It`s cherry blossom season in Japan. This beautiful flower is called “Sakura”.
The blossoms only last for a week or two, usually from March to April; Sakura cherry-blossoms have come to symbolize the transience of life because their life is so short. The Japanese school year begins in April, the sakura are also seen as a sign of beginning, signaling a new stage in life. This bloom has been compared to a woman’s beauty, blossoming for a short period before withering into old age.
When the Sakura start to appear, all of Japan goes crazy for these flowers. Hanami (picnics under the cherry blossom trees) is held in the parks, by rivers or on mountains. Salary men loosen their neckties and knock back sake while the blossoms fall gently to the ground. Television news carry nightly reports of the cherry blossom “front” and show whereabouts in Japan the Sakura has started to bloom.
This photo was taken in Shinjuku Gyoen.