The cherry blossom is the national flower of Japan. In a band of warmer weather moving south to north and beginning in late February in Okinawa, the cherry blossom front usually reaches Hokkaido in June whilst centering the nation’s interest during this season on the approach of their own cherry blossom season.
While the cherry tree and buds are indeed initially modest in appearance, when in full bloom the blossoms are truly splendid and as gorgeous as gorgeous can be. Their zenith lasts for but a few days however, and the resulting shedding of the petals can look like a pink tinged snowstorm. Associated very closely with human mortality, the Japanese have long identified the ephemeral life of the flowers with the tragically short lifespan of so many famous and not so famous Japanese and by extension one finds in Japan the graceful acceptance of falling while in one’s prime. Dedicated viewers of the cherry blossom front travel south to north with the front, at times boasting to others how many times and to where they have gone on cherry blossom tours that particular year.