Hanami, or flower viewing, is the annual Japanese custom of enjoying the blooming foliage after the winter. Some say it is the custom of welcoming springtime, but in Japanese culture, it is much more than that. This beautiful tradition dates back more than a thousand years, and in its beginnings, it was limited to Japanese royalty and the elite upper class. In the early 1600s, hanami spread to all citizens, making Japan one of the most exotic destinations during spring.

Cherry blossom festivals take place all over the country. Cherry blossom festivals take place all over the country, mostly between March and May, though some regions have them in January, February, and June, depending on their location. Witnessing Hanami is a fantastic opportunity to get to know old Japanese customs and culture, which differ in many aspects from Western culture.

Although flowers are the main attraction at the festivals, there are always additional ceremonies celebrating ancient Japanese tradition and the beauty of nature. You shouldn’t miss tea ceremonies held under cherry trees or learning the art of origami while enjoying the beautiful flavors of Japanese cuisine.

There are places in Japan renowned for its magical ambiance in this time of the year. There are places in Japan renowned for their magical ambiance during this time of the year. One of them is Yoshinoyama, a mountain with over 30,000 cherry trees, considered the best viewing spot in all of Japan. The Japan Mint in Osaka is another amazing viewpoint, where the cherry trees form a tunnel of flowers, creating a magical atmosphere with over 100 varieties of trees in bloom. Finally, if you’re visiting Tokyo, you shouldn’t miss Ueno Park, where 1,200 blossoming cherry trees burst to life.

Because cherry blossoms are beautiful and fleeting — the blooms often last no more than two weeks — they have become symbolic of the impermanence of beauty. Cherry blossoms are often featured in works of art and even tattoos to depict the Japanese concept of 'mono no aware,' or the wistful realization that nothing lasts forever. Hanami is guaranteed to be a joyful occasion that signifies the cleansing of the mind and new beginnings.

Inspired by the sakura (cherry blossom) The Peninsula Hotel Tokyo has created various events where you can enjoy this mesmerizing natural phenomenon inside the hotel. Try The Cherry Blossom Ceremony at the Peninsula Spa; a 110-minute rejuvenating full-body treatment served with a cup of cherry-blossom tea and pink macaron. There are also Sakura Afternoon Tea Sets and original Cherry Blossom Cocktails infused with the delicate fragrance of the flower. 

For more information contact our travel advisor HERE