Your Travel Guide to Japan
There is no denial that cherry blossom - or sakura - is a timeless symbol of spring in Japan. These bountiful yet fragile flowers cover parks and streets with soft shades of pink, adding a new dimension of color to an already beautiful country. The season is often celebrated with picnics and gatherings underneath the blooming trees, a custom known as hanami.
Japan had always held a special place in my heart. Ever since I was a child, I've been fond of its culture, and its sense of simplicity and minimalism. My husband also shares the same admiration for the country, so naturally it became our honeymoon destination four years ago. After experiencing the fall foliage that November, we knew we had to return one day in to witness the country adorned with iconic spring flowers.
My husband and I were immediately captivated by the lavish spectacle of petal-saturated trees. We often took our time gazing at them, taking in the depth and color in each layer. The blossoms would stay for just a few fleeting days. Like snow, each petal softly fell, and were carried off by the wind.
When planning your trip, we highly recommend picking not only well known tourist locations, but also ones off the beaten path. Central cities like Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka offer many cultural and historical experiences, but large crowds and tourist groups can distract from the sense of magic of these cities. During our trip, we purposely incorporated parts of western Japan, Sakai and Kanazawa to experience the natural beauty of the country away from the masses. One memorable place we visited was the Tojinbo Cliffs in Sakai, Fukui Prefecture. The natural geometry carved into these rocks by the sea waves made for an unforgettable experience!
In addition to sightseeing, there are many options for filling your bellies with Japan’s delectable cuisine. For a unique and delicious ramen experience, we recommend Afuri in Tokyo, a restaurant praised for their award-winning yuzu based broth. In Kyoto, Kaikado Cafe’s modern space and eclectic selection of treats offered a relaxing break from our exploration. Their azuki bean toast paired perfectly with their carefully crafted fresh dripped coffee. And of course, no visit to Japan is complete without a stay at a ryokan, complete with a kaiseki dinner!