Photo:jpellgen on Flickr

Japanese Flowers and Their Meaning

Talking about Japanese flowers, maybe all of you should know about the most well known Japanese flowers, Sakura. It is also known as cherry blossoms in Japanese. We can also say that the symbol of Japan is Sakura or Mount Fuji, isn’t it? How about the other flowers then? There are so many beautiful flowers in Japan that I want to introduce to you. That way you will know their names when you see them in Japan. Not only that, but there are also some meanings behind their names. So, let’s know more!


Sakura (桜)

Who doesn’t know about Sakura, or known as cherry blossoms? These flowers are so beautiful and so attractive. Cherry blossom is the flower of any of several trees of genus Prunus, which is known as Japanese Cherry. So, what does Sakura symbolize then? Sakura symbolizes chastity, love, affection, purity, and good luck.


Maybe all of you also know about the Japanese word “Hanami” (花見). The word “Hanami” is from two words, “Hana” (花), which means flowers, and the word “mi” (見), which means look or view. So, it literally means flower viewing. What kind of flowers then? The most common flowers that they are enjoying to see is Sakura. It means that if Japanese people say that they will go to “Hanami”, it usually means that they will go to see Sakura.

Ajisai (紫陽花)

blue ajisai blossoms
Photo by Koji Ishii on Flickr

The next popular one is Ajisai, or known as Hydrangea in Japanese. This is the species of flowering plants native to southern and eastern Asia, such as China, Japan, and Korea. The greatest species diversity is in eastern Asia, notably Japan. What does this flower symbolize then? It symbolizes heartfelt emotions. Unfortunately, in its negative sense, this flower symbolizes heartlessness and frigidity.

Photo: Saku Takakusaki on Flickr

Tsubaki (椿)

The next one is “Tsubaki” or known as Camellia in Japanese. These flowers symbolize admiration, and perfection. There is a phrase for describing the red Camellia, “You are a flame in my heart.” What such a lovely phrase, isn’t it? In Japan, there is also Tsubaki Grand Shrine, which is located in Mie Prefecture.

Photo: mrhayata on Flickr

Kikyou (桔梗)

Photo: mrhayata on Flickr

It is also known as Platycodon grandifloras (bellflower), which is a species of herbaceous flowering perennial plant. This flower is native to east Asia, such as Japan, China, and Korea. Depends on the regions, there are Chinese bellflower, Korean bellflower, and Japanese bellflower. What does this flower symbolize then? It symbolizes endless love, and honesty. There is a belief that this flower has “The return of a friend is desired.”

At Last

Photo: on Flickr

Those are the most well known flowers in Japan. Aren’t they beautiful? Japanese people love to do flower viewing, or known as “Hanami” in Japanese. I really recommend you to go for Hanami, especially Sakura, if you have an opportunity to visit Japan during spring season. Go for it and enjoy it with your lovely family or friends.

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