As the season turns cooler and we prepare our precious annual leaves for the next year, many of us make it a point to visit Japan for the ever-elusive sakura blooming season.
While to us, the seas of pink is a breathtaking sight, there’s much more to the tradition of appreciating spring for the locals. Ohanami (or cherry blossom flower viewing) is one of them.
Though it seems straightforward enough to just have a picnic under the trees, there is a whole list of do’s and don’ts that you might not know about.
Every Spring, the world flocks to Japan for hanami (the act of cherry blossoms appreciation). The city will be coloured pink; cherry and plum blossom trees line the streets and the entire city is magically transformed into a flower paradise.
Tokyo, in particular, plays host to a big crowd of visitors from all over the world who bask in the beauty of the blooms. It is a phenomenal experience, and it is a sheer sight to behold. One cannot simply rely on pictures to see the beauty; being in Japan for hanami is essential to take in all the beauty and to witness the splendour of Spring.
There are many spots in Tokyo for hanami, and as much as there will be crowds, it will be worth your while. So if you’re heading to Tokyo this Spring, here are some popular spots where cherry blossom trees can be found in abundance.
Located on the island of Shikoku, Kochi is rather out of the way for many which are what deters tourists from visiting. But what this humble area in Japan treated us to was nature in its most pristine form and its fascinating yet exciting drinking culture.
Kochi is blessed with beautiful and abundant nature such as the Shimanto River, Niyodo River and the Kuroshio coastline. From clear-blue lakes to autumn leaves and silhouettes depicting a never-ending sea of mountains, Kochi truly impressed us from leaf to pebble.
And when it comes to eating and drinking, these folks are anything but simple. Drinking alcohol is a huge deal here and eating good food is more of a lifestyle here rather than a necessity—something we can definitely resonate with. Bonito, a close relative of tuna and mackerel, is also hugely popular here and can be found in literally every restaurant and izakaya.
We had a lovely opportunity to go on a 5D4N adventure through Kochi, seeing and experiencing all sorts of fun things, eating amazing food and even getting hands down to make our own paper and harvest our own sea salt. For the curious traveller, here are 12 reasons why Kochi has to be on your next Japan itinerary.
Japan astounds in more ways than just its food and its people and wherever you choose to embark on your next adventure, we’re almost certain that you will not be disappointed. Our wanderlust brought us to Niigata, a coastal prefecture located north of bustling Tokyo. A lovely place untouched by time, and one that proves excellent for road trips.
Boasting the highest concentration of rice plantations and accounting for a majority of the country’s rice exports, there really is no wondering why Niigata is well-known for their excellent quality rice, rice wine (sake) and other rice-based products. Located close to the Japan Sea, fresh fish and seafood are often in abundance and of exceptional quality too.
Yet, as far as gastronomy goes, Niigata’s vast array of food choices come second only to the prefecture’s rich culture and a plethora of scenic views. Like lines in a sketch, the terraced rice paddies littered all over present a view like no place else. Each season brings with it a different ambience and having visited in Autumn, we were treated to stunning spectacles of technicoloured leaves and marvellous views wherever we were brought.
Brimming with breathtaking scenery, awesome food and inherently kind yet down-to-earth locals, you best believe us when we tell you that Niigata is a destination to consider if you crave adventure and new experiences. We’ve broken it all down for you, listing down how you can go about renting a car, where you should visit and what you should eat—you’re welcome.
Our guide to Japan’s Cherry Blossoms 2019 forecast will provide you with details on when and where you can view cherry blossoms in Japan.
Come March every year, Japan plays host to throngs and throngs of tourists as it transforms into a visually arresting sea of pink that blankets the country in soft, beautiful splendour. Celebrated for many years, this iconic flower holds a very prominent position in Japanese culture. With over dozens of different cherry blossom varieties blooming together for just a few short weeks a year, it’s no wonder Hanami is such an important event.
If you’re planning a trip to have your breath taken away, it’s definitely important to take note of the flowering dates, least you have the unfortunate luck of them blooming just before or after your trip.
Sure enough, the winds and weather are ever-changing, and the dates an estimate, but it’s always good to know roughly when the cherry season will hit Japan in 2019 and where best to enjoy the views.