Japan Travel News

Japan in Springtime is Absolutely Spectacular

Posted on January 25, 2011 within News

Spring is perhaps my favorite time of year for traveling throughout Japan. From viewing beautiful cherry blossoms and visiting exquisite gardens to enjoying colorful local festivals, spring in Japan offers a wealth of delightful experiences.

As winter gives way to the warmth of spring, the cherry blossoms for which Japan is famed, burst forth into bloom covering the country in a blanket of pink. Cherry blossoms or sakura as they are known in Japanese, represent the epitome of the Japanese love for nature: simple, beautiful and ephemeral. There is nothing more pleasant than strolling under a canopy of cherry blossoms on a bright blue day as a light wind blows, the branches sway and the blossoms scatter in the air like snow. Whether set against the backdrop of snow capped mountains in Matsumoto, an ancient temple in Kyoto or simply a local neighborhood or park in Tokyo, Japan offers a myriad of wonderful opportunities to see and enjoy this annual display of evanescent beauty.

Spring is also a delightful time to visit Japan’s exquisite gardens. Whether an immaculate stroll garden such as Kanazawa’s Kenrokuen or a wondrous temple garden such as that found at Sanzenin Temple outside of Kyoto, spring offers the opportunity to see these gardens in all their glory with an array of seasonal flowers. At Kenrokuen, as you cross a small wooden bridge that runs over a meandering stream, you will gaze upon hundreds of purple and blue irises rising tall in the water and the subject of so many famous Japanese paintings and love poems. You will feel as if you are in an open-air museum gazing upon a beautiful Japanese screen. Likewise, the eight hundred year old main hall at Sanzenin provides a stunning sight surrounded by hundreds of clusters of white, pink and blue hydrangea.

With spring also comes an array of colorful local festivals or matsuri. The most prominent of such festivals is the Sanno Matsuri, held in Takayama since 1652. As part of this festival which takes place in mid-April, large, ornate floats hundreds of years old, decorated with fantastic works of art, are pulled through this Edo period town by dozens of men as taiko drums play and people celebrate. The Sanno Matsuri, and Japan’s many other spring matsuri, are truly¬†spectacular to behold.

Let JapanQuest Journeys introduce you to the sublime beauty of Japan and its wonderful sights and sounds on an extraordinary journey this spring.

Philip Rosenfeld