Amherst Wire

Kyoto Hanami: The blooming cherry blossoms of Kyoto, Japan

Amherst Wire photographer Justin Risley captures the timeless beauty of Japan's blooming cherry blossoms and the modern world that appreciates them.

%28Justin+Risley%2F+Amherst+Wire%29
Back to Article
Back to Article

Kyoto Hanami: The blooming cherry blossoms of Kyoto, Japan

(Justin Risley/ Amherst Wire)

(Justin Risley/ Amherst Wire)

Justin Risley

(Justin Risley/ Amherst Wire)

Justin Risley

Justin Risley

(Justin Risley/ Amherst Wire)

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The first weekend of April is typically when the yearly bloom of the Japanese cherry blossom is at its peak in Kyoto, Japan. People from across the country and around the globe flock to cultural and metropolitan centers to view the precious flowers known as “sakura.” The purity of the pink and white blooms enchant urban landscapes across Japan. Kyoto, the epicenter of Japanese culture, experiences one of the largest rushes of tourism during this relatively short period.

The blooming season lasts roughly two weeks in favorable climates. However, the bloom of the sakura occurs at different periods throughout the country.

Justin Risley
(Justin Risley/ Amherst Wire)

Japan is situated on a widespread change of longitude, similarly to the United States’ east coast. Therefore, blooming season begins in late March in Kyushu,  the most southern region of the main island of Japan, and then in early May for the country’s most northern region, Hokkaido. Avid sakura viewers and photographers follow the bloom as it rushes up through the nation every spring.

The cherry blossom is deeply ingrained in Japanese culture. The precious and short-lived bloom of the sakura is a symbol of life itself. Throughout the many centuries of Japanese history, the cherry blossom can be found in art, poetry, paintings, and performances. Today, it can even be found on the 100 yen coin.

Justin Risley
(Justin Risley/ Amherst Wire)

“Hanami” is a sacred part of the bloom season. The word – meaning “flower viewing” in Japanese – is known to have been a major part of the blooming season for centuries. This practice involves gathering with others under the blooming trees with food and drink. It is a time of leisure, connectivity, and observance.

The following images capture the harmony between the sakura and those who choose to indulge in its beauty.

The full series can be viewed here.

Email Justin at [email protected]

Facebook Comments
Navigate Left
  • Kyoto Hanami: The blooming cherry blossoms of Kyoto, Japan

    Campus

    UMass students hold sit-in at State House

  • Kyoto Hanami: The blooming cherry blossoms of Kyoto, Japan

    Campus

    Why does UMass love Coke? Students question pouring rights at flagship campus

  • Kyoto Hanami: The blooming cherry blossoms of Kyoto, Japan

    Campus

    From Bangladesh to UMass: a graduate’s reflection

  • Kyoto Hanami: The blooming cherry blossoms of Kyoto, Japan

    Entertainment

    Grab your travel mug, “Cuphead” is on the Switch

  • Kyoto Hanami: The blooming cherry blossoms of Kyoto, Japan

    Features

    UMass Amherst student owns a printing press

  • Kyoto Hanami: The blooming cherry blossoms of Kyoto, Japan

    Campus

    Distinguished UMass Political Science Professor Sheldon Goldman discusses the Supreme Court

  • Kyoto Hanami: The blooming cherry blossoms of Kyoto, Japan

    Entertainment

    UMass guitarist Danny Monger looks to make rock music that everyone can relate to

  • Kyoto Hanami: The blooming cherry blossoms of Kyoto, Japan

    Campus

    Should UMass Build a Nuclear Power Plant?

  • Kyoto Hanami: The blooming cherry blossoms of Kyoto, Japan

    Entertainment

    Schoolboy Q punches below his weight on “CrasH Talk”

  • Kyoto Hanami: The blooming cherry blossoms of Kyoto, Japan

    Campus

    UMass vs. Goliath: How can universities keep marginalized students in STEM?

Navigate Right
The digital-first, student-run magazine of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Journalism Department
Kyoto Hanami: The blooming cherry blossoms of Kyoto, Japan