Perhaps the most anticipated and beloved celebration in Japan is the season known as Ohanami. The word translates as flower watching, and depending upon the weather in mid-spring, sometime during the month of April, the entire nation of Japan bursts into bloom with the ubiquitous sakura, the flowering cherry tree. The sakura create a frosty-pink canopy over city parks and country hillsides alike, and the people of Japan emerge after the long winter to rejoice in this ephemeral season. Beneath a canopy of blossoms, street vendors offer an array of traditional foods, including yakitori, skewers of savory grilled chicken.
Image © 2002 Robert George
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