Many old records describe Japanese people's love for cherry blossoms. In the Record of Ancient Matters, a goddess who was likened to the flower appeared. In the oldest anthology of poems, cherry trees were treated as the flowers that symbolize spring.
When the old lunar calendar was used, the new year came with spring. People had been enjoying the plum blossoms that bloom earlier than cherry trees. After the introduction of cherry blossoms from China, people gradually shifted their customs. It's said that it was the Emperor Saga who held cherry blossoms viewing for the first time in the 8th century. By having a new event annually, which was sponsored by the Emperor, the unique culture spread from aristocrats to ordinary people.
Just like cherry blossoms, many other spring flowers were introduced from China and were instilled in Japan. There seem to be some reasons why the Japanese have loved cherry blossoms most, among other flowers.
- Cherry trees are beautiful and cute with their thin petals and pretty pink color.
- Cherry blossoms are short-lived and remind us of the view of life and death, and let us feel the sanctity toward the flowers.
- Cherry blossoms have been the signal of the arrival of spring, and the transitions from winter to spring marks the beginning of farming and the end of the severe cold days.
Where can we see the beautiful cherry trees in Tokyo?
We enjoy the flowers from the end of March to the beginning of April every year. Here are some examples of popular cherry blossom viewing spots in Tokyo. Please check out the video attached below.
1. Ueno Park 2. Rikugien Japanese Garden 3. Shinjuku Gyoen Park 4. Chidorigafuchi 5. Yasukuni Shrine