Japan is getting ready to welcome visitors from all over the world as they come to celebrate the country’s famous cherry blossom season, “sakura”.
Japan’s popularity continues to grow amongst Aussie travellers, with the highest number of Australian visitors ever recorded last year, and while the ski season was the most popular, a noticeable spike occurred in March and April during sakura, with many visitors coming to enjoy “hamami’, or cherry blossom viewing.
This year, the Japan Weather Association has forecast that the 2016 season will see Tokyo and Kyoto’s blooms open several days earlier than average, on 23 and 26 March respectively, while the blossoms in Kyushu are predicted to lag behind their traditional opening dates from 25 to 31 March.
If you’re in Japan for sakura this year, be sure to follow reports closely so you can make the most of the fleeting season, and take note of these helpful insider tips from travel insurance provider Worl2Cover.
Check reports – Lasting only about a week from when the first blossoms open with dates differing from region to region, the season is very fleeting, so check japan-guide.com for the latest info on predicted blooming times to ensure you don’t miss it.
Get into the spirit – During the season, Japan goes cherry blossom mad, with blossom-themed events and festivals taking place all over the country, and even sakura products becoming readily available throughout supermarkets, so be sure to try the limited edition sakura-flavoured foods and drinks.
Read up on the history – Tap into the annual event’s cultural and historic significance. The season has deep cultural and historic significance for the people of Japan and dates back to ancient times when the cherry blossom announced rice-planting season and was used to forecast the year’s harvest.
Get out and about – Enjoy hanami during different times of the day; alongside sunny blue skies, against sunsets leading into dusk, and together with hanging lanterns, creating a glowing pink canopy.
Stick around after blooming – Experience the falling blossoms create stunning petal storms, providing incredible photo opportunities.
Venture out – If you happen to be travelling outside of the peak season but still want to catch a glimpse of the blooms, consider visiting Okinawa where the blossoms open as early as January, or head to Hokkaido where they bloom as late as May.
Get covered – Make sure you are fully protected when travelling to Japan, or anywhere internationally. World2Cover’s comprehensive cover is available to all Australian travellers, delivering peace of mind, a simple claims process and superior customer.