Photo credit: Totomai Martinez
The blossoms of springtime are beautiful, and enjoyed around the world. In Japan this is especially so with the cherry blossoms. The name for it in Japan is “Sakura” and it takes on a spiritual meaning.
The blooming cherry trees symbolize life, transience and nobility. The blooming of the trees is celebrated with joy and reverence during the short period of time when they are in bloom. Parties are held amid the blooms, which is sort of a flower watching party. The parties are called “hanami.”
The cherry tree blossoms give a pink hue to the entire countryside, in some places taking up huge areas. There is one small island that is nearly all cherry trees, and people enjoy kayaking around the island to take in all the blossoms. Another thing people enjoy is just being around the trees, walking among them as the blossoms fall. It is almost like a blizzard of blossoms at times, which can feel like a spiritual experience.
National Geographic has put together a gallery of photos – 24 in all – that show the glory of the cherry blossom season. The photos were submitted by Geographic’s storytelling community. These are reader submitted photos that show the amazing images of all the blossoms, as well as people enjoying the experience.
In some places where there are large groves of cherry trees, people lay blankets on the ground and enjoy the blooms.
Photo credit: Joe Ishikawa
Photo credit: Yoshiki Fujiwara
Photo credit: Danilo Dungo
Photo credit: Ryan WH
Photo credit: Hiroki Inoue
Photo credit: Joydeep Dasgupta
Photo credit: S. Ohtani