In Japan, “The flowers only bloom for a week, so let’s party!”


Stories about cherry blossoms in Washington can be pretty boring, but this report about how they’re celebrated in Japan is anything but.



  1. I was lucky enough to visit Japan during sakura season, and it’s a blast. Can’t recommend it enough!

  2. Why does Google put articles that you’re not allowed to read at the very top of 100,000 search returns? “Just register!” Sure. When I try that, it insists that my email address is already on file, so no go. “Have you forgotten your password?” No, I haven’t; since I’ve used the same one for casual websites since 1998! Damn.

  3. I just returned a week ago from a trip to China, the end of my stay coinciding with Tomb Sweeping Day, AKA Pure Brightness Festival and also Cold Food Day. For thousands of years it has been the day the Chinese pay special homage to their ancestors, clean up the grave site, and not incidentally enjoy the glorious spring weather and flowers. I can’t imagine its timing to coincide with the blooming of cherries and plums was accidental. The Cold Food part was meant to be a sacrifice one made, a fast of sorts, a picnic at the burial ground, but from what I observed, no one was suffering. It felt like all 20,000,000 Beijingers were out that day, all armed with smart phones and selfie sticks. The cherries and plums were the favorite backdrops for coyly posing Chinese girls and proud moms. Actually, with the event now a national holiday, it’s stretched out to 3 days. What an honor it was to be in the crowd, though impossible to get on a bus.

  4. Thank you for the video. Loved the rowdy elders!

    I’d love to visit Japan then–as well as DC during the blossom season. If I saw it in the 18 months I was there, I don’t recall, as I was only 18 months old then! I was using chopsticks (the pointed Japanese kind) as early as 5, I think: my parents brought back many souvenirs from their time there.

    I learned the song Sakura very early on, followed by Sho-jo-ji (courtesy of the Mouseketteers). I can’t recall how I learned Sakura, but I can only remember the first verse.

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