Saturday, April 04, 2015

Only in Japan: Company Parties under the Yozakura

Beautiful Night time Cherry Blossoms in Fukuoka Japan

HANAMI 花見  (literally translated Flower Watching as it is called in Japanese) can only be done in a short period in Japan when the cherry blossoms 桜 (SAKURA) are in bloom.  This typically lasts for about a week or so near the end of March or beginning of April. As winter comes to an end there is an air of festivity as people begin to anticipate the blooming of the SAKURA.

Many families, friends, and even companies take time to have lunch or picnic under the cherry blossoms.  Sometimes this is during the day and it is also done
 at night.  As you can see here in Fukuoka there is a lot of work done to light up the SAKURA around the old castle ruins downtown.

Night time sakura in downtown Fukuoka Japan, castle ruins

Most parties tend to go late into the evening as people drink and celebrate the coming of spring and often new changes in their lives. At this time many people start new jobs or in the case of students new schools.

Japanese people gathering under the sakura for a company party

The nightime viewing of SAKURA is called YO-ZAKURA (夜桜).  The first character is one for night.  This adds a special and unique flavor to the typical concept of a picnic.  Something that you can only really find in Japan where literally thousands of people around town roll out their tarps and mats and pour out their sake for the night.

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