Jason in Japan
Sakata Hanami

Hanami In Sakata

April 22, 2006

Hanami In Sakata
Sakura (cherry blossoms) are a famous symbol of Japan. They arrive in the west part of the country first, and move eastward. The occasion is marked everywhere by matsuri (celebrations), which are probably the biggest highlight of the spring season here.

Today I went to Hiyoriyama park, just a few blocks from my apartment here in Sakata, for hanami (flower viewing). In preparation for the event, lanterns had been hung everywhere, and vendors set up booths for selling food. The park's many trees — whose branches were still barren less than a week ago — were in full bloom, and it was quite a sight. I found myself marvelling at how drastically the landscape had changed in such a short time. To top it off, the many people who came out to see the cherry blossoms were also treated to a perfect sunset over the Japan Sea.