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Hanami: Viewing the Cherry Blossoms

Keiko Ichibashi from Japan

Keiko shows pictures of cherry blossoms
Photo: Sandy Peters
It is a custom in Japan for Japanese people to go to see the cherry blossoms.


Hanami" means viewing the cherry blossoms. The cherry blossom is the Japanese national flower, so these trees are planted in many places; for example, in parks, at Shinto shrines, at hospitals, in the streets and at schools.

It is a custom in Japan, from the end of March to the beginning of April, when the blossoms are in full bloom, for Japanese people like to go to see the cherry blossoms. On holidays, they go with their family or friends to places which are famous for their cherry blossoms.


A place with cherry blossoms
Nathan Duckworth
Cherry blossoms

Also, after work, they go with their colleagues at work to see them at night. At that time, some people drink sake, an alcoholic drink made of rice, and sing songs.

However, some people go to see the flowers; but they really go only to eat and drink. These people say, "Dumplings are better than cherry blossoms."

This is a proverb. It means that cherry blossoms can't satisfy our hunger, but dumplings can; so practicality is better than beauty. 

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