I cannot hide my passion for this country. It may sound strange, but I have never been there. On the other hand, I felt walking in the streets of Tokyo many times. I felt seeing Fujiyama mountain many times. Apart from everything else, I felt enjoying the moment of tranquility with the magic of hanami in April.
Japanese people have many valuable words that become our lifetime obsessions, dreams. We know kaizen, ikigai, samurai, and many other words that are almost universally accepted as global treasures. One of these words is hanami. “Hana” means flower. Hanami is a process of viewing flowers. Today, it is more convenient to say Sakura time. A time when you come to see Cherry trees blossom. A time when you get a chance to organize a picnic.
The world waits for many unique occasions. Japan awaits for cherry trees to turn entirely white. Spring brings magic with itself, and it certainly brings peace. Peace comes through pink-white flowers that mesmerize hundreds of thousands of locals and tourists.
Japanese people are very good at calculations. In fact, their precision is legendary. Japan Meteorological Agency prepares a yearly prediction report based on 59 sample trees that grow across the country. They calculate the exact date of blossoming and broadcast the predictions.
Weather Map Japan issued its third cherry blossom forecast of the year, indicating that cherry trees will be in full bloom in Tokyo on March 23, Kyoto and Hiroshima on March 25, Kochi and Wakayama on March 26, Fukuoka on March 27, Osaka on March 28, Aomori on April 20, and Sapporo on April 28. You can search for more information here (data for 27.02.2020).
Why am I even writing this? I will not go this year. But my clients will. Some of my students will. I will be jealous. I will feel happy for them eventually. Every person who watched “The Last Samurai” will understand the beauty of cherry tree blossoming. They will immediately desire to share the experience with Katsumoto, who loves flowers and their magic. They will cry but also will feel eternal peace when white flowers will start falling gradually.
Hanami requires you to be more considerate of Japanese people and culture. Cherry trees are important for locals, and this moment means a lot to them. They are obsessed with order and cleanness. They can become disappointed with the way you treat the grass and trees. Be sure to enjoy your hanami while not provoking Japanese people.
Sit with them. Observe the white flowers with them. Enjoy your moment with people who never settle for ordinary. People who take everything to an extreme.
In a world where people are doomed to rush, Japan offers time in April when you stop and sit to enjoy the nature. You could do it right now. Look out from your balcony. Walk in your own park. But, when you get a chance or ticket, do not hesitate to follow the heart of Katsumoto into the corridor built from thousands of cherry trees and walk the whole way through.
Do your hanami with ease.
Be with peace.
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