Japanese Manhole covers T-shirts from 47Regions
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Kizuna Japanese subscription box
This is a promotional post.
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Sakura Matsuri Stockholm – Cherry Blossom Festival
On April 22nd was the annual cherry blossom hanami festival in Stockholm (“Körsbärsblommans Dag”), Sweden. It's an event organized by the Japanese Association, and we were very happy to see that they - once Read more
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Hanami (flowers viewing, 花見) is a very special time of the year in Japan, where everyone goes out to their local parks to celebrate the blossoming of the flowers, also known as cherry blossoming. We have posted about hanami before, click here to read.
Hanami big Business
Hanami is soon to start in Japan, and a lot of the Japanese companies are taking the chance now to drum up some extra trade around this time of the year. You can find lots of different food products that will only be available around the time of hanami. McDondals is one of those companies to take the opportunity to sell some food that is specially made for this special time.
McDondals is selling a hanami inspired burger, the “Sakura Teritama” burger. What makes this so hanami is the cherry-blossom-colored bun and the sakura daikon radish mayo on a pork patty with ginger teriyaki sauce, an egg, and lettuce. There is also a Sakura Cherry Mac float which looks very tasty too. YouTuber Sharla (Sharla In Japan) tried the burger and the float together with fellow YouTuber Mira (kanadajin3). Watch the video below:
Kitkat is another company that always has a special limited edition sakura green tea product, which is available around the time of hanami. Fanta has also had a hanami themed drink around the beginning of spring. I’ve also seen on the KFC Japan website some specials just for this time of the year.
Apple is using hanami in their app store to advertise different apps that are available to download. Some that are very much to do with hanami and some are more indirect, like Pizza Hut, which could be something a lot of people would need to order the pizza for their party in the park, or maybe not.
Here in Sweden we will be celebrating hanami around the end of april. Here the Japanese society will have one day of celebration in the middle of the city, this year 2014, on April 26. There are a lot of other countries celebrating hanami, so check Google to see what’s going on in your the part of your country.
I have previously written about hanami, a celebration in Japan where people go out and view the blossoming cherry trees and enjoy a lovely time together. We dont have that tradition in Sweden (the Japanese Society in Stockholm have a cherry tree day), but we do have some lovely cherry trees in central Stockholm, and people appreciate their beauty just as much here.
The cherry trees now are blossoming in Stockholm and Kungsträdgården (the King’s Garden) has been transformed into a beautiful ceiling with pink cherry blossoms. After an extra long winter and very late spring, the temperature has finally gone up and people are now enjoying hot sunny days.
It was a few days ago that the cherry flowers came out in bloom in Kungsträdgården, and for those who want to see the flowers before they disappear should hurry, the flowering will only last for a week and there are only a few days left now.
I visited Kungsträdgården on Wednesday and took some photos and filmed a bit. It was beautiful weather that day, and many had finished work early, so it was full of people who gathered in Kungsträdgården to admire the cherry blossoms and take pictures of all the beauty. People sat down at the fountain or in the grass, enjoying the sunshine and good company. It was a really lovely day!
Here is a video that I filmed there:
Do you have a place where you live with cherry trees?
Every year the Japanese Society in Sweden celebrates hanami by organising Cherry Flower Day Festival (Körsbärsblommans Dag) in Kungsträdgården in central Stockholm. Kungsträdgården is an urban park area with a big fountain in the middle that is surrounded by lots of cherry trees. The blossoming of the cherry trees is a very special time in Japan (Ive written about it here) and I think its so lovely to have a bit of Japanese culture in Stockholm during this time.
Because of the cold spring we’ve had this year, the blossoming of the cherry trees has been delayed, and we only have little buds at the moment. But that didnt stop the festival. The sun was shining and it was a lovely warm day!
We saw lots of lolitas, coplayers and people dressed in traditional Japanese clothing, like kimono. It was great to see so many Swedish young people being so into the Japanese culture. The lolitas pink looked amazing!
Traditional Japanese culture
Traditional Japanese culture was represented in the stalls. Bonsai, shodo, furoshiki, igo, origami, try on a kimono and lots more.
Lots of things to see
The stalls also had Lolita fashion for sale, there was a café, manga exhibition, kawaii games to try… There were fashion shows and performances with taiko drums, songs and dance. So much to see!
Here are some more photos from the festival:
Have you been to any Japanese festivals in another coutry outside of Japan?
Spring has arrived in Japan and its the hanami season. The word “hanami” is the Japanese word for “flower viewing”. For about two weeks every spring, Japan transforms into a cherry blossoming paradise when the cherry trees are in bloom. The hanami enthusiast can make the most of the season by travelling through the country, starting in south and going north following the blossoming as it spreads up the country.
During daytime, people enjoy this beautiful time of the year by having picnics in the park. You meet up with friends and family or co-workers and you enjoy food and snacks together (often bento and dango).
People are playing and there’s music to enjoy. People often stay for hours until the evening, and thats when some parks are lit up by decorative paper lanterns. The night time celebration is called “yozakura”.
Since the cherry blossoming season is so short, its progress is closely watched by private agencies who will predict when it will start, and newspapers and TV will report as its happening across Japan.
A bit of Japan in Stockholm
In Sweden, where I live, we have cherry trees in central Stockholm, and every year when they’re in bloom there’s a celebration of both the flowers and the Japanese culture. In the past there’s been performances with taiko drums, kimono show, kyudo show and even Japan’s ambassador has been there and held a speech. Swedish cosplayer usually dress up in cosplay and have picnics under the cherry trees.
Have you been to any hanami events? In Japan or maybe elsewhere in the world?