Blossoms Open First on Okinawa
The pink blossoms brighten
up the hillsides through the month of February.
hang like bells from the branches, unlike those of northern regions
in Japan, which
open facing the sky. Okinawa'a cherry trees come from Taiwan.
may agree, or not, local legend says, the coldest day of winter
activates the flower buds.
witnessed decades of Sakura (桜), or Cherry Blossom Seasons, I believe legendary reasoning.
Though it is winter, once the
hills come alive with the flowers, the weather gets
Blossom Festivals Begin
lovers, from around the globe, and especially Japan, stay tuned to
the Sakura Forecast.
travel can be tricky.
Mother Nature orchestrates the viewing of
such delicate things as flowers.
Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossom Festival) usually occurs on Mt.Yaedake in northern
Okinawa. Normally, it is held around
mid-January and lasts for two weeks.
festival is held on Nago Mountain, over the course of a weekend, late January.
Both events are popular with families and,
there are no entrance fees.
Food, beverage and game booths, as well
as, live entertainment are available.
Sturdy walking shoes, jackets,
cameras and an umbrella are recommended.
Visitors come by the
two, festivals are on mountains and can give the legs a good workout.
It is best to go at a leisurely pace and enjoy the scenery.
routes are lighted, with paper lanterns.
Often, it is worth the
wait, to stay until after the crowds thin out, at night.
catch some dramatic photos and avoid sitting in traffic jams when
Nakijin-jo (gusuku) Castle
In recent years, the castle has been lighted, at night,
during Cherry Blossom Season.
A sight to see during daylight, it
turns into a magical dreamland when the lights shine on the
trees, and stone walls of the fortress during darkness.
imperative, to check the links provided for dates and closing times,
as they may vary from
year to year.
The terrain at Nakijin would be
less foot and stroller-friendly than previously mentioned festivals.
A flashlight might be handy for those wandering off the stone stairs,
or pathways, to take photos.
farther south on Okinawa, there are more festivals as the season
The Town of Yaese, Naha City, and Kumejima Island, all
have Cherry Blossom Festivals.
Away During Winter?
They post cherry
blossom opening dates and, in full bloom dates, for all of Japan.
as the blossoms spread from the southern tip of
mainland Japan, to the northernmost regions.
out on one of the beauties of Japan: The Sakura Matsuri.
See more photos from Cherry Blossom Season