It’s time to break out the picnic blankets and bento boxes, the flower-viewing season is coming up in Japan.
The private weather service, Weathermap, has published their cherry blossom forecast for the year, and it’s earlier than previously predicted. This news got both tourists and locals excited for the celebrations.
The first cherry blossoms typically happen in the southern islands of Okinawa, and the “Sakura Front” moves northward to Hokkaido as the weeks pass.
The flower-viewing, called Hanami, has been a Japanese tradition for centuries. Thousands of people gather and celebrate wherever flowering cherry trees are found. These celebrations often involve playing music, drinking sake and holding picnics with bento boxes and traditional snacks like dango.
Hanami has been used as a setting a thousand times in anime. The beauty and serenity of the cherry trees and the falling petals make it the perfect backdrop for heartfelt confessions, tearful goodbyes, or maybe even some heavy foreshadowing.
Not living the otaku dream of being in Japan? Hanami is also celebrated in Washington D.C., Georgia, New York, Philadelphia, and New Jersey. Smaller hanami celebrations are also held in other Asian countries like Korea, China, and the Philippines.