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Sakura Matsuri - Cherry trees Blooming

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Category: Nature
Where: Tokyo, Japan
When: 1 Mar - 8 May 2017
Website: http://www.sakuramatsuri.org/

The 'Land of rising Sun', Japan is sometimes even referred to as the 'Land of Flowers'. Japan is blessed with some of the most exotic flowers that blooms in different seasons. The atmosphere in the country always remains colorful and cheerful with the colors of the flowers. One of them is the amazing Cherry Blossom. In Japan even the blossoming of the Cherry flower is a festive occasion. As a matter of fact from the ancient times Japanese has been celebrating the Cherry Blossom Festival as Hanami meaning Flower Viewing Festival. The festival popularly known as Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossom Viewing Festival) is hugely celebrated all throughout Tokyo, the capital city of Japan.

The flowers have acquired a pivotal status in the Japanese culture from an ancient times. Flowers in Japan are omnipresent in their culture. From the folk songs, paintings to the Japanese artifacts flowers are everywhere in Japan. Even the patterns of the design of the Kimonos are dominated by floral prints. Flowers have always been an integral part of the Japanese life and flower viewing a special occasion. Ironically, flower viewing in Japan has always meant the beautiful blooming cherry tree.

As history holds, from the eighth century and earlier Japanese have been offering prayers for better fertility of the earth as a part of a special ritual under the flowering cherry trees. The rituals took a turn during the Heian period as the Imperial court held a banquet on the eve of Sakura Matsuri. While during the Kamakura period (late 12th-14th century) the blooming Cherry Blossoms symbolizes life lived fully. The tradition of Sakura Matsuri has continue from there on.

The festival is accompanied by the singing, dancing and drinking shakes. Right for the Edo period this festival gained its pie of popularity and in the modern era the Japanese media have lend a hand in its popularity with the radio and television stations announcing the Sakura Zensen or Cherry Blossom front, allowing others to know about it so fun seekers from round the globe can flock in to enjoy the beauty of the blossom.

The blooming festival stretches its length from March to May throughout Japan. It embarks from Okinawa in the south in March and ends in Hokkaido in May.

Japanese have been successful in transferring the Cherry blossom fervor to USA as well by planting thousands of Cherry plants all across America.

Blooming Cherry Trees are spectacular all over the world and the best time to observe the trees depends from the weather.

Tokyo, the most visited place in Japan showcases the blossomed trees in the following areas of its prefecture:

-   Aoyama Cemetary
-   Chidori-ga-fuchi Minakami Park
-   Inokashira Park
-   Jingu Gaien (Meiji Jingu outer gardens)
-   Kamonyama Koen (Kaomonyama Park)
-   Koishikawa Shokubutsuen
-   Shiba Koen / Zojo-ji
-   Shinjuku Gyoen
-   Sumida Park
-   Ueno Park
-   Yasukuni Shrine
-   Yoyogi Park

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