Cherry Blossoms or Sakura (桜) is probably the most iconic flower in Japan. Every spring people from all over the world visit Japan to witness the beauty and the delicacy of Sakura. Sakura has been celebrated for hundreds of years and very significant in Japanese culture. There are many different kinds of Sakura trees in Japan. They come in the various numbers of petals, colors, shapes and more. Most of them bloom in spring and some bloom in late autumn or even during the winter months. The blooming of Sakura will start from the south of the country to the north. From Okinawa to Hokkaido.
What makes Sakura a precious flower is a fact that people have to wait for the whole year to see the full bloom for just a couple of days in spring. Japanese has a popular tradition in Sakura viewing or known as Hanami (花見). Families, friends or colleagues will get together and reserve the spot for parties under the trees.
Okinawa is the first area to see Sakura or Cherry Blossom in Japan. There are mainly 5 – 6 locations to see the Sakura including Yogi park in Naha, Nakijin Castle, Motobu town, Nago Central park, and Yaese Park. The closet area to ANA InterContinental Manza Beach Resort to see Sakura is Nago central park, which is about 30 – 40 minutes’ drive.
The recommended period to see the blooming of cherry blossoms in Okinawa is from mid-January to mid-February. The color of Okinawa’s Sakura is dark pink, which is quite distinctive from those commonly seen in mainland Japan. The blooming begins from the northern part of Okinawa and advances southward.
Visit Okinawa to witness the first bloom of Sakura in Japan.