BY SCRAP Global Team

Summer, fall, winter, and…spring!
Did you know that after winter ends, Japan goes through an amazing cultural and physical transformation?
For those in Japan, the symbol of spring is the blooming of cherry blossom or “sakura”.
Sakura is deeply ingrained in Japan’s history and culture and considered a must-see for anyone interested in Japanese traditions or those with an appreciation for nature.

The Importance of Sakura

When you think of symbols of Japan, sakura is probably one of the first that many would think of.
Sakura symbolizes many things for the Japanese people. It can symbolize the fleeting beauty of life and to cherish the importance of each moment. In Japanese society, the arrival of sakura coincides with the same timing of the new school year and fiscal year for many Japanese businesses and companies. This time period is important as it is a fresh start and a new beginning for many people.  

Delayed Blooms of 2024

This year for the spring of 2024, the sakura blooming season arrived later than the predicted forecast. Many of those planning to see the flower at the end of March were disappointed to see only the pink buds. This created challenges for those who planned hanami, flower-viewing picnics, during this time.

Hanami is an important Japanese tradition during this time, where friends, family, and coworkers gather to eat, drink, and have fun under fully bloomed sakura trees. This practice of hanami dates back to the Nara period (710-794) which originally was only limited to the elite aristocratic class. But eventually became more inclusive over time and is now celebrated by everyone. 

The late bloom this year resulted in many planned hanami parties without flowers but this did not stop the parties for when the flowers actually bloomed in the beginning of April. 

Varieties of Sakura Trees

To those who have never lived in Japan or seen sakura in person before, it might be a shock to learn that not all sakura trees produce pink flowers. There are actually over 100 different types of sakura in Japan. For example, Somei Yoshino features pale pink flowers and the Yamazakura have deep pink flowers.   

However, one surprising fact is that not all sakura flowers are pink in full bloom. Some sakura have petals that start out a pale pink color but then turn white. This gradual color change is known as “yaezakura”.
When all of the white sakura flowers start to wither and fall, it almost looks like snow! 


If you’re planning a trip to Tokyo during sakura season, be sure to visit the Shinjuku and Asakusa areas. These areas are known for their stunning sakura displays, with countless trees lining the streets and parks. 

And if you are looking for something indoors to do after a day of sakura viewing, why don’t you try playing  one of our many puzzle events and escape rooms at Tokyo Mystery Circus in Shinjuku or Real Escape Room Asakusa.

These events are available in English and let you experience a different side of Japanese culture!
See all of our current events here,

YukoBlog Post 19