These days, the appreciation of the delightful phenomenon of cherry blossoms in bloom actually has its own name in the Japanese language, “Hanami”. This literally means “flower viewing”, and people from across Japan take time out of their days to go and look at the blossoms, joining visitors who have flocked en masse from all four corners of the globe.
The most rewarding way to appreciate the immense intensity of such wonderful colours is to take time out of your day and just sit. These days, so many of us are glued to our phones, our email accounts at work, or we are so otherwise engaged in technology that we forget to take stock of what matters. Hanami encourages the exact opposite.
Perhaps you could take a picnic with family and friends and enjoy a sunny day basking in the beauty. This is a very typical activity at this time of year. Of course, due to the sheer numbers and diversity of people you might expect to see, some of these picnics may be calm and serene; others still may seem more like parties! Conversely, many find the viewing inspiring, and you may find locals and foreigners alike composing poetry or taking time for their art.
Of course, we do live in a commercial society in this century, and so the appreciation extends beyond nature, too! Supermarkets are filled with plastic iterations of the blossoms, in addition to cherry blossom flavoured foods. Japanese confectionery is often very experimental, and so one might expect to find the likes of cherry blossomed flavour sweets, chocolates, crisps and drinks!
Cherry blossom season is a perfect example of how Japanese people have found harmony between the old and new in their country, using the time to appreciate the blossoms in nature and all other aspects of life.