As our readers may be well aware, we Japanese have a passion for the sakura, or cherry trees, turning it into a huge social event when they’re in bloom each spring, even though they last for only about a week. We’re also quite fond of capybaras, as you can tell from the way we delight in pampering them in hot spring baths, and also creating mascot characters out of them as well. Well, we’re right in the middle of sakura season in Tokyo now, and we’ve found a cute little picture that combines these two seemingly unrelated subjects in a delightfully unexpected way. Yes, straight from Ueno, one of the most famous sakura-viewing areas in Tokyo, we bring to you this lovely photo that has captured the hearts of Japanese netizens and gives renewed meaning to the Japanese expression, “hana yori dango.”
Mar 26, 2014
Spring has arrived in Japan, and that can mean only one thing: Hanami, or cherry blossom viewing parties! But what is it about hanami, and those pretty pink petals in general for that matter, that manages to capture the hearts and minds of so many?
Let’s take a look at a handful of videos that capture the mood of hanami season perfectly and see if we can pinpoint exactly what it is that makes the season so special!
In Japan, cherry blossoms, or sakura, are the rock stars of the plant kingdom. People obsess over them, their rare public appearances send fans into a frenzy, and the most devoted enthusiasts will even follow their flowering tour as it spreads from Japan’s warmer southern prefectures to the chillier north.
But just as some music acts draw larger crowds than others, these three sakura trees are considered to be the absolute peak of the pink-flowered crowd.
We may be well into October, but spring has already come to Miyagi Prefecture!
This summer saw record high temperatures throughout Japan, and the heat is only now starting to let up now, with some days still hitting 32 degrees Celsius (89 degrees Fahrenheit). Even more surprising though, was the blossoming of some cherry blossom trees – six months early – down in Miyagi, leading some to believe the high temperatures are to blame for the early open sakura flowers.
As April gets underway and Japan is finally able to thaw itself out, people across the country watch eagerly as a wave of delicate pink flowers gradually makes its way north, signalling the arrival of spring and — perhaps more importantly — the opportunity to have hanami drinking parties in public spaces. Apart from in a handful of especially sheltered areas, Tokyo’s cherry blossom has almost all disappeared from the branches above our heads, but for those in the north and naturally colder regions of Japan, the cherry blossom season is only just beginning.
Imagine their shock, however, when our friends in Nagano opened their curtains this morning to discover their towns covered in a thin layer of snow.
Ladies and gentlemen, winter in Japan is officially over. The thermal underwear and thick coats have been packed away and people, or at least those who don’t suffer from allergies, are throwing open their windows and letting the warm air in. It’s at this time of year that people rekindle their love of the outdoors and, armed with their blue plastic ground sheets and big bags of food, head to the park in order to catch a glimpse of the cherry blossom at its best.
The official name for this recreational activity is hanami (花見 lit. flower watching), but for many it’s simply a great opportunity to get together with friends to drink beer in the park. Still, if you’re going to do it, you might as well do it right, so provided you can find it in you to fight through the hordes of other like-minded sakura (cherry blossom) fans, there are three locations in particular that we highly recommend visiting.
- Cats trapped in circles! Japanese blogger shows the best way to outsmart your kitty【Photos】1
- Is that cute girl’s profile pic really anything like her ‘real’ face?2
- Man revives woman with AED, branded a “pervert” for removing her clothes to apply electrode pads3
- New smartphone game turns your photos of real-world cats into in-game warriors4
- 5 powerful reasons to be a woman in Japan 【Women in Japan Series】5
- The plot thickens: Pizza Hut Japan’s feline employees disappear overnight, forcing store closure 【Video】6
- Japanese net users stunned by photos of Chinese ethnic minority men7
- Ken Akamatsu bemoans Britain’s child pornography sentencing8
- Help one-million-year-old hag get back her glamorous good looks in new app9
- Korean tattoo artist’s small, simple, stylish “line tattoos” change our impression of getting inked10
- Man revives woman with AED, branded a “pervert” for removing her clothes to apply electrode pads1
- Korean tattoo artist’s small, simple, stylish “line tattoos” change our impression of getting inked2
- Anime pregnancy tests: The latest otaku meme, and it’s not just for 2-D girls3
- We still don’t feel bad for you, Emperor: Photos of actors and their historical counterparts4
- Video of guy giving pandas medicine is insanely cute, unless you’re the guy5
- Worst date ever! Japan’s ladies reveal the top five date ideas to avoid6
- Cats trapped in circles! Japanese blogger shows the best way to outsmart your kitty【Photos】7
- Robot rebellion begins with a cranky Roomba, Internet users too busy laughing to fight back8
- Poor little dog is driven into corner by owner’s terrifying new house guest9
- 5 powerful reasons to be a woman in Japan 【Women in Japan Series】10
- Mickey and friends in human form are more charming than we had imagined! 【Pics】1
- A sad turn of events at a butterfly exhibition in China2
- Chinese cat with unfortunate dark patch of fur tired of people asking why it’s shocked3
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea4
- Man revives woman with AED, branded a “pervert” for removing her clothes to apply electrode pads5
- Korean tattoo artist’s small, simple, stylish “line tattoos” change our impression of getting inked6
- Watch liquid turn into food at Japanese sample food factory 【Videos】7
- Japanese mothers react to being called by their first names after years of just being “Mama”8
- “Beautiful foreigner walking a polar bear” spotted at Shibuya’s famous crossing9
- Anime pregnancy tests: The latest otaku meme, and it’s not just for 2-D girls10
- “Mom’s 1st Birthday” – Try to get through this video without tearing up【Video】1
- School textbook is withdrawn after “teacher” on the front is recognized as Japanese adult video star2
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls3
- Mickey and friends in human form are more charming than we had imagined! 【Pics】4
- A sad turn of events at a butterfly exhibition in China5
- 6-year-old boy vowed to marry his childhood sweetheart, really marries her 18 years later6
- Ten-year-old boy cuts construction worker’s lifeline because noise was interrupting his cartoons7
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea8
- Chinese cat with unfortunate dark patch of fur tired of people asking why it’s shocked9
- Surgery, diet, and sunscreen transform heavy, swarthy Thai boy into slender, tan-free lady10
- The plot thickens: Pizza Hut Japan’s feline employees disappear overnight, forcing store closure 【Video】
- Japanese net users stunned by photos of Chinese ethnic minority men
- Ken Akamatsu bemoans Britain’s child pornography sentencing
- Help one-million-year-old hag get back her glamorous good looks in new app
- Korean tattoo artist’s small, simple, stylish “line tattoos” change our impression of getting inked
- Kawaii concrete? Japanese retailer selling cuddly tetrapods for a limited time only
- The most famous cat in Japan shows us exactly how he fits his cubby body in a box
- You’ll never want to stop cleaning with this penguin mop topper
- 2-D anime characters so cute, you just gotta pinch their cheeks
- Another Chinese knock-off has hit the market, this time it’s a city!
- Cute, snack-loving Japanese parakeet proves even birds go into food comas
- Detached female hand iPhone cases are here to provide…emotional comfort?
- Brilliant use for the almost expired milk in your fridge: It’s time for some milk jam!