The Beauty of Cherry Blossoms

Guest Post By: Senior majoring in Marketing and minoring in Japanese, Erika Chaffin. During Spring Quarter and Summer Quarter 2022, Erika studied abroad on a Foster Exchange with Kobe University in Kobe, Japan.

When you think of Japan, one of the first things that comes to mind is cherry blossoms! Blooming from late March to early May, these flowers are everywhere you go, and there are even spots that people specifically go to view these beautiful flowers in bloom. This activity is called hanami (花見), where people sit and watch cherry blossoms with friends and family, brining lunches, snacks, and even alcohol to enjoy the nice view.

When I came to Kobe in early April, I was able to thoroughly enjoy the view everywhere I went! Taking short walks near my dorm led to a park full of these flowering trees. There’s even a botanical garden in Kyoto, just a 30-minute commute by train, with an entire section dedicated to these flowers! Touring the campus of Kobe University also gave me quite a sight as cherry blossoms lined up along the path, making the tour experience very enjoyable. Even visiting local shrines gave a sight to behold as these structures were surrounded by beautiful cherry blossoms and encapsulated a traditional Japanese image worth taking many photos of.

The great thing about Japan’s love for cherry blossom viewing is that a lot of areas ideal for this activity are free to access as they’re in public spaces, such as parks, but certain places like the botanical garden in Kyoto require a fee. Luckily, a lot of places like the botanical garden are relatively cheap throughout Japan! This one in particular costs just 200 yen, or roughly $2. The scenery is absolutely gorgeous, and taking a walk around the area surrounded by the seasonal flowers is a great way to pass time and experience the beauty of flowers blooming in Japan. If you have plans of going to Japan in the future, definitely consider the Springtime as it’s one of the prettiest times of year to visit!