“Hanami” is a drinking party under cherry trees in full blossom. Upper class people enjoyed hanami as early as the 9th century, but the common people became to enjoy it during the Edo era.(1600-1869) It is said that farmers estimated their harvest by examining the way the flowers bloomed. If the result was fortune, they drank to celebrate it and, if the result was bad , they drank to drive out evil spirits. Either way, everyone drank under the cherry blossoms.
Cherry blossoms come out between March and April, in Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. The peak bloom period depends on the place and climate. In Okinawa, Sakura Festival is held in January, on the other hand in Hokkaido it’s in early May. At the beginning of March which is right before the season, the Japan Meteorological Agency issues cherry blossom forecasts every week. Japanese people love cherry blossoms not only because they are beautiful but also they only bloom for a very short period. We enjoy eating and drinking with family, friends or coworkers under the fully bloomed cherry blossoms.
People enjoy Yozakura, the illuminated cherry blossom at night. I recommend you to see it because it’s fantastic and very beautiful.
Every spring, many parks get crowded with viewers and street stalls. Sometimes people stay overnight at the park to get a good spot for cherry blossom viewing.
There are many kinds of cherry blossoms. Somei-yoshino is the most famous one in Tokyo.