Cherry blossom season: Another reason to visit Japan I remember running into a group of tourists last October who had travelled from various parts of Asia to visit Ontario in the throes of the fall foliage season, when immense swaths of deciduous trees explode into arrays of burning reds and orange-golden hues, transforming (it seems) minute by minute in front of our very eyes. I recall talking to a couple from Osaka, Japan, seeing how excited they were to be heading to Northern Ontario to capture the best of our fall colours. Little did they realize that I was the jealous one, so envious of one of Japan's incredible traditions, one that's credited entirely to the whims of Mother Nature. Japan's iconic sakura, known to many of us as Cherry Blossom Season, is in full bloom right now, and it's a phenomena that I've longed to see up close. A good Toronto friend of mine, Kiyoshi, who is an excellent photographer, took these pictures while enjoying sakura with his mother in Japan just a few days ago. I like the contrast of traditions in our cultures. While I grew up immersed each autumn in the fall foliage season, my friend Kiyoshi, throughout his childhood in Japan, looked forward to the blossoming of the cherry trees: "In Japan, the new sclool year starts in April, so the cherry blossom is the symbol of the end and the beginning." Kiyoshi's photos were taken in and around his home city of Shizuoka. Get ready to be inspired by these photographs of cherry blossom season in Japan!
(All photos courtesy of Kiyoshi Sakurai)For more information on visiting Japan during the cherry blossom season, visit Japan: The Official Guide.