A Seasonal Guide to Japan’s Flowers

The change of the seasons as well as the floral exhibits they attract are renowned across Japan. From the richly expected cherry and plum blossoms to the cheery sunflower, blossoms have a unique place in western culture. There’s an ancient language of flowers called hanakotoba, where many blossoms are ascribed symbolic significance.

Toko Tazawa is an Australian-based performer and instructor in the craft of ikebana, the time-honored practice of Japanese flower arranging. Flower delivery in japan is a popular choice of gift for anyone.

“blossoms and plants play very significant roles in various situations in Japan through the entire year,” she states. “particular plants and blossoms that signify every four seasons have been organized, exhibited, and occasionally eaten in line with the particular event and standard celebration.”

Tazawa’s favorite floral scenery would be the iconic cherry blossom (sakura). “Seeing cherry blossoms in spring is obviously very unique,” she states. “It’s the indication of the ending of winter and the arrival of spring. It’s absolutely breathtaking in addition to uplifting. Additionally, it gives bittersweet feeling to a lot of individuals in Japan since April is the start school year and several men and women begin a new stage in their own lives.”

Ume (plum blossom)

In bloom: January–March

The flowering of this ume is a welcome harbinger of this oncoming spring. The blossoms of this Japanese plum (also referred to as the Japanese apricot) were the first inspiration for the Japanese pastime of hanami (flower viewing) before cherry flowers won favor in the 8th-century throughout the Heian Period. Ume festivals, or ume matsuri, are still treasured events that draw audiences from winter hibernation to picnic under boughs laden with blossom white and pink petals.

Sakura (cherry blossom)

In bloom: March–May

Annually the land of the rising sun eagerly awaits the Japan Meteorological Agency’s prediction for its famed floral occasion – cherry blossom year. Cherry trees blossom at a tide from south to north between mid-March and early May, followed by innumerable hanami picnics. Frequently accompanied by pop up food stalls (yatai), sakura seeing has a carnival-like atmosphere. The season starts with kaika (the primary blossoms), construction to manka (peak blooming) and eventually hanafubuki (a cherry-blossom blizzard) when clouds of petals fall as a snowstorm on enraptured onlookers.

Fuji (wisteria)

In bloom: April–May

Wisteria is a frequent motif in Western arts and culture and retains royal connotations harking back to feudal times when commoners were forbidden to wear purple. Now the Japanese wisteria’s hanging strings of mauve, white and pink blossoms bring folks from far and wide flocking to specialization parks every season to view hypnotic screens of their blossom educated into tunnels and above trellises.

Ajisai (hydrangea)

In bloom: May–July

Since the rainy season Japan, hydrangeas Begin to blossom in parks, temples, and shrines nationally. It’s believed that this highly decorative flower originated in Japan, in which it’s the sign of the rainy season. The petals of this plant responds to the acidity level of the soil and may change between inky blue, pink, white and purple so — a characteristic which created ‘fickleness’ another symbolic significance of this ajisai. The water-loving hydrangea is known as at its beautiful after a rain, when the clustered flower heads are beaded with droplets.

Himawari (sunflowers)

In bloom: July–August

With sunlight in Japan comes that loads of blossoms. At their most glorious in the peak of summer, sunflowers are fittingly viewed as a sign of radiance, but also of trust. Sunflowers will help filter radioactive contamination from dirt, and therefore a community-driven endeavor saw enormous areas of sunflowers planted around Fukushima following the catastrophic atomic disaster. They have come to be a physical indication of recovery from the gradually recovering area.

Kiku (chrysanthemum)

In bloom: September–November

The kiku is a symbol of the Japanese monarchy — known as the ‘Chrysanthemum Throne’ — also is a profoundly revered bloom. In a series of mastery over nature, artisan farmers spend annually reluctantly breeding, pruning and fastidiously training chrysanthemum plants before the fall flowering. These meticulous exhibits are shown in public areas, together with all the most accomplished holding pride of place in kiku matsuri (chrysanthemum festivals).