“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.
Choi means a little and Nomi means drink alcohol. This Choi-Nomi festival is held in Yokosuka on April 6th, 7th and 8th.
You purchase the ticket (2,400 yen in advance / 2,500 yen on the day) and you can try one drink and one food at 3 different restaurant (more like Izakaya) in Yokosuka. 74 restaurants in Yokosuka join this festival.
For more information, please ask Liberty Cove House Concierge desk.
There are a lot of different kinds of Sakura (Cherry Blossom) bloom in this park. 1000 sakura trees welcome you. You can enjoy food vendors from the evening until 9 pm. They lit the lanterns during the festival. You can enjoy the Tokyo bay view from here.
The festival is until this weekend April 9th.
To access : 25 mins walk from Keikyu-Anjinzuka station or Keikyu-Itsumi station
For more information please ask Liberty Cove House concierge desk.
Finally we enjoy the balmy weather in Yokosuka and it is the best season for the travel. I introduce top 10 most popular destinations in Japan – for this spring season. The following destinations are chosen by Japanese travel agencies.
#1 Naha City – Okinawa
#2 Sapporo City – Hokkaido
#3 Downtown Osaka – Osaka
#4 Onnason Village – Okinawa
#5 Hakata City – Fukuoka
#6 Nago Village – Okinawa
#7 Ishigaki Island – Okinawa
#8 Downtown Tokyo – Tokyo
#9 Downtown Kyoto – Kyoto
#10 Tokyo Disney Land – Chiba
Okinawa is the most popular destination in Spring time – 3 places rank in! It is already over 70 °F. After having long winter, lots people need beautiful sunshine and beaches!
There are a lot beautiful site for viewing Sakura – cherry blossom in Kamakura.
Here is the sakura blooming prediction:
- Begin to Bloom = March 30th
- 50% Bloom = April 3rd
- Full Bloom = April 5th
Some Japanese words can’t be translated exactly to English words or don’t exist in English. However Japanese people use these phrases for regular basis.
ITADAKIMASU – “Itadakimasu” means “I will have this.” It is used before eating any food to express appreciation and respect for life, nature, the person who prepared the food, the person who served the food, and everything else that is related to eating.
OTSUKARESAMA – “Otsukaresama” means “you’re tired.” It is used to let someone know that you recognize his/her hard work and that you are thankful for it.
SHOGANAI – The literal meaning of “Shoganai” is “it cannot be helped.” However, it is not discouraging or despairing. It means to accept that something was out of your control. It encourages people to realize that it wasn’t their fault and to move on with no regret.
When you go to Japanese super market stores or convenience stores, Japanese snacks may catch your eyes. Their packages are very colorful and look very delicious. They could be good for presents from Japan. Good size and not heavy. I will introduce top 3 most popular Japanese snacks.
You may recognize the name – of course. We have regular kitkat but flavors are variety – Maple syrup, Lemon cheese cake, apple vinegar, adding cookies… Even there are ‘Wasabi’ and ‘soy-sauce’ as well. Some of them are released locally.
- Gyagariko (じゃがりこ)
They are potato snacks with French-fires shape. Some flavors are limited at special areas. The most popular flavor is Curry. They have also salad, cheese, pizza, basil tomato and so on. They are good to go with beer!
- Gummi Candy
Japanese gummi’s hardness is different depending on the company. You can taste actual flavor too. Sometime gummi includes collagen and Vitamins. They are very popular especially for ladies.