In Japan, people often ask “When will cherry trees begin to blossom?” when warmer weather starts to come at the end of March. We are so conscious of the start of the cherry blossom season to the extent that we have the term sakura-zensen (the cherry blossom front, which is a line graph illustrating the forecasted blooming dates of cherry blossoms in various locations of Japan), and cherry blossom forecasts are announced every year. There are various kinds of cherry trees and I’ll show you some kinds of cherry blossoms in Japan.
Someiyoshino (Yoshino cherry), a representative tree among the cherry trees, opens its flowers all at once and blooming occurs within one week. So, to catch the best time is very difficult. The flowers are a pale whitish pink.
Rows of cherry trees continue on both sides of Okawa River, flowing through the center of Osaka City, and a lot of pleasure boats come and go on the river in the cherry blossom season. There are many food stalls on the riverside and inviting smells are hanging all over the place.
In Oji Zoo in Kobe, we took a long look at cherry blossoms from above riding on a Ferris wheel, and strolled under cherry blossoms at night.
Here, I’d like to introduce you to a rare cherry tree.
Gyoi-ko zakura (Gyoi-ko cherry) is planted in Manyo Botanical Garden of Kasuga Shrine in Nara. The flower is first pale green and gradually turns into yellow, and finally the center of the flower changes to red. The flower in the pic has a red center and so it is past full bloom. This name originated from a color of a cloth of the nobility in the Heian Period – light green or yellowish green. The Japanese term “Gyoi-ko” is composed of 2 words, “Gyoi” and “ko.” “Gyoi” means a cloth and “ko” means yellow.
This is Kawazu zakura (Kawazu cherry). It continues to open its blossoms over one month. The color of the flower is rich pink.
We saw Kawazu cherry blossoms several years ago for the first time when we visited Izu peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture.
They are Kawazu cherry trees in parks along the sea in Hyogo Prefecture.
These are double cherry blossoms. In the Mint Bureau grounds in Osaka City, many cherry trees (various kinds, especially double cherry trees) are planted in the site. Usually, ordinary people are not allowed to pass through the site, but only at the cherry blossom season (two weeks), we can pass through it and enjoy the flowers.