Springtime feeling flowers Japan
Japan’s cherry blossom viewing season (hanami) is coming soon. As the most celebrated nature event in Japan, there are famous viewing sites around the country with over 30 varieties of trees with blossoms ranging from white to purple. Hanami is a commercial affair charged with the Japanese concept of kawaii or cuteness. Since the blossoms only last a short time, hanami also embodies the Japanese concept of mono no aware, the sensitivity to or understanding of the impermanence of life and youth, tinged with a little sadness. The brevity of the beauty seems to collectively bring people into the present to celebrate life, and then the blossoms fall and blanket the streets in dots of color. Magical and melancholy, hanami made a deep impression on me and marked my entry into shinrin-yoku (forest bathing).