Spring in Japan: Sakura Season 2018

Posted by

Cherry blossom, or 'sakura', is an important flower in Japan. To mark its brief appearance each year, Japanese people hold flower-viewing parties and enjoy sakura-themed foods. You know it's spring in Japan when everything turns pink! As sakura season 2018 approaches, we bring you everything you need to know about this magical time of year.


The Arrival of Spring

Spring in Japan begins with a fantastic natural spectacle. From late March to early May, a wave of pink cherry blossom sweeps the nation from southwest to northeast. The sight of these delicate flowers raining from the cherry trees’ black branches is so admired in Japan that vast swathes of cherry trees have been planted over the years. Consequently, some consider the cherry blossom to be Japan's unofficial national flower. For many Japanese, it figures more strongly in the imagination than the imperial chrysanthemum.

Cherry Blossom Viewing or 'Hanami'

As temperatures slowly begin to rise, Japanese people watch the sakura forecast for their region with great attention. As the peak date approaches, they finalize their plans for the annual flower-viewing parties. This tradition, known as 'hanami', is enthusiastically observed. In parks and gardens throughout Japan, families, friends and colleagues gather for the annual picnic beneath the cherry trees.



If you are the most junior member of a Japanese company when the appointed day arrives, you will probably be sent to reserve the best picnic spot for your colleagues several hours in advance. This might seem like an excuse to slack off for an afternoon, but it is in fact a very serious duty. Hanami is, after all, one of the highlights of the Japanese social calendar.

Why Sakura?

The appreciation of cherry blossom is deeply connected to Shinto philosophy. Like many spring traditions, hanami parties celebrate the joy of nature’s renewal. Even for modern, urban Japanese, the moment is more than symbolic. Spring in Japan aligns with both the start of the fiscal year and the beginning of the school year. It is therefore an exciting time, particularly for students and new graduates.



Cherry blossoms are undeniably beautiful. But they are also delicate and fleeting. This ‘flaw’ makes them a natural friend of wabi-sabi, the aesthetic world view which shaped the Japanese tea ceremony[https://www.tokyo-matcha-selection.com/blog/brief-history-of-the-japanese-tea-ceremony/], among other things. From the perspective of wabi-sabi, sakura season is a symbol of life’s brevity. Far from being depressing, however, this only strengthens its association with conviviality. Indeed, Japanese people see the magical, short-lived flowers as a reminder to treasure their relationships in the here and now.

Everything is Pink!

Naturally, cherry blossom has found its way into many springtime foods and drinks - and not just by floating into it during picnics! Spring in Japan means sakura-flavoured sweets, sakura-coloured rice and even sakura 'tea'. This unusual beverage is not sweet as you might imagine; it is actually made with preserved, salted cherry blossoms.


Sakura Tea 5g (0.17oz) Japanese cherry blossom tea


If you can't get to Japan in time for sakura season 2018, why not let a taste of spring in Japan come to you?

[Product pictures with links]

Spring's Wasanbon - Wagashi Sugar - Japanese confectionery

KitKat Sakura Strawberry flavor 5 packs w Sakura charm in original box

[Caffeine Free] Sakura Tea 100g (3.52oz) Japanese cherry blossom tea

[Limited Season] SAKURA GreenTeabag 15pcs. w Japanese Cherry Blossom Petal Powder

Kirishima: Where Our Organic Matcha Is Made

Learn about Japan's subtropical Kagoshima Prefecture and the special area of Kirishima (meaning 'fog island') which produces our Ceremonial Grade Japanese Organic Matcha. Find out why Kagoshima is called 'the Naples of the Eastern World' and how Kirishima's geography makes it the perfect place for making organic matcha! Sourcing Our Organic Matcha At TOKYO MATCHA SELECTION, we [...]

Read More »


Brief History of the Japanese Tea Ceremony

The Japanese tea ceremony, also known as 'cha-no-yu', has a very long history. It begins with the arrival of powdered tea (matcha) from China. In Japan, a sophisticated culture grew around matcha as it passed from the hands of Buddhist monks to those of the fashionable aristocracy. Through the influence of the famous tea master [...]

Read More »


The Health Benefits of Matcha

People have long believed that green tea is good for their health. There is plenty of evidence to support this. Studies in Japan have shown, for example, that higher green tea consumption is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. But what of the claims that are made about the health benefits of matcha, [...]

Read More »


A Walk Through a Japanese Tea Garden

Whenever you enjoy a cup of Japanese green tea, you may wish to let your imagination transport you to a traditional 'chashitsu', the space reserved for the tea ceremony. In this tiny, quiet room constructed of natural materials, you can feel temporarily insulated from the hubbub of everyday life. But how did we get here? [...]

Read More »


Valentine's Day Gifts in Japan

With February just around the corner, the worldwide search for Valentine's Day gifts is underway. As a Japanese tea enthusiast, have you ever wondered how Valentine's Day is celebrated in Japan? As you will discover in this post, Japan has some unique traditions and even some special vocabulary for this time of year. Read on [...]

Read More »


The Japanese KitKat Phenomenon

Can a chocolate bar make it 'big in Japan'? Absolutely! In fact, the story of the KitKat might just be one of the most successful Japanese reinvention stories of all time. This week, we present the story of KitKat in Japan as well as three fantastic new arrivals available from TOKYO MATCHA SELECTION. The Perfect Snack [...]

Read More »


What Is Matcha?

What's the deal with matcha vs green tea? Exactly what is matcha anyway? This week, we at Tokyo Matcha Selection aim to answer your top questions about our favourite beverage. Let's start with the basics. Green tea is made from the leaves of the evergreen shrub Camellia sinensis. Although 'sinensis' means 'from China', the plant has been [...]

Read More »


All About the Matcha Whisk

If you do not own a matcha whisk, or even if you do, you may be wondering exactly why such an implement is necessary to achieve a fine cup of matcha. In this post, we'll be explaining why the traditional bamboo whisk is so important and how to use and care for it properly. WHY DO [...]

Read More »


Matcha and White Chocolate Muffins

In our last blog post, we explained what kitchen grade matcha is and why it's worth choosing for culinary purposes over other grades of matcha. Today, we bring you our very own tried and tested recipe for matcha and white chocolate muffins! With their surprising colour and subtle green tea aroma, these muffins are a perfect [...]

Read More »