The bloomin’ beautiful blossom of Japan - a sight most of us have seen in magazines, but how much do you know about this natural phenomenon? Here are some interesting facts that you may not know about the infamous cherry blossom of Japan, and why this experience should be added to your bucket list!
The cherry blossom is known as 'sakura' in Japanese and symbolises not only the return of spring but of renewal and hope.
The cherry blossom is Japan’s national flower – but not the Cherry Blossom Capital of the World. This title is currently held to Macon, Georgia in the USA which is home to over 300,000 sakura trees. Japan sent the blossom trees over to the US to represent friendship and good will. The flower also appears on the Japanese 100 Yen coin.
Over 200 different varieties of blossom in Japan, with the most popular bloom being the Somei Yoshino, which is a white flower with a hint of pink.
The famous blossom trail begins in the south of Japan around mid March - there are forecasts in place to predict the optimum time to view the blossom. The cherry blossom then travels north in a movement called ‘sakura zansen’ and can be tracked right to its final stop in Kyoto in April.
Picnicking in the park is a Japanese tradition during blossom season. It is ancient Japanese tradition to take part in ‘hanami’ (also known as flower viewing) and is a custom that dates back centuries.
Legend has it that the oldest tree in Japan in believed to be over 2,000 years old. You can find Jindai Zakura within the grounds of the Jissoji Temple in Yamanashi, with a root circumferences of 13.5m!
Planning is key! Although the blossom predictions can’t be made too far in the future, the season lasts for around one month, from the time of the first bloom to the last. The cherry blossoms only last for around one week in full bloom and the trees live, on average, for 40 years.
Did you also know that we have trips to Japan around the time of blossom season? From festivals to food and drink tours, to the world-famous high-speed rail journey, our discovery holidays to Japan are sure to cover every inch of this fascinating country. Click here to find out more about our tours and adventure to Japan!