Cherry blossom time in Japan

Sakura in Tokyo byJames T. Kirk on Vimeo.

No doubt about it, the springtime blooming of sakura, or cherry blossoms, in Japan is one reason the country is special. The Japanese treat the season with wonder, with weather forecasts about the optimal blooming days and following the cherry blossoms from the warmer southern climate all the way up to Hokkaido, the northernmost island, where the sakura bloom late.

The Japanese even have a name for cherry-blossom viewing parties and picnics, “hanami,” when entire families might sit under the falling flowers to enjoy the fleeting beauty of nature. In this video, some of the parks packed with hanami-enjoying folks look like the crowds on a typical August day at Coney Island beach in New York City.

I had to share this video, created by someone calling himself “James T Kirk” on Vimeo. It was posted by Alexandre Gervais, a Japanophile who seems to find lots of cool videos of Japan and shoots some nice photos. I’ve added him to my list of websites that cover Japan….