The Beauty of Japan during Sakura (Cherry Blossom) Season

We just returned from a weeklong visit to Japan and were so lucky to see blossoms EVERYWHERE!  I had heard that Sakura season was unforgettable, but I really had no idea that they have planted trees en masse in every piece of dirt big enough.  The view of all these blossoms is totally unforgettable and can't really be shown in photos, although I took plenty.  If you have ever seen Washington DC in bloom, just imagine that magnified by about a million.  It's not only just a bunch of pretty flowers, but it's an entire cultural event that breathes life into the millions of Japanese who look forward to springtime.  According to my pen pal, Mariko, it is the beginning of the school year.  It's also a time when co-workers gather under the blooming trees with picnics.  Some shrines open their gardens at night for something that resembles beer gardens so people can enjoy a drink, good food, and friends all in the shelter of the trees.  Shops celebrate by holding sales.  The blossoms are incorporated into all advertising for the season.  It is the heaviest tourist season, and those lucky enough to be there get to bask in all the glory of the season.  I've included some photos here to give you an idea of the beauty.  Enjoy!
Shops even add trees to store windows
A young lady in the park

Co-workers having a picnic

Night time in Kyoto at one of the parks

A tree lit at night

Every temple or tea house has a lovely garden

Along the Sumida river in Tokyo, there are thousands of trees

A variety of weeping cherry

An artist captures the tree on paper


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