Japan does seasonal food and drinks well. Even better than that, they are the masters of seasonal treats. We recently published a post about the special sakura drinks at Starbucks Japan.
Spring is here and that means its time for the iconic blossoms of Japan to bloom. They come in three waves. First we have the plum blossoms followed by the peach blossoms and then the cherry blossoms. Known in Japan as “sakura” cherry blossoms are the traditional symbol of end of winter and the beginning of spring.
Japanese sakura are so iconic that each spring more than 2 million foreign visitors come to Japan just to see them.
There are actual sakura treats available in supermarkets, convenience stores and bakeries across Japan at the moment. Many products are also decorated with cherry blossoms.
When you’re in Japan you’ll notice a variety of beer cans decorated with the pink flowers. The beer isn’t a special brew or craft series. The labels simply have flowers on them for a few weeks/months.
At the end of March when the sakura begin to blossom, people across Japan will take part in Hanami parties. These are basically outdoor parties/picnics outdoors in parks that have many cherry trees. It’s a great way to get together with family, friends and coworkers and celebrate the beginning of spring. Often lots of alcohol can be involved in Hanami 花見 parties so beer producers realized they could sell more of their products if adorned with pink flowers!
Cherry blossoms are serious business in Japan.
Kevin O’Shea is the host of the Just Japan Podcast and the Just Japan News Podcast. He is also the guy behind JustJapanStuff. Kevin is a Canadian educator who lives in Kobe, Japan with his family.
Follow him on Twitter: @jlandkev