When the Cherry Blossom – or さくら “sakura” – trees finally bloom, the whole of Japan gets excited. The dates are announced on the news, and people flock to the more famous parks and areas that have them, setting up vendors and little street fairs in honor of them.
The place I went to was called Iwakura, and I was told after by another Japanese student that this is the most famous place in my city to do go see the sakura trees. Sakura are found everywhere, but are particularly noticeable where they line rivers, as usually there’s one planted right after another. In Iwakura, they light them up at night.
The atmosphere was really subdued considering how many people there. Most people just got food and sat under the trees and ate with friends, boyfriends/girlfriends and/or family.
My friend Yuuki and I had an interesting conversation where she mentioned that the reason – she’s pretty sure – that the Japanese love their cherry trees is not only that they are unique to japan and very beautiful, but the way they die is equally as unique and beautiful: the petals just slowly drift off of the trees. And it really is awesome because the trees are everywhere, so whenever the wind blows you can see a light rain of pink-white petals floating down. The only time I had a problem with it is when I sat with Yuuki on a park bench when they first bloomed and the wind blew and it looked like it was actually raining, the chunks of pollen were so big. Gross. Luckily I am not allergic to them or ohmygod would I be unhappy. But I’m not, so I’m mostly just really happy that they are everywhereee.