Greetings from Japan Culinary Institute(JCI) –Japanese culinary art school in Atami (Shizuoka), Japan! Today we are sharing Cherry Blossom Viewing in Atami. Early Cherry Blossoms in Japan: Atami Sakura While most of Japan's cherry blossoms start to bloom in late March, there are varieties which favor opening their flowers at the end of winter, when it's still cold outside. The 'Atami Sakura' cherry blossoms start blooming from late January to mid-February. The Atami Sakura is a unique species of cherry blossom because it is resistant to cold weather, remaining in bloom for 1 month or so. The Itokawa Promenade is particularly popular as a scenic site of the Atami Sakura as well as that of Nagahama Kaihin Park, Nagisa Water Park (beach deck) and around Atami Baien (Plum Grove Garden).
Joy of Spring at Atami Castle Meanwhile, over 200 Sakura trees, most of them “Somei-yoshino” come into bloom in March to April. Sakura festival is held at Atami Castle every year and the outskirts of Atami Castle are known as particularly famous spot of cherry trees that are lit up at night with illuminations during the festival period.
Hanami (cherry blossom viewing) Japanese people have appreciated cherry blossoms for their beauties since the 8th century. There are many ways to enjoy the beauty of cherry blossoms but they mostly include drinks and food, gathering underneath the trees to dine and socialize. People often bring Bento (lunch box) to a Hanami party. We will introduce Japanese Bento in our next blog.