2019 was my first, and so far only, experience with sakura (cherry blossom) season in Japan. I haven’t been back to Japan, or anywhere else for that matter, since the start of the pandemic.

The experience two years ago was eye opening as my knowledge of sakura was based only on bits and pieces from pop culture. The Japanese word “sakura” means “cherry blossom.” That I knew because Sakura is the name of Japan Airlines’ wonderful international business class lounges and I was curious about the meaning of the word.

Using frequent flyer miles for a ticket to Tokyo in first class on All Nippon Airways (ANA) made the trip to Japan in 2019 a pleasure and nearly free. A ticket was available that coincided with the expected dates of sakura season in Tokyo. The timing worked out, and the sakura were in full bloom. What was even more impressive than the spectacular sakura displays was the apparent effect the blossoms had on the Japanese.

Viewing the sakura brought great joy and was almost spiritual. I thought it might look silly going around taking pictures of trees that locals see every year. Instead, everyone was taking pictures. Not doing so would make one standout.

Even though Japan has been effectively closed to foreign tourists because of the pandemic, my home is blessed with a large cherry tree in the back. This year and last, I welcomed Covid-19 sakura seasons and the turning of the seasons at home while contemplating once again experiencing the majesty of sakura season in Japan.

March 21, 2020


March 22, 2021. The sakura are not as profuse this year because I trimmed the tree.

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope your Spring is off to a great start and that there are sakura to view in your area.  Flowering pear trees are also pretty this time of year and great reminders of the change of season.