The beautiful meaning behind the Sakura16 November 2021
No, Sakura is not just the name of some famous anime character, but it’s also the Japanese name of the Cherry Blossom. This beautiful tree with pink flowers is a staple of Japan’s most beautiful sceneries. So with that being said, we thought it would be nice to gather all the most interesting facts about the Cherry Blossom in one place, and to share them with you. As the proverb says: life is sharing!
What does Sakura mean?
Sakura (or 桜 or さくら in Japanese) is the word for word translation of the tree we all know and love, the Cherry Blossom. If you can’t put the finger on it quite yet, you probably saw these trees at least once in your lifetime in a movie or an anime. They are fairly easy to spot, as they have hundreds of beautiful light pink flowers blooming all around their branches.
Far from being only a flower tree, the Cherry Blossom represents the ephemeral nature of life. Since the Cherry Blossom only blooms for a very short period of time (between 7 and 10 days in general), it puts life into perspective. Like the beautiful blooming of the cherry tree, life is short, and we have to savor each moment like it was the last.
Also, the blooming of the Cherry Blossom happens in synchronization with many other events in Japan:
- The end of the cold winter
- The beginning of spring
- The end of the fiscal year
- The end of the school year
Thus why many Japanese take the time to appreciate and celebrate the blooming of these pink flowers everywhere in the country.
What are the best places to see cherry blossoms in Japan?
This is probably one of the most important questions when visiting Japan. If you happen to be in the country of the red sun between the last week of March and the first week of April, here are the best places to witness the beauty of the cherry trees in Japan:
- Mount Yoshino
Simply one of the most popular touristic attractions in Japan, especially during the cherry blossom season. Adventure on the mountainside for a view that will take your breath away!
- Maruyama Park
With a giant Cherry Blossom tree in its center, the Maruyama Park is a real beauty, especially at nighttime with its beautiful lights.
- Himeji Castle
With over 1000 Cherry Blossom trees, the white walls of this incredible castle will give you a different way to look at the pink flowers of the cherry trees.
- Fuji Five Lakes
Hot springs, Mount Fuji, and thousands of silky pink petals, is this a dream? This is a place you can’t miss during the full bloom of the Cherry Blossoms.
- Hirosaki Castle
Not 1, not 2, but 3 floors of joy, as you venture into a grand castle full of Cherry Blossom trees.
What’s the lifespan of a Cherry Blossom?
Most Cherry Blossom trees will last between 16 and 20 years, while a few rare species can last much longer. For example, some trees in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (United States) have lasted for about 40 years. Even crazier, some black cherry trees can live for over 250 years!
What products are made of Cherry Blossoms?
We could say, almost everything, from Sakura beer to Cherry Blossom perfume, we are not kidding when we say that almost everything is being made with this tree. Since the flowers are edible and have a particular taste to them, many companies have tried their own spin on the Sakura frenzy. Not too long ago, Sakura Kit Kat came to be, and if you’re thirsty, why not try a Sakura Coca-Cola? Even Starbucks has its own unique Sakura Latte, which is said to be delicious by many.
How to differentiate the Cherry Blossom from the Plum Blossom?
Many people make confuse one for the other. Actually, the Cherry Blossom, Plum Blossom, and Peach Flower all look very similar. Therefore, here are some tips and tricks to differentiate them:
The Cherry Blossoms have little openings in their petals, and they start blooming in late March. Also, their flowers bloom in groups that are almost stuck together.
The Plum Blossoms will bloom in mid-February, so it’s 100% sure that if you’re in March, it’s not a Plum Blossom. Also, the petals of the flowers are a bit more white, and sometimes they will tend to go purplish. Finally, the petals are rounder than the ones of the Cherry Blossom.
The Peach Flowers bloom in mid-March, so just before the Cherry Blossom. They have almost the same color as the latter, thus why they are often mistaken for Cherry trees. The easiest way to identify a Peach Flower tree is to look at the way the flowers grow. If they grow in pairs of two on each side of the branch, it means that you are in front of a Peach Flower tree!
Why do people say Cherry Blossoms represent death?
Because of their short bloom period, the Cherry Blossom trees were representing the short-lived lives of the fallen warrior of the Feudal period between 1185 and 1868. Nowadays, the Sakara represents generally a more positive outlook on life but is still reminding a lot of us that life is indeed, short, and that it is important to appreciate each moment with our loved ones.
When were the first Cherry Blossom trees planted in the US?
In 1912, it was a gift of peace from Japan. Although, this gift had kind of a bad back-story to it, since in 1910, the Japanese had sent some bad Cherry Blossoms with diseases, which had to be burnt for safety. This incident had caused a lot of stress and panic between the US and Japan, but the second batch in 1912 was good, and everything went well.
Which country has the most Cherry Trees in the world?
Contrary to what one might think, the record for the biggest number of Cherry Blossoms in the world doesn’t go to Japan, but Georgia. That’s right, the German city of Macon has over 350 000 Yoshino Cherry Blossoms, making it the grand winner in this category.