Japanese Cherry Blossom Hanami Parties

by brettb

Photos of the amazing Cherry Blossom blooms in Japan

Japan is a beautiful country, and having travelled all over Japan I've seen some stunning sights. One of the most memorable sites for me was being in Japan for the Cherry Blossom blooming season.

The blossoms always attract large crowds and it's a huge annual event in Japan. The flowering time is known in Japan as Hanami.

Here are some of the photos I took of this fantastic time of year.

Hanami Photos

The glorious Cherry Blossom display
The glorious Cherry Blossom display
Cherry Trees in Shinjuku Park, Central Tokyo
Cherry Trees in Shinjuku Park, Centra...

Hanami Parties

Weather permitting, people often hold Hanami parties under the cherry blossom trees. The parties in the larger urban parks can attract large crowds, especially at weekends. The alcohol flows freely during these parties, and many Japanese foods and snacks are also consumed.

Many Asian people aren't big drinkers of alcohol. Japanese people seem to be the exception to this rule!

More Hanami Photos

Father and son walk through the blossoms
Father and son walk through the blossoms
Hanami party in Yoyogi Park
Hanami party in Yoyogi Park

Photographing the Cherry Blossoms

Japanese people are avid photographers and it's not unusual to see hoards of photographers out to capture every minute of the Cherry Blossom season. Quite what people do with all the photos of the flowers they've accumulated over the years is anyone's guess.

Like everything else, Japanese people often take Hanami photography extremely seriously. I love this photo of a guy with an expensive camera, telephoto lens and tripod ready to capture the action as it unfolds! Well if you think this is extreme photography then you'd be amazed at how prepared the average Japanese person is for an afternoon's walk in the countryside!

While I don't understand much of the Japanese language, I guess people compare notes on how good this year's blossom is. And maybe older people say that this year's blossom isn't as good as it was a few decades ago!

Photographing the Blossoms

Cherry Blossom photography
Cherry Blossom photography

Have You Visited Japan?

Where To Experience Hanami Season

One of the best places in Tokyo to see Cherry Blossom in full bloom is Shinjuku Park. The park is easily accessible by walking from Shinjuku's sprawling station (be sure to take one of the exits to the East of the station!). Yoyogi Park (next to Harajuku Station) is also a great place for Hanami viewing. Further away from Tokyo, Kyoto's many temples are a great backdrop to some of the best of the blossoms.

Timing your vacation for Hanami season is often quite tricky. The flowers only last for a week or two, and a Spring storm can end the season very quickly. The season is also affected by the weather. Thankfully various websites will tell you when the best time to view the flowers is. One good thing is that because Japan is a long and thin country with different climates, if you miss the Tokyo blossoms then you can simply take a Shinkansen bullet train to a more northerly city like Sendai or Sapporo, and the trees will often be a few days or weeks behind their more southerly relatives.

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Updated: 03/15/2012, brettb
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TerriRexson on 03/16/2012

I can completely understand this, cherry blossom is beautiful. I would definitely like to visit Japan, but will wait until my kids are a bit bigger.

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