Thanks to Okinawa's southern location and warm climate, it enjoys the country's earliest hanami season, usually starting by the end of January and going into the first two weeks of February.
In Osaka, there are many locations with beautiful cherry blossom viewing spots, such as the iconic Osaka Castle. This time, I would like to introduce a district where a huge part of it is covered in cherry blossoms, Sakuranomiya.
And there’s no better place to enjoy sakura than in Japan’s northeast, where you can take in the blooms with a backdrop of snow-capped mountains.
Basically, friends and family gather together, get lots of food and drinks, find some space near the trees in a local park, and proceed to eat, drink and be merry. Lets take a tour of the top 5 places to enjoy this hanami season in Hyogo prefecture whilst avoiding the big crowds.
If like me you prefer more laid-back, unhurried grounds, why not spend an afternoon at the Yanaka Cemetery? Yanaka is a haven in the heart of Tokyo, one of the many parks - in fact it feels more like a park than a cemetery - where one can wander around without hearing the sound of a car.
As with any party, it is not the event itself, but the people that make it the great event it is. Of course, having plenty of good food and drink to hand also helps. If you’ve just recently moved to Japan, or if you are just visiting here sometime in April then there are few better ways to get to know your Japanese friends a bit better than by partaking in a Hanami party.
The special beauty of the sakura season is its short length: trees bloom for a week or so depending on the weather, then the petals fall like snow and collect at the ground, and then vanish back into the earth. But of course, this fleeting beauty is captured forever with cameras of all kinds.