, or sakura as they are known in Japan. I probably should have added this to my Japanese Stereotypes post, but the Japanese are OBSESSED with cherry blossoms!
I mean, they have countdowns and blooming predictions.
The forecasts for sakura takes up a good portion of the nightly news.
Sakura-flavored tea can be found everywhere (it is actually quite salty…).
Oh, and even McDonald’s has sakura milkshakes, burgers, and these spice shakers you add onto fries (it’s an Asian thing).
As you can see, the Japanese are, like I said, obsessed with everything cherry blossom, as they should be! I was just as excited to see the cherry blossoms as the Japanese were. I may have even
squealed danced clapped when I saw my first one. It is really exciting to be somewhere and see something that is so important to a culture. I feel it is the same way with lion dances for the Chinese at Chinese New Year, fireworks for Americans on 4th of July, etc. It doesn’t matter if it is your first time seeing these things or you 80th time, you still feel a sense of awe and happiness when you do see them. It’s a tradition, and I am a sucker for traditions.
Despite the fact it rained each day we were in Kyoto, which is supposed to be one of the best places to see the cherry blossoms, I definitely wasn’t disappointed. End of March into the beginning of April is by far the best time to go to Japan, I cant express this enough. You do need to time it right however, because cherry blossoms do not bloom for very long and if there is a lot of rain, this shortens the time even more. You can find some fantastic websites to help gauge when to go, like this one, which helped me with my preparation.
So, if you are planning a trip to Japan and really want to see an important part and time of Japanese culture, do check out the cherry blossoms – you won’t be sorry. I will just leave you with a few more photos. 🙂